Saturday, January 14, 2012
Holiday Sales Lag Behind Retailer's Hopes
It's been a long three years since the economy went berserk. For retailer's it's meant a really bumpy ride to the bottom; or at the very least dozens of months of doldrums. It feels allot like being becalmed. Where did the people go?? Or when they do come in the door, why is it so hard to connect with their wallets? It seems they want the experience of shopping without the monetary consequence. I'll save that rant for another day. Now I looked up the results of the season on Tiffany's and on the artfulhome.com site (where some great hand crafted works are showcased) and I see that the dreary sales we've experienced in our gallery are likewise being experienced by the "big guys" in our industry.
Luxury goods is our realm. Sounds kind of highfalutin' but that's the case. Nourot makes glass that is a luxury item. Unless you have been nurturing your contemporary art glass collection and funding it's acquisition regularly, you just are damned reluctant to splurge now on a new important work.
Any who, the Tiffany chain reports that the Holiday sales last month were weak. Even though 50% of Tiffany sales come from outside the USA, the outlook is "anemic" according to the web's Financial Times website. The Tiffany stock has recently fallen 10.5 percent to $59.94. To be honest, what does it say to give something from Tiffany's in the current economy? Hey, money is no object to me, I am a master of the universe. This year that sentiment was held in check. Forget you, Santa Baby.
Nowhere could I find a similar report on the exact outcome of the craft-business site artfulhome.com. But there is evidence that it's hurting, too, because they had a 50% off sale last June and ran another one early in 2012. Can't be a stock reduction, I don't think they stock items. They just get the vendors (artists) to promise to hold stock for drop shipment when the site makes a sale for them. The margin there has to be pretty small.
Come to think of it, is Tiffany stuff made in America? Likely it's assembled in America from foreign made components? Anybody who knows drop us a line and let us know.
Future prediction is this: anybody still in business in 2012 knows how to cut costs. And how to make a sale. Look for more great deals everywhere until the banking and housing markets stabilize. Can't say how long that'll be. Perhaps now is the right time to look for deals on the luxury market.
Information taken from Bloomberg.com and FinancialTimes' FT.com