I went down to my favorite furniture store, Woodworks, this weekend to get a couple extra shelves for one of the many, many bookcases I've bought from there over the years.
And I was chatting with one of the owners, or maybe he is the owner, I'm not sure, and I commented on the fact that the store seemed pretty busy despite the recession — I'd had to wait a while, while he wrote up the sale of a complicated, somewhat expensive, custom piece to an older couple. No, he said, business was down by a third over last year. And this is for a store that has good prices on decent quality stuff that tends to last.
It is what I would expect. Furniture is one of those purchases that people tend to postpone if there is any degree of uncertainty in the economic outlook.
And the foreclosure issue is not just affecting the people whose houses are being foreclosed, credit has suddenly gone from ridiculously loose to virtually non-existent. So people buy less, so less gets sold, so sales people get paid less, so they have less money to spend and so on.
Fortunately positive feedback works on the upside as well.
What is down is sales on anything that is “quality” and “built to last”. We have abandoned American made products for cheap Chinese garbage on a massive scale. For some reason most of us want it that way. Sad…