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The Parking Lot Survey

I drove by the parking lot of the local WalMart today. I guess everyone did their shopping yesterday, because this wasn’t even a busy Saturday crowd. Five years ago they would have been parking on grass and traffic would have been screwed up on the main road, but not today.

This is the end of the month and most people who still have jobs will get paid on the 1st, so it isn’t surprising. Before people would have put it on plastic, but not this year. The retailers know it, because you don’t see merchandise crowding the aisles, as happened in years past.

If yesterday was Black Friday, today is tinged pink.


1 Badtux { 11.28.09 at 10:22 pm }

We headed towards a restaurant in town in early afternoon, and my brother said “get in the left lane, the right lane will be clogged with people trying to turn right into the mall.” When we got to the intersection in question, there was maybe three cars trying to turn right into the mall, and they were all in the turn lane (which will hold about a dozen cars). So we got into the left lane for nothing…

There was three other families in the restaurant when we got there. When I was here last year, it was packed. It’s going to be a blue, blue Christmas for a whole lot of folks, methinks…

– Badtux the Traveling Penguin
.-= last blog ..World’s biggest liar loan =-.

2 Bryan { 11.28.09 at 11:32 pm }

The Japanese place near me is one of the few restaurants open for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They normally have a big holiday crowd, but not much business this year. That’s surprising because their holiday crowd leans heavily toward enlisted people who don’t want to eat at the mess hall. If even the military is holding back, it is going to be worse than I thought.

3 Steve Bates { 11.29.09 at 9:20 pm }

It’s bad news, all right. After the Tofurky® misfortune a few Thanksgivings ago (our own fault; there’s nothing wrong with Tofurky®), we typically go out for either Indian or Thai food, because those restaurants are open on holidays. This year it was Indian. I wonder about next year, because there were perhaps a dozen people in the place during the hour we were there. (Hey, it’s a buffet and we load up; it takes us an hour. 🙂 ) Typically there are two or three times that many customers on a holiday.

But the real indicator was the liquor store. I was out of literally everything… not even a beer in the house… and went to our closest liquor dealer, to whom I’m very loyal because they supplied literally hundreds of boxes to us when we moved… and found no crowd, despite the holiday weekend. I was probably their biggest customer, and I don’t drink (or spend) all that much. Will they be there next year? I can only hope.

4 Bryan { 11.29.09 at 10:44 pm }

That’s why jobs should have been the first priority, not an afterthought. Every week more and more small businesses are in trouble and many will close because, without jobs, people aren’t spending.

There wasn’t enough money sent to state and local governments, so they have been laying people off as their tax revenue has tanked. Jobs are the only way to stop the downward spiral.

5 Moi { 12.02.09 at 8:54 am }

I have been seeing the same thing here. The Walmart had its normal crowd all weekend, not what we’re used to seeing on Black Friday. We went to Annapolis on Sunday, a beautiful day, and the streets were fairly empty. Restaurants we know are good had no one in them.

And yippee ding dong doodles, we’re going to spend our money in Afghanistan.

I say we all revolt and refuse to pay our federal income taxes until the unemployment rates go back down.
.-= last blog ..Michael’s Cryin Over Spilled Milk =-.

6 Bryan { 12.02.09 at 2:44 pm }

Actually, I’m waiting for them to figure out that if the unemployment rate isn’t reduced, there is no income to tax, so the only way to reduce the deficit is to create jobs. The troops who are deployed don’t pay taxes while they are in a combat zone, so the cost is higher than stated.