by ilene - July 9th, 2009 12:06 am
A (Very) Few Bright Spots
Courtesy of Michael Panzner at Financial Armageddon
At Financial Armageddon, I focus on telling it like it is, so naturally that means most of what I have to say these days leans towards the negative. That said, it’s not all gloom-and-doom. Below are snippets from recent news reports that highlight a few bright spots in an economy that still faces a heap of trouble:
Generic and second-tier brands, and stay-at-home alternatives:
"Dollar Stores Enjoying Boom Times" (Loudoun Times-Mirror)
The worse the economy, the better for retailers of deeply discounted items. Partly fueled by higher-income shoppers "trading down," the popularity of dollar stores has risen sharply since the current recession began in December 2007.
"RI Coffee Roasters Thrive in Recession" (Associated Press)
While many Rhode Island businesses struggle during the recession, the state’s coffee roasters are percolating.
The roasters, who turn out small batches of gourmet coffee beans, tell The Providence Journal that they are seeing an increase in business these days.
Ken Marot of Taylor’s Landing, a coffee roasting house and cafe in West Kingston, says he’s been pleasantly surprised to see his customer base grow.
Bob Mastin at Custom House Coffee in Middletown says he just added a second roaster to his cafe and wholesale business.
Mastin says even when people are watching their money, they want a quality cup of coffee.
Rhode Island roasters attribute their resilience to other factors, such as people wanting to save money by brewing their morning java at home.
"Private Labels Booming in These Tough Times" (Telegraph-Journal)
Penny-pinching shoppers have prompted a boost for discount goods businesses and cuts into sales of popular brands.
For Dieppe-based Irving Consumer Products Inc. this has meant increased demand causing record production levels.
The privately-held company is seeing increased sales in paper tissue, towel, diaper and private label brands it makes.
"Naturally in this economic climate the consumer looking at options starts looking at trading down," says company vice-president of sales Bob Tinnish.
The company’s growth is strongest south of the border where there is more potential for store labels to gain market share from big brand names.
"Luxury Wine Market Reels from Downturn" (Wall Street Journal)…