Bleak Shopping Christmas

December 21, 2008 — 12 Comments

I’ve so far managed to avoid Christmas shopping, not helped by the fact that I can’t stand crowds….probably some sort of medical thing, but I feel claustrophobic in large crowds and ill to the point of near panic. Only at Christmas I might add, I wonder if there’s a phobia for that?

But I digress: she who must be obeyed spent 4 hours shopping on Bridge Road Richmond yesterday, long famed as one of Melbourne’s cut price fashion strips, and usually busy at the best of times. Her exact words to me is that she couldn’t believe how quiet the shops were.

She also said that she’d heard shop owners discussing how quiet Christmas trade was this year, and even customers saying they’d been to Chadstone (the largest shopping center in the Southern Hemisphere) and that they could easily find a park, which in good times is hard any day, let alone a week prior to Christmas.

Our local shopping strip Camberwell has definitely been quieter for months, and while the number of people is up getting close to Christmas, it’s not the mad house you’d expect in a good year. I can drive the strip in under 10 minutes at lunchtime on a Saturday (so yesterday)….

God knows then how the SMH is saying spending will be up $700m this Christmas. I’m going to head to Chaddy Monday morning for a quick shop, and will report back then, but it certainly smells like bad times to me.