Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Empty Shops and Empty Pockets?

Now, some people might think that I'm a bit tight. (I prefer to think of myself as appropriately frugal). Anyway, I went shopping for a Christmas present today for one of my God Sons. We'd agreed not to see them until the New Year and I had, genuinely, not had time to find the present prior to Christmas.

I therefore spent a couple of hours at Castlepoint and the shopping centre on the old bus depot site opposite.

What was astounding was firstly how few people there were about, the car parks were busy but by no means full and the shops were equally busy but there were virtually no queues at the tills.

More surprising for me was the lack of stock on the shelves. Admittedly, we are at the end of a week in which there is little stock coming in to the stores, but even so there was a very limited choice of goods. This wasn't just the case in the electrical stores, but also in the food shops as well.

It's a poor augry for the coming year. Little money to spend, both by consumers and by retailers stocking their shelves will surely have a circular and knock on effect, one thing leading on to the other. It doesn't bode well and it proves how wrong the Government's policy of borrowing wildly to pay for tax cuts that have had little effect and to bail out the banks who continue to refuse to lend is.

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