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gallery/craft economic news

updated fri 21 sep 01


Wendy Rosen on thu 20 sep 01

In the days following the World Trade Center and Pentagon tragedy
all of us experienced shock, anger then fear...

Sadly, gallery owner Judi Ross of Square Circle Gallery in Rockport, MA
and The Rotenberg Gallery in Boston, MA lost her husband who was flying
to California on business.

Following the tragedy many galleries and shops were closed for three days last
week losing 50-60% of normal sales. And just like the stock market,
retailers jumped to cancel orders by phone with artists who were
prepared to ship in just days.

By the end of the week, Americans traded repetitious TV news programing,
for movie theatre offerings (a 40% increase in ticket sales over last year)...
America was trying to escape the events of the week. Even the President
suggested that people make an attempt to return to a normal routine...
"take in a ball game" was his suggestion.

I firmly believe that American's will refuse to give up their "way of life"
...especially the frivolous things in life... it's part of what makes
us American.

Yesterday, I began to see signs of life, returning to normal? Probably
not. But hope is there. Consumers are still buying, somewhat cautiously...
but still buying. Phone calls to a few galleries yielded optimistic
not panic. Here's a sample...

Kirstin Kurtz of Real Mother Goose (Portland, OR)
"Things are looking better each day... We're taking a subtle
approach, there are no flags in our window. However, we are beginning
to see signs of patiotic buying. A customer purchased a $700 wooden
bowl as a wedding present just because she thought it was the
"right thing" to do."

Bob Silberburg of The Clay Pot (Brooklyn, NY)
"Our out of town customers aren't sure they can get to us... they are
calling for directions and information. Wedding bands that were to be
Fedx'd to us last week, didn't arrive on time... so we provided
substitute rings until the shipments arrived."

Joey Peters of Nancy Markoe Fine American Crafts (St. Petersburg, FL)
"We were closed two and a half days last week. As a result sales were
down accordingly. The weekend seemed to recover a bit. We'll know more
when winter tourists arrive. We're working on new programs with city
promotion and tourism development officials. Taking a long term
view about promoting the value of crafts and our gallery is our plan."

Today the National Retail Federation revised retail sales forecasts for the
4th quarter and the winter holiday season. According the the NRF's report
sales growth for the 4th quarter has been revised to 2.2% compared to the
previously forcasted 4%.

These terrorists may have taken the lives of thousands, a few notable
buildings and
shorted the stock market a few billion... but they can't take away
our way of life!
Nice try!
Wendy Rosen
President, The Rosen Group

3000 Chestnut Ave #304 Baltimore, Maryland 21211
410.889-3093 phone 410.243.7089 fax

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