This morning I spoke with a retail store in the Stockyards City District (OKC) and learned more tough news for those folks. Jan thru Mar '09 sales were steady and then tapered off in April and totally died off in May.. In a nutshell.. sales are down 30% (+), theft loss has dramatically increased and buyers are just flat strapped! On one recent purchase, the customer had to spread a transaction over 2-3 different credit cards and some cash just to buy the goods. WOW, now that is MAX'D out on the credit limit. Likely a problem that is creating much of the agony in the economy...
So, how is it that the majority of news reports and radio spots report the economy is showing signs of coming back? Ask these folks and they'd say it is just not the case. These small business owners are not seeing the bottom yet and I tend to agree. Most have adjusted to closing on Sundays (a good thing) and laying off an employee or two so they can keep the doors open. You gotta love retail to be in it now!
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