Perhaps I need to go back to economics class and refresh my memory as to what a recession is exactly. I’m confused.
I’ve been watching the news and it’s all gloom and doom. I deal with business people who are telling me “It’s really grim out there, ya know.” I’ve read about Christie’s and Sotheby’s and how the art market bubble has burst. Talk of deep recession and rumors of depression are plentiful and they are freaking me out.
And yet... imagine if you will...
Two weeks ago, I found I had to purchase a new laptop. Had to, yes! My 4 year old Mac (love of my life) was on its last bank of RAM, the battery lasted for only 20 minutes and the CD/DVD drive no longer worked. I debated and debated about the purchase figuring that perhaps I should bite the bullet and forego the beautiful MacBook Pro with the solid aluminum housing, speedy quick processor, beautiful LED screen and backlit keyboard.... *sigh* We’re in a recession, you know.
Ok... I use my laptop extensively when I’m on the road and not being able to read or burn a CD is kind of a bad thing for a graphic designer. Also the 20 minutes of battery power was quite a problem So off we went to the beautiful Apple store in West Hartford.
The Westfarm’s Mall is lovely. There is Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, Bailey Banks and Biddle, Brooks Brothers... you get the idea? I entered the Mall thinking that the place would be a ghost town... but au contraire! It was bustling. Men and women strolled here and there with BUNDLES! Seriously! Bundles of packages from all the top stores. The Apple store was packed and happy (yes I bought the new laptop...his name is Henry) and Nordstrom was enjoying quite a rush at the perfume, handbag, and shoe departments.
Surely, this must just be a fluke...
Sunday, I decided to go spend an autumn afternoon at the outdoor Clinton Crossing Premium Mall do to some window shopping for Christmas. Another lovely shopping establishment with a Saks, Barney’s, Ralph Lauren, Movado, etc... Many of these stores have signs in the windows announcing anywhere from 30%-70% off. Again... the place is crowded with strollers and shoppers. The Coach store had no less than 50 people in it and a waiting line at the cashier... I’m not kidding!
Have I fallen into a recession black-hole...twice?
Now I’m not making light of those folks who have lost their jobs or lost their homes. I can’t imagine the fear and pain of that kind of experience. But what the hell is going on here?
Speaking with a client of mine three weeks ago at dinner, I’m told “It’s all media hype, Lisa. In NYC people are still shopping, dining out at all the best and most expensive restaurants. Now is the time to buy!!”
Artist Ted Mikulski, tells me his paintings are selling “like wild fire”. Damien Hirst is lowering his prices due to recession and putting his art on Levi’s. Another client tells me “It seems that there is only a recession when it comes to paying bills.”
What say you?