I, like you, want the economy to get back on track.
I, perhaps unlike you dear reader, have a disparate basis to wish some reasonable good fortunes in these troubled times:
I want my stores back!
I say this after just returning from my supermarket.
No, grocery store is probably a far better term, as there never has been anything "super" about my "No Frills" store.
Basic stuff. Not a huge choice or variety. You pay a nickel a bag if you really need one, or, like me, you bring your own. You fork out a quarter to borrow a cart.
There is no Kobe or Wagyu beef. There is not a sight or smell of sashimi or sushi. You won't find any fresh croissants. There also is no olive bar, fresh pasta bar, or Gelato bar to spend your hard earned bucks on.
It's no frills silly.
Basic stuff, good prices.
I figure on a big shop, my cart of goods cost $30 less than the national fancy chains that offer up steamed cups of lattes while you shuk and suck back their PEI Malpeque oysters that were just flown in for the weekly flyer.
No sir, this is no frills! But today it was NO carts, NO parking, No bananas left at $.59/lb. The line ups to cash out snaked all the way to the skids of no name coffee.
Here is my beef: I used to have a free run at the aisles. Pre- sub prime crash, I had at most, 2 people in line ups ahead of me.
Boom! It hit, and the good people got nervous.
They all started to come to my store!
Now I'm no financial guru. Nor did I have a crystal ball to foresee the times we are in. In fact I have been a frugal shopper for many years.
It just happens to be in vogue now!
I certainly don't mind sharing my neighborhood store, in fact I used to talk ad nauseam about it to fellow workers.
"Dave" they'd say
"They sell cheap food"
"It's not cheap" I would reply
I like nice clothes, nice labels and quality. I cringe at the prices, but believe in paying for quality.
Years ago I discovered an upscale mens second hand store. Nothing but top notch, high end stuff. But worn, at one time by someone with a much bigger line of credit than me, and taken to store to be sold at a fraction of the cost.
Boss, Prada, Gucci, Canali. All the wonderful labels that are lovely to look, lovely to hold........but never made it home because paying $600 for a sports jacket is just silly.
I discovered the store by chance, and fell in love with the $1,000 wardrobe I could own, for a couple of hundred bucks. I was even more delighted when I discovered that the local sports anchor at a big Toronto affiliate, was the same size as me.
It was an arrangement made in heaven.
One that would put me in Canali, Boss, Prada and the likes for next to nothing, for the next fifteen years!
Top quality 100% cotton men's dress shirts, some even monogrammed with cool initials not even close to mine, for $18 a pop! Designer jeans that boy toys played in whilst yauching I suspect, could be snagged for under $25.
You see, being on television nightly in the biggest market in Canada, Joe and the likes of his ilk were given top labels in exchange for promotional consideration.
"Joe_______'s wardrobe provided by Harry_____. clothier to gentlemen".
It should of continued with...
"and eventually given a good home and worn by David P"
Joe got new duds every month.
Joe was smart.
Joe did not make a million bucks.
Sure, Joe was the 11 o'clock sports guy on a big station.
Still, it's not New York. Toronto affiliates do not pay much.
Joe would take his nice stuff in to "my second hand store" at the end of each month. The owner of the store knew that Joe and I were both a size 42. So Steve, the owner would phone me.
I would race down to pick up my new $750 jacket and pants for about $170.
Joe, the sports guy, got 50% of the consignment deal, and nicely augmented his income.
It made all three parties happy!
Anyway, so I go deaf and go on long term disability. I spend the next five hundred days dressed in old Nike and New Balance pants, that I would nicely coordinate with shirts given away at the Half marathons I ran in.
The economy tanks while I was napping and the world discovered my secret store.
And Joes clothes.
I go back to work four weeks ago, but prior to my revival in the work place, I figure my clothes need a restoration that might go by the name of Canali or Prada.
I drive in to the tiny plaza that houses the clothing replay store.
Steve, the owner who I have been seeing for over fifteen teen years, looks a little shocked to see me.
"Dave, great to see you, but I don't have anything in your size" Steve exclaims.
"What about Joe's clothes?" I inquire with a little pissiness in my voice.
"Got a waiting list a mile long" he informs.
My second hand furniture store has line ups now.
My clothing guy can't get me in Joe's old/new clothes any more.
No Frills has gone viral, and I can't even park.
The cheese guy who sold wonderful cheeses out of a warehouse in an industrial park now has a waiting list.
The baker that sold hot lovely bread from a stall in a parking garage, has more business than bread.
So you see my dilemma. The economy tanks and the world discovers my world of inexpensive luxury, and good value that I have been a patron of for twenty years in many cases.
I want things to get better so I can get back to being cheap again.
I want Joe's clothes again!