The Monday Boston Globe had a front page story about desperate retailers putting out their Christmas merchandise in September. They think this maximizes their chances of getting every possible dollar out of their customers. Maybe they're right. I don't know. The article certainly made me think - yikes, I have to do our Halloween display. After all, its almost October 1st - Halloween is just .. . four .. . weeks away. I have an issue with holiday creep - I kind of like to keep them short and sweet. I find snowmen less charming in September, and pumpkins and witches in August leave me cold. Reading the article, it seems many shoppers agree that holidays are more special when they truly come once a year - not hang around for months and months. Call me old-fashioned . . but you won't see much Christmas here at Joie de Vivre until right around here until one of our less retail oriented holidays - my favorite - Thanksgiving.
"Retailers give the Christmas shopping season an even earlier start, elicit few holiday cheers"
Dear Blog Readers,
We have become the kind of blogger we never wanted to be — the kind who has a "read our blog" button on our website but the newest post is months old. We blame Facebook for this — it's so much easier to write something there and we seem to have more followers there than we did here on the blog. Still, we can't quite bring ourselves to give it up altogether yet — so instead, we're posting this little note to explain our lack of current entries. Please do check out our facebook page, we think it's fun, if not quite as long form.
sincerely, the Joie de Blogger.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tiki Drummers three, two and one are gone. All to longtime friends of Joie. #3 went to Danielle, who worked here years ago and sadly (for us at least) moved away. She read the blog and decided she had to have one. "Feeling totally left out of tiki mania" is how she put it. #2 to Carmen, who also was reading the blog and grabbed her last chance. As I told her, with a name like Carmen, and that headdress photo - I wasn't surprised to hear from her. And the very last one, #1, went to Linda J. who has bought many of them over the years - awarding them her highest praise: "they're a quality item." So right! We're going to leave it on the website for awhile, with a little memorial and a link to the blogged stories of the last 25. And maybe I will actually write that article about them I've been thinking about for over a year . . . stay tuned. (and keep your eye on the New Yorker table of contents!!)
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
A Tiki on Every Desk! That's the motto of Nest Collective. They purchased Tikis # 25 through 20 a few weeks ago. They call again. "Would you sell us some more? - you have 8 left, right?" We actually have eleven and suddenly I feel afraid they might want them all and end the Tiki saga in one fell swoop. So I don't confirm the number, just say "How many do you want?" She asks for 5. Phew! I'm going to be sad when the last one is gone. I'll have #13 to console me - will have to take it out of the store so I don't succumb to someone's desperate plea - I find it hard to say no to our customers, particularly when they're faced with crushing disappointments - such as finding out we have no more tikis.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
It's a very rainy Saturday and the store is quiet - the kind of day that either drives me to despair or to doing odd little jobs I didn't get to during the week. Today I chose odd jobs over despair and was restocking the plastic wind-up toys. Since we get them in dozens per style, and since we try to stock lots of styles, we "wind up" with some stock in the front of the store and some in back. So, when I want to check stock, I take the front boxes to the back so I can see both at once. I also try to keep them organized by type - so that when we're looking for that 4th wind-up yellow seal, we find it. It's easier to find a wind up yellow seal when all of the wind up yellow seals are together than when they are just thrown into the box randomly. So, I was lining up the little plastic marching musicians in their cardboard box, noting that we need trumpeting bears and cymbal bears, when something silver caught my eye. I grabbed it. It was my Lee Ann Herreid level ring. It's been missing for awhile. I thought I lost it at my house, and had given up hope of ever seeing it again. This reminds me of another ring story. I came in on a Monday and was asked, "Are you missing anything?" I looked at the simple gold band that my employee was holding. I looked at my left hand. No wedding ring! I never ever took it off. I grabbed the ring. It was mine. "Where did you get this??" The answer: found in the little bowl with the $1.50 beaded slinky rings. I must have put one on, and pulled it off, pulling the wedding ring along with it. Never noticed it was gone, neither did my husband. If I had noticed, I would have completely panicked. Never would have thought of checking the slinky ring stock. A belated thank you to the honest person who found it and turned it in!!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
KitCat blog. One that illustrates a strange aspect of retail. We've been selling KitCat clocks for years, so long that we even remember when they plugged into the wall with actual cords. We sell a few dozen a year at most, and can go for a month or two without selling one. Last weekend, I sold one on Saturday. It was the kind of sale where you don't interact before the sale - a man just walked up to the desk and said he wanted to buy one of the cat clocks. Later that day we sold a second one. in the same fashion. That made two in one day after at least a month or more without selling any. Then on Monday, we got a phone call asking if we sold - you guessed it - KitCat clocks. This person wanted the more expensive jeweled version (genuine Austrian crystals). We put one aside, and she picked it up the next day - the same day that a fourth person called to inquire if we sold - KitCat clocks! This time I asked her if there had been any publicity recently about them - that she was the 4th in as many days to want one. No, she said; she already had one admired by a friend and wanted it as a gift. On to the "hold" shelf went #4. And I swear I'm not making this up: an hour or two later a 5th person called. But she wanted a red one, and we only sell black. I told her to call back if she couldn't locate one and we would special order it. That was a week ago. No one has called or come by for one since. It may be another two or even three months before we sell another. Strange. . . but true!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Tiki #12 sold this weekend. The woman bought it for herself when she learned that they are no longer available. She's bought them before as gifts and gave one to the drummer from the Artic Monkeys where it makes an appearance in a video on their blog.. (It's about a minute into the video.) Eleven to go!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Yikes. I didn't think my next blog would be Tiki related but we sold six more of them today. It's the web customers who are getting the last few . . . they are searching, and they know we're the only ones left out there with stock. One is going to live in Alabama, and the other five will be sitting on desks at a company in California called Nest Collective. They get played when someone makes a sale! I took #13. Too often, I've let these items slip through my hands, intending to take one. Then, suddenly there's only a few left and a customer wants all of them. I've never felt comfortable saying "you can have them all but one." At least I got my rapping hamster. If there is one silly item I would have chosen to keep, that is the one. (More about that hamster another time - when we start the Joie Hall of Fame series. . . )