Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Silver Lining
Every week I create a trend report for my company that gives them a one-page 'snapshot' of some of the latest trends. They aren't always fashion related. Sometimes they focus on pop culture stories or political happenings. These reports are meant to answer the burning question (pun obviously intended!), "What's Hot Now?" Last week I though I was being clever by saying 'A Tight Belt' was what's hot. Although it appeared to present the gloominess of the economy, it also reported on the 'silver lining' of our situation. Some people actually made a grunt sound when they read the title. "You're so depressing!" one person commented. I told him to keep looking and to find the silver lining. I mean, really, isn't there always a silver lining in every difficult circumstance? We can read the news or watch TV analysts and know that retailers, the housing market, the auto industry, dining chains, the travel industry and many others are taking a major hit in this economy. Some may not recover. Aah, but there is a silver lining. Who is actually keeping their heads above water, maybe even swimming along quite fine? What is on the upswing? Let's look at silver linings. An independent research study said that this year 45% of Americans are eating out less in order to save money. That means they must be cooking more. Guess what? Borders and Amazon both report double digit increases in cookbook sales, particularly comfort foods. While other magazines are failing, Bon Appetit magazine reports that its had a 39% increase in sales this year. Gas prices are plunging across the country. The national average has dropped almost in half since July, to $2.18 a gallon. That means you can afford to take a drive. And while it may not be to your favorite fast food chain, it will probably be to a movie theater. Movies - comedies and epics especially - tend to do really well at the box office during economic downturns. Seems people need to escape from their daily trouble in times of economic woes. And who doesn't want to look upbeat and cute while your belt is nice and tight? Lipstick and cosmetic sales tend to rise as the economy drops. Almost every retailer is seeing red - lipstick red - in recent months. The "lipstick" indicator seems to be pretty accurate when predicting how the economy is doing. As the stock market started to free fall, cosmetic sales have rocketed by 40% according to industry reports. Troubled retailers, in an attempt to woo strapped shoppers back to their stores, are expected to slash prices on everything from jeans to plasma televisions to laptop computers to automobiles, analysts say. 'Black Friday' deals are expected to be the best they've been in years. Crafting holiday gifts is rumored to be big this year. So here's the plan: The day after Thanksgiving get up early and cook yourself a nice homemade breakfast - maybe using a recipe from that new cookbook you ordered from Amazon. When you're done, brush your pearly whites and put on some red lipstick. Loosen your belt a bit and slide in behind the wheel of your car that you can now afford to drive and head to the movies for a little 'escape' time. Better yet, head to your favorite craft retail store and show them the love by picking up some beads or fabric or paint to make a favorite craft project(s) to decorate your nest or to give as gifts. Don't let the dismal economy put a damper on your holiday season. Look beyond the dark clouds to find the silver lining..................
at 10:12 AM Posted by The Trend Spot