Friday, December 23, 2011

The New America Indeed

We spent about an hour in a Dollar Store yesterday, a rare event, and came out with a bill for $17.41—meaning that we must have bought 15 items; the rest is tax. Later that day Brigitte heard a news story. It said that two kinds of outlets had done splendidly of late: dollar stores and luxury outlets. I went on a search this morning to find the story. I found it on Investors.com (link). It was in a section titled The New America. Indeed, I thought. Indeed.

The article cites data from the International Council of Shopping Centers. Average store-sales Q4 to Q4, 2010 to 2011, stood at 4.9 percent. Luxury folks averaged 8.1, dollar stores above 5 percent. The International Council talks about a barbell-shaped spending pattern. Nice image that. The middle of that barbell is the thin part where, presumably, most people still live. But I must tell you:  What we saw in this Dollar Store was quite amazing. To be sure, we saw lots and lots of junk not worth even 50 cents. But we saw lots of stuff at a dollar that elsewhere sells for $3 or $4. The place was thick with people. I fell to examining their faces—and concluded that all those present in that store were most intelligent-looking. I avoided mirrors lest I lower that high average.

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