Having spoken to quite a few people that I know in the retail trade, I think it is fair to say that this year has been a difficult one so far. One person said to me that in their opinion, if goods are in the high-end price bracket, then generally things are still OK, as people with money will still have some spare cash to splash around. The low-end/budget-line businesses are also managing to keep their heads above water, as more of us are having to turn to these outlets for our general buying needs.
Its the middle-of-the-road businesses that are possibly being hit hardest, as those who previously shopped with us are now faced with high utility bills, astronomical petrol prices, and food costing more and more each week. I don't intend to start getting political, but when a government is encouraging us to save rather than to spend, its another barrier to negotiate.
The fact that the items in my shop can't be considered a necessity, makes securing a sale even more precious.
I don't want to sound like I'm whinging, as I know we have it a lot better than many other countries in the world...but I just needed to get my thoughts onto my blog today, so that if/when things turn a corner and they do pick up again, I can look back and reflect that I made it through...
1: I met a lovely lady called Lisa on Friday. She had travelled from Buckinghamshire to visit my shop after reading my blog. (Having read that I had been feeling a little under-the-weather this week, she arrived with a pretty pelargonium plant for me (so sweet!) - I have already planted it in our garden :)
2: Some great news that I heard today, is that after an appeal, enough money has been raised to renovate the ageing Market Cross on Shepton Mallet's Market Place. Wonderful to think that after the work is carried out, it may stand tall for another 5 centuries or more...
3: 'The Wells Emporium' - soon to be 'Somerset Antiques & Interiors' will be opening for business early in June. Hopefully this will give a boost to the town. (I mentioned the shop that they have taken at the very end of this post.)
4: At work I am surrounded by merchandise that I love, get to meet many wonderful people, and can sit and sew to my hearts content. (If I manage to make a 'living' from it, then that will be the icing on the cake.)
That's more than enough to be going on with for now...
Keep happy thoughts and enjoy the rest of your weekend,