Let’s hope so!

This just in from the Front Lines (a.k.a. the Atlanta Gift Show, one of the nation’s largest wholesale shows, arguably an important indicator of retailers’ economic outlook):

“The Atlanta show was one of the best shows we’ve had in quite a few years.  Lots of orders written and a very positive attitude—great news!!!”

This tiding of joy came via  my rep Debbie Hawkins of Low Country Home Décor & Gifts.

For those of you who have had the “pleasure” of going to AmericasMart as either a buyer or exhibitor, you know how insanely crazy the January Atlanta shows were “back in the day”: elevators were crowded; throngs of people couldn’t figure out how to safely descend escalators; there were stampedes in Cash & Carry Jewelry.

Last year’s Front Line Report was dismal. The first Saturday, when the temps opened, you could walk on to any elevator. There were no Death Lines on the escalators. Tumbleweeds blew through the aisles.

I’m optimistic that the tide is turning/there’s wind in our sails/we’re back from the brink of disaster/(fill in your own cliché here).

Judging from my “real job,” which is in media and marketing, most of my clients feel that the economy’s no longer in free fall. While business is not 100% back to “normal” for many of them, they feel like they hit bottom months ago and they’re now on a slow, steady upswing.

This is great news because when people start making money and gain confidence in the economy, they feel comfortable enough to get a little spendy. 

We’re a nation of consumers, and we can only go so long before our spending fingers get itchy. And because the health of our economy is so dependent on retail sales, the itch needs some scratching.

Here’s to a happier, more profitable year for our nation’s retailers! Welcome back from the dead!