Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Christmas stores

When I was in New York for Thanksgiving we made arrangements to have lunch with a couple that are friends of my wife and I. It was a Sunday. We were set to meet them at noon. We arrived early at 11:45 and the restaurant didn’t open until 12:00. Since it was cold and I’m a princess I did not want to wait for fifteen lonnnnnng minutes in the cold so I ducked into the first store I could find.

A Christmas store.

I rarely, if ever, frequent Christmas stores. We don’t have a tree so don’t need all the ornaments. But I enjoyed wandering about the store looking at all the intricate decorations and ornaments. Some people take Christmas VERY seriously.

The store was not too crowded. Maybe five other people browsing.

At the back of the shop the storekeeper manned the cash register. I asked if this was a pop up store and was surprised to learn it wasn’t. They were open year round.

“How much do you sell in April?” I asked.

“Not much,” was her answer. She said they got some retail business in the summer, but yes, not a look of foot traffic for ten months out of twelve a year.

I give them credit. It can’t be easy manning a seasonal store out of season. You’ve got essentially six weeks to make your entire income for the year.

I’m sure it’s the same with Halloween stores (although in the right neighborhood they usually have business all year selling gimp costumes). God forbid the poor schmuck who has a Labor Day store.

Seasonal stores reminds me of when I was in between radio jobs and was out of work (i.e most of the time). Every few weeks before handing me my check I would have to meet with a government official who wanted to know what I was doing to become gainfully employed. They needed proof that I wasn’t just lounging around taking Uncle Sam’s money. So I listed my job as a TV parade host. In LA that pretty much meant the Rose Parade and Hollywood Lane Parade (although I think they’ve stopped televising that one, which is a shame if true). So if this was July, good luck getting me a parade hosting gig.

I hope the Christmas Store (actually any Christmas store) does gangbusters this month. And as long at they’re heated in the winter and air conditioned in the summer they should get some downtime customers ducking the elements.

And the Rose Parade is coming up. I’m still available.


LouOCNY said...

You could also say you were the raincheck auditor for the dodgers and Angels.....

McAlvie said...

I suspect they make any off season money from tourists. Some of us have designer trees with carefully choreographed ornaments. Some of us have trees decorated with ornaments carefully crafted by kindergartners. And some of us have trees filled with memories of people and places, such as that ornament we bought on a trip to NY because it was the only souvenir we could afford. :D There is no wrong way to decorate a Christmas tree.

ADmin said...

I had a Labor Day store. No one worked there and we were always closed. I need to re-read that business plan - to see where I went wrong.

Anonymous said...

Unrelated comment.

Interesting article, although it isn't nice and short like a blog entry. No real question, unless it prompts you to think of something you would like to say.

Danny said...

They have one of those year-round Christmas stores here where I live in New Orleans. I guess they do well enough in November and December to keep them afloat the rest of the year.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Two possibilities: 1. It's a front. You and your wife are now starring in an FBI surveillance video.

2. They stay open all year for set decorators who have to film holiday shows and movies in the summer.

Manhattan rents being what they are, I'd go with number one.

Dr Loser said...

All-Year Christmas stores?
Well, everybody likes to get his hands on a fairy whenever the mood takes him.
Particularly Kevin Spa ... you're going to delete this vicious and unwarranted comment, aren't you?
It's for the best. I would, too.

Bob Sharp said...

Jewelry stores are open year 'round. Most of them make about 50% of their revenue at Christmas time. About 40% comes from the 2-3 week periods leading up to Valentines Day and Mother's Day (with the majority of that at Mother's Day). The remaining 10% comes from the other nine months of the year.

Unknown said...

Some of us keep Christmas all year... wow, channeling Scrooge. Actually I make my immediate relatives what I call Christmas Follys, little things that start the season. Since I make them, I’m in Christmas mode in July. This year was 14 fabric Swedish Hearts. Next year, crocheted snowflake garland. Only 6 of those. 60 snowflakes.

Doug said...

If the Hollywood Lane Parade is the same one as The Hollywood Christmas Parade, it is still televised. The Cw aired it in Primetime nationally last Friday and it will re-air, at least in the LA market on Christmas Eve afternoon.

Charles H. Bryan said...

Wonder if they're closed on Christmas Day?

Chris said...

Oh that's nothing. I grew up an hour away from the world's largest Christmas store ever, Bronner's in Frankenmuth, MI.

It's just bloody creepy that it exists at all but that it's an industry unto itself in a town that's a glorified tourist trap.