How Was Business This Summer?
Most tourism segments rose, not so much with retail.
When surveyed, travelers have typically said they spent the most money shopping. That may not hold true in the new economy. While other segments of the travel and tourism have rebounded, retail has not.
“Retail is still a challenge,” Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross said. “Good weather hurts it and we’ve had very good weather.”
That’s true for general retail. What about specialty stores, art and antiques?
“People aren’t investing in art,” Northcross said. “Antiques are down everywhere. Anything called artisan is becoming a big segment, though.”
Another piece of the challenge comes with the biggest group of spenders - the Baby Boomers.
“The average Baby Boomer has all the stuff they need,” Northcross said. “They’re renting storage space for it so they can pass all that stuff along.”
So what do they spend money on?
“Other than high tech, anything experiential,” Northcross said. “Rather than more stuff, people want an experience.”
On the Cape that means spas, whale watching, dune buggy tours, sailing tours, flying lessons. When Northcross travelled recently to Kenya, she went up in a hot air balloon and loved it.
Maybe some enterprising individual will set up a hot air balloon operation at the Marstons Mills air strip for the tourism season 2013.
Do you work in retail or the hospitality industry? If so, how was your summer? Did your business do better this year than last year? Tell us in the comments section.