Columnists Chuck Koehler The Retailer’s Perspective: September 15th...

The Retailer’s Perspective: September 15th...

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Yeah, I know to most people it's just another day. But this September 15th is one of the most important Tuesdays of the last couple of years. Why you ask? Let me explain.

For most people, the fourth quarter is the end of the year. Not for me. My fourth quarter is what I consider the beginning of my year. I've always been busy as I can be in the fourth, first, and second quarters. And, I've always been dead in the third during June, July, and August. So for the last couple of decades September 15th is the end of my fiscal and mental year. And, just like in the spring when the first buds are appearing on the trees, around the middle to the end of September some retailer is starting to advertise something about Christmas and it shocks me back into reality and my entire routine and mindset change back to work again.

September 15th is my annual ‘Summer is over' and the busy season starts right around the corner. That's when I switch gears from the summer doldrums to the ‘holy cow, I didn't get half the projects finished I planned to this summer.' September 15th is the date that kicks off the busy season that lasts for me almost 10 months until next June.

Two years ago in 2007, September was my 2 month anniversary in my new location and I wasn't expecting much...and I didn't get much. At the time I chalked it up to a new store, a new location, a new retail center, and no track record here. Looking back I can attribute it to all of those things plus one more; the Great American Recession was just beginning.

September, 2008 was the beginning of my second busy season in my new store. Life had been pretty good through most of 2008. I'd recouped a lot of my losses that my old store had racked up. I'd saved up some much needed cash, and was getting ready to kick it into overdrive for the beginning of my new fiscal year. Then....well, we all know what happened there. CRASH BOOM BANG goes the global economy along with my entire ‘10 months long' busy season!

So now here we are a year later and September 15th is just around the corner again. The anticipation hangs heavy in the air. What is this September going to bring? I sure hope it's money. For everyone's sake I hope it's money, jobs, business, and prosperity. Factories and retailers all over the country are waiting for something good to break loose. One good retail Christmas season would go a long way towards righting this ship. And you know what? I think it's going to happen.

I've talked with retailers from all over the country that are merely ‘filling in holes' in their inventory instead of stocking up. Most are still sitting on merchandise from last Christmas they need to sell. Thank goodness jewelry doesn't go bad, it just goes out of style...but a good salesperson can work around that...can't ya?

If we all have a good fourth quarter, the buying at the shows in the first quarter will be strong. All the manufacturers are really needing that to happen. Last year, almost every major retailer had a horrible Christmas season. Can they survive two horrible Christmas seasons in a row? I doubt it. Personally though, I'm feeling good about everything for the first time in well over a year. I really think I'm going to have a good Christmas this year and I think you are too.

So, September 15th, here we come, ready or not. Be kind to us, we're counting on you.

Oh wait, what's that? Is that Jingle Bells I hear playing somewhere in the background....Christmas 2009 is upon us! Good luck and let's go get ‘em.


 
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