I started this post a few days ago, with the hope that the situation would improve allowing me to delete it. Today is March 31st, the end of a dismal month... thanks for checking in... and thanks for shopping locally.
If news reports and financial statements are keeping people from shopping, that would explain an awful lot. With just a few days left in March, things at the shop have been pretty slow. Here's a typical March: Have we hired the spring help yet? OK, then, are they trained? Ooh, no. Well, they'll learn by listening and then thrown 'em to to wolves... er, customers. I need a day off. Can I just get one day off and I'll be good as new!? Oh, crap. Another shipment to check in. We'll have to work late to get all this cleaned up! Are we out of those already?
Here's this March: Well, people are applying. Wanna hire some? Probably should so we're ready for April. OK, I'm just gonna push back this order to receive it in May instead of April. Sheesh, where is everybody? I mean, the Tour (of Anchorage ski race) has happened and I know the snow riding is good, but not many people do that. Man, this is the slowest March ever, even compared to our first one open! How is it that the parking lot is still packed with people eating at the Bistro yet we're dead. If they're busy, the economy must be ok, right? Boy, when this season hits, it's going to be just nuts!
Yep. Welcome to your 2009 recession. The gas prices aren't high enough to push people into the shop yet for commuting bikes. The sunny weather and warm temperatures haven't quite shown up, nor have the spring tune-ups that usually kick in about now. And, did I mention, there's a volcano blowing its top across the inlet?
The stress of the typical busy March has been replaced by a twitch in my eye as I worry that business won't pick up and maybe the tough times are hitting Anchorage. On the other hand, maybe it's just a slow start and as soon as things warm up we'll be a bee-hive of activity, getting all sorts of people out on their bikes for what is predicted to be a lovely Alaskan summer. If the ash stays away.
Time will tell, right?