Sunday, April 11, 2010

Greek Bailout Rally #63

So last week when the bailout fell apart the US markets didn't drop, but now that a bailout appears at hand - again - we're all rallying again.

I meant to talk about the retail sales figures last week, but I didn't get to it. The markets and media loved the same store sales numbers but there is something bad with that data. The number of retailers that have gone under or closed stores in the past couple of years is substantial and that impacts same store sales.

You have to look no further than NNY to see this in action. When P&C went belly up not all of their stores closed (but some did), but the constant parade of news stories probably made everyone think twice about shopping there. Since, people still have to buy groceries, the person that used to spend $100/week at P&C in Canton, now spends that at Walmart or PriceChopper. To Walmart or PriceChopper this is found money and it will boost their same store sales. However, in reality, sales haven't increased, they've just been spread around to the survivors.

That being said, I see anecdotal evidence that people are spending.

Ok - so I'm officially back in the Apple-hater camp. I splurged on one of their toys and it crapped out after 2 months. I took it back to an Apple store and was told that I could make an appointment to talk to someone in about 2 hours. A quick survey of the 45 people in the store showed almost 1/2 had problems with their equipment. It's not a scientific survey, but that's Walmart level quality issues. People pay a premium for Apple products for their perceived quality. Count me out of that group.

Expect light posting this week due to Spring Break :)

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