Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How Much of the Consumer Economy is Devoted to Women's Disposable Income?

I doubt I could find the relevant posts if I tried, but Aaron Clearey has written on this several times since I started following his blog and reading his books last year. In several of his posts, he's written how the majority (note: not all) women work in jobs that mostly facilitate other women to work in other jobs.

Somebody else once wrote (can't remember who) that a large portion of the consumer economy is devoted to women having disposable income.

I am not writing about whether this is right or wrong. At this point, I don't care. Something made me think about it recently.

Last time I was home in New Jersey, I took my wife to a Chinese buffet, then she needed to stop at a women's clothing store. I'm not very fond of following my wife around in women's clothing stores, so I began to look around for things to do other than sit in my car and read on my iPhone. As I surveyed the strip mall, I realized that just about every store there profited mostly from women having money to spend. The majority of the stores there were either women's clothing, accessories, household decorations and the like. There was a Sleep Number store, but I've already got one. There's a 5 Guys, but I already ate. There's a Moe's, but again, I already ate.

Fortunately, there was a Jos A Bank, so I stopped in and pondered WHAT THE HELL COULD POSSIBLY MAKE A PAIR OF BOXERS WORTH $25.I guess if you have to ask, you can't afford them. Tidy Whities, similar to the ones the Navy issued me in Boot Camp, are almost $40.It makes me wonder if most of Jos A Bank's profits come from women shopping for their men. (Disclosure: I have never bought anything from Jos A Bank. They have nice stuff, but I sure as hell don't have the disposable income to pay their prices. Somebody obviously does).

The problem with being in the disposable income retail business is, you're one of the first to go out of business when the economy tanks. How many vacant strip malls will be around when the tab for our societal Keynesian borrowing and spending binge comes due?
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