I saw an NBC news report on television about the phenomenon of hair salons thriving in spite of the bad economy. Barber shops and salons continue to do good business throughout the recession. Car companies, banks and newspapers are dying, but the beauty industry booms. That really intrigues me. I did a little research to see what other businesses are growing during the current downturn.
Starbucks is down, European hair removal spas are up. Diapers are down, but diaper rash creme is up. (Probably because people are leaving their babies’ diapers on longer so they don’t have to buy them as often). Designer purses and designer lipsticks are shooting out the doors as fast as they can make them. Alcohol is down but energy drinks sell like hotcakes. Or ‘like energy drinks’ might be the new cliche. But the industry that is growing by leaps and bounds? Gourmet pet foods.
Why do non-essential products continue to turn a good profit even though the majority of people are dealing with hard economic times? Is it a comfort response? A reminder of ‘the good old days’ when you could buy on impulse whenever you wanted (although the only thing I would call that is unwise)? Or are we balancing our budgets by sacrificing in other areas so we don’t have to give up our favorite indulgences?
Here at our house, we’ve been affected by the economy in a noticeable way, and have made a lot of cutbacks: no cable, no big purchases, generic label foods and we’ve almost eliminated eating out. But there are a few ‘necessities’ we aren’t ready to part with yet. Dunkin Donuts whole bean coffee. Internet access. Goat’s milk soap. Charlie’s Chicken on Mondays (because this girl will NEVER be able to make edible fried chicken). The latest Starcraft game. Keeper Hubby’s got to have an outlet besides catering to my every whim. 🙂
At the same time I’ve been interested in minimalism. It’s fits in with my penchant for decluttering and organizing. I’ve started the 100 Thing Challenge several times to lukewarm results, attempting to decrease my consumer footprint. It’s a tangible way to see how blessed we really are. Most Americans would have a hard time narrowing their possessions down to 100 things.
Whether you want to embrace minimalism or work on saving money in the current economy, here’s the question we’re dying for you to answer: