Ah, summer. As a retailer it’s always a mixed bag. Then throw in a “recession” and it really gets interesting.
On the positive side, it appears that more folks are sticking around and still enjoying a glass of wine or two at home. I’m not getting the deserted sidewalk/tumbleweed effect on Columbus Avenue as much as I have in the past. There have been some past summers where it looked like one of the those post apocalyptic NYC movies where there’s only one guy and his dog and a bunch of abandoned cars out there. Not so this year.
But on the other the hand, there appears to be a bit more of what Ellen and I call the “July and August people”. These are folks who suddenly appear this time of year, and just as suddenly disappear after Labor Day. Like the guy who came in the other day with no shirt and gaffer’s tape wrapped around both ankles (serving as his socks.) Before he bought a bottle of wine he asked me what time it was. I told him approximately what time it was, but he insisted upon knowing exactly what time it was because he had a noon meeting. I told him it was four minutes before noon, at which point he quickly purchased the wine and proceeded to the phone booth in front of West Side Wine to make a call, while putting on his shirt that had been stuffed in his back pocket. I guess that was the meeting. Hope it went well.
Then there was the guy who came in looking for an obscure gin, which I just so happen to sell. When I showed it to him he was delighted, but disappointed that I only had one bottle. He said he would come back when I had more than one, because he wanted “a fresh one right out of the box”. I didn’t know I was in the produce business.
You get the idea about July/August people. On the down side, along with all of those people out there there are a lot of familiar faces walking around during the day. People who normally wouldn’t be out there during a week day. Lots of friends/customers who are faced with the realities of these difficult times. I have a (literal) huge window on the world, and sometimes the view isn’t pretty.
Anyway, onward and upward. This will pass, as sure as tomorrow I’ll see my shirtless regular come in for his wine before taking a meeting. Happy summer, gang.