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Don't play the mind game PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenda Dumont   
ImageThis is not an economics-driven column. My formal economics training stretches too far back to Economics 101 in the 70s. But I feel compelled to just ask a few questions of my faithful readers.

I have enough understanding of world affairs to completely understand that due to some poor and sometimes unenforced policies in the United States surrounding Wall Street, investments, and mortgages, we are currently not in the best economical time of our life.

I also understand, having been in business or employed for the past three decades that markets go up and markets go down.

I also understand that there is so much perception built into consumer confidence that often perception becomes reality. Before I lose you altogether, let me quote a few comments from a recently published Vancouver Sun article written by Daniel Drolet.

"Even as the gloom and doom news continues to flow, particularly from the United States, there are many in Canada who feel that things - for now, at least - are just fine, and that Christmas and Christmas spending will go ahead pretty much as usual - unless we somehow get spooked."

"I think people in the States really feel a change in the economic situation of their country, whereas here in Canada it's psychological," Michelle Branco is quoted as saying in Drolet's article. She is the owner of doudoubebe.com, a Toronto-based online retailer of high-end baby items.

The article goes on to quote Claire Lauzon, owner of two Ottawa boutiques specializing in kitchenware and gifts, who says she does not anticipate a difficult Christmas season.

Other retailers are quoted saying largely the same thing.

Many Canadians believe there will be price reductions and bargains on many items - particularly large ticket items. I can confirm that my husband and I are waiting until January to make the long-overdue purchases of a new refrigerator and stove. I'm not looking for a breathtakingly low price - I simply believe I will be able to buy the top-of-the-line for a more middle-of-the-line price.

Consumers are also interviewed and here is the concluding paragraph:

"In the end, it may all come back to the psychological factors Branco evoked. As long as people have jobs and aren't planning on cashing in their shrunken RRSPs just now, it's all really just a mind game. And if we don't get caught in the mind game, we should be all right."

My sentiments exactly! The upcoming Christmas season probably won't be the sales-drop disaster that some media seem determined to portray - at least not in Canada where, for the first time in my memory, we as a country are at the right place at the right time.  You heard it here first.

Brenda Dumont is the founder of canadianretail.com, the first ever specialty job board designed specifically for retailers. Prior to that, she founded and operated Dumont & Associates Retail Recruitment, a retail-only search firm for ten years and served as corporate human resources manager and training manager for Woodward's Stores Limited.

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