Retail Sales Down in Australia- or are they? !!
I have recently had the privilege of sitting in on several presentations held by senior economists from the Commonwealth Bank. I have seen their forward projections, historical data and trends on all aspects of the economy. One aspect of the presentation is that retail sales are slow or sluggish and this always concerns me especially when the audience is largely made up of retailers!!
I am often asked about the state of the economy as I travel around and present to business owners, I always respond with the same story, one I heard from John McGrath, the real estate mogul from Sydney. He tells a great story of the time he was invited over to the USA to be the Keynote speaker at a huge Real Estate conference. The night before the conference got underway they had a social event for attendees and John wanted to mix and mingle with attendees to get a feel for the market before his address the very next day.
He introduced himself to a small gathering of agents and asked – how’s business in your town? One vocal chap piped up and began to tell him a huge sob story that he lives and works in a town where the main employer was a steel mill and it was in the process of closing down. No-one had any money and it was doom and gloom for real estate. He promptly moved across the other side of the huge hall and found another small group and introduced himself.
To his surprise a woman answered his question and she came from the exact same town – imagine!! He prepared himself for the 5 min onslaught of how tough things were and was pleasantly surprised. She mentioned again that the steel mill was closing down, however this is where things started to be different. She said things had never been better, people had large redundancy cheques to spend, they had all the time in the world to look at open homes and sales were very strong. Interesting – same town totally different outlook!!!
This is my point. Others may tell you that the picture doesn’t look so good, what are you doing about it? what is your outlook? what are you doing to take advantage of the situation? What is on your control and how can you do things to turn things around??
There always two stories – which one do you want to be telling??