Economic news about retail sales were just about what was predicted for the most part. People shopped, they just didn't buy as much.
One bit of news you should pay attention to if you're a retailer is that online sales jumped 21% from last year. If you have a shopping cart with your site, it's time to advertise as such...advertise online, of course.
Depending upon what you read or whom you listen to on the news programs, we're either toying with a recession or overstating the possibility of it. Trouble with the forecasting is that's it's all macro – the big picture, without regard to specific areas of the country or segements of the economy. I could write for hours on what I think antique shop owners should do to ride out any rough economic times; some of our recent articles allude to such suggestions. But I have to face it, most antique business people think they know what they need to know, and a lot don't pay much attention to the industry except in their own backyard. No wonder the trade is suffering – ignorance can be a killer in this business.