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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Some businesses doing well

A recent AARP Bulletin mentions four businesses that are doing well in spite of the recession. They are car service centers, beauty schools, shoe repair shops, and thrift stores.

Beauty school sounds like an up to date version of the old barber colleges where a guy could get a haircut for free while a barber wannabe experimented on his head with what he learned in the latest chapter of his barbering textbook. Hmmmm, how about a flat top today, sir?

A beauty school in New York is packing them in with a $7.50 shampoo, cut, and blow dry. That’s a helluva deal as long as you don’t come out looking like Larry of The Three Stooges.

Shoe repair shops seem like a no-brainer to have increased business in hard times. During the Depression of the 1930s, there were 100,000 shoe repair shops in the US. Now, there are 7,000 and these guys are BUSY! One guy says his normal workload has gone from 200 pairs a week with a three day wait to 250 pairs and a 10 day wait. Repairing Gucci shoes used to be unheard of, now it is common.

Thrift shops are doing a land office business. Overpriced junk like Prada handbags that sell new for $700-$800 at Nordstrom’s, can be had for under $200 at the thrifts. The 99 cent stores also offer good deals on a lot of items that they buy up as overstocks or obsoletes.

There are not a lot of new cars flying out of the showrooms these days but the repair shops are doing great as many people are repairing the old heap in an effort to keep it rolling until better times. I called Sun Devil Auto yesterday for an appointment and was told they are booked until Monday. Another location had one appointment available for tomorrow which I quickly snatched. I wonder if I’ll meet the guy who wears the Gucci shoes while I’m there.

I don’t have any information on how the dental colleges are doing. They used to give free dental work and I imagine they are getting extra patients now but I don’t recommend they wait for my business. I have to draw the line somewhere; I don’t want amateurs mangling my molars!

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