December 21, 2002
RETAIL SUPPORT BRIGADE SITREP: Frankly, the situation doesn't look that great. I was at the mall this morning and it seemed no busier than an ordinary Saturday -- not like the last Saturday before Christmas. Maybe people have already done their shopping, or maybe they're doing more of it online (I certainly did) but it certainly wasn't as busy as it usually is just before Christmas.
Or maybe, as Mike Straka observes, customers are staying away because of bad service. But I have to say, I've found the service to be better than usual this Christmas season. The Kaybee toys folks were passing out free cookies, the Williams-Sonoma people were doing superfast free giftwrap, and everyone in every store I visited was pleasant and helpful. Which, now that I think about it, may just be another sign that the Christmas season is going badly.
It'll be interesting to see if the stats match my impressions.