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Creative Leisure News
306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-760-5071
Email: mike@clnonline.com

 

 


What's new in various product categories; monthly update.

Printer Version

Is Scrapbook Slipping?

It's the economy, stupid, or perhaps merely the normal business cycle.

by Bud Izen, Scrapbook Fever. and a Manufacturer's Rep (July 28, 3008)

(Note: Because of news that some scrapbook stores had gone out of business, CLN wondered if the consumer's interest was waning, and asked Bud, who operates Scrapbook Fever with his wife, Shelly, in Salem, OR.)

No, there is NO declining interest in scrapbooking. That is a myth perpetuated by a variety of sources, all with some sort of agenda. As long as there are women with families, there will be scrapbooking.

I believe that what we are seeing now is a period of adjustment, having mostly to do with fear. If you watch the news, we are being told to fear our food sources, our energy sources, terrorists, you name it. Add to that the climbing cost of living. People have become reticent to spend discretionary income. How many significant gas increases have we become accustomed to over the past decade or two? You and I remember when Chevron Supreme was 27 cents a gallon. Somehow we still fill our tanks....

In college, I learned that economics was less dependent on the supply-and-demand myth than upon people's expectations. In economic terms, if enough of us believe that a certain thing will happen, then it will happen. That's the way it works. It's the theory of large numbers (population). Right now, people believe that we are headed for or are already in a recession, so they act that way. After the election, hopefully, people will start thinking (and acting) differently.

If this were just a scrapbooking thing, then only scrapbook businesses would be affected. Come on, Mike! Everywhere you look you see small businesses going out of business, and bigger businesses tightening the reins. This is ALL due to the economic impact of people's beliefs. as manipulated by the media and our government. I'm no conspiracy theorist; this is just the way it works.

Hobby businesses' main competition is other ways for people to spend their money. In Salem, we have no same-business competitors. What few we had either failed or are failing. Craft Warehouse and Michaels do not compete for the same customers we have. I never worry about competitors; I let them worry about us (and oh boy they sure do!).

A Manufacturer's Rep's View.

I'll give you my personal take on the closures and "downturn," or whatever you want to call it. We've been hard hit in Kentucky and Tennessee over the last 12 months, but the Virginia area is still very strong. Not all of our store closures are due to bad business or lack of sales. In several cases, it's just what I call the natural life cycle of a business. Store owners retire or move on to something else. In some cases they can and do sell the store, and in other cases they prefer to liquidate. But coupled with the lack of new stores opening, we start to feel the pinch. Name Withheld

(Note: Is Bud correct, that consumers are as interested in scrapbooking as ever, but they're (temporarily, we hope) hesitant to spend money due to their perceptions of the economy? Or is the lower number of scrapbook stores just part of the normal business cycle? Email your thoughts to CLN at mike@clnonline.com.)

xxx

 

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