Thursday, August 21, 2008

From Target to Saks, consumers cut spending


This article outlining the recent slump in consumer confidence caught my attention, surmising that from Target to Saks, consumers are cutting back. It states that “The increasing frugality among consumers is challenging even Target's forte in cheap chic. The discounter, whose performance has been lagging behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc., reported a 7.6 percent drop in profit as its customers focused on necessities such as food and paper towels. Target offered a cautious outlook for the third quarter amid an erratic start to the back-to-school season and said it would slow its store expansion in fiscal 2009.”

I certainly haven’t stopped shopping at Target, but it got me wondering who’s shopping at the likes of Saks and Bloomingdales these days? Then I remembered this recent op/ed piece from the San Francisco Chronicle by former SF mayor Willie Brown in which he revealed the following:
Bloomingdale's - packed and nobody speaking English.
Neiman Marcus - no English.
And nobody, but nobody, was speaking English in Prada.
It's all Italian, Dutch, French, German and heavy, heavy Russian.
The Europeans are absolutely the biggest retail customers these days downtown, and they are spending like crazy.

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