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Economic Indicators

A poll: Seen any change in consumer behavior since the election?

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Judi Kaczmarski, manager, Watra Church Goods, 4201 S. Archer:

"There's always a need for religious merchandise, especially when things go wrong, so we've seen a lot of people in the last year coming in for a Saint Joseph to try to sell their home, or novenas if husbands lost their job. But in the last few weeks we've seen people buying bigger-priced items than earlier this year or this time last year."

Steve Grubart, owner, Condoms Now, 11 W. Division:

"We've seen people get a little looser with their spending. The prospect of a Clinton administration has already made condoms more acceptable; with the Bush administration, in spite of the fact that the surgeon general said condoms are what we need, there just wasn't ever much of a push for them."

Susie Crawford, buyer, Video Adventure, 1926 Central, Evanston:

"Since there aren't any movies set in Little Rock, we haven't seen much of a change."

Joyce Clark, sales manager, Rainbo Roller Rink, 4836 N. Clark:

"I think people have loosened up. Most of our customers are glad the election's over, and they're a little freer with their money. They'll buy an additional drink or play a game in the game room."

Jane Stern, executive director, Anti-Cruelty Society, 510 N. LaSalle:

"Our donations are going up, after going down for the last three years or so. There was an influx of donations right after the election. We haven't yet seen a run on black-and-white domestic cats that look like Socks, but we're expecting one."

Carol Neuffer, general manager, Dixie Que, 2001 W. Fullerton:

"We're busier than we were at this time last year, and we like to think it's because people are more confident. Since the election we've been selling more domestic beer than imported."

Joan Frankel, co-owner, Dorby Magoo & Co., 2744 N. Lincoln:

"Since the election our customers are more concerned with quality and educational value than with fads. We're selling lots of art supplies, wooden toys, vintage metal collectibles--the sorts of toys that will last a long time."

Mike Palladino, president, Automotive Sound Systems, Inc., 5140 S. Cicero:

"Thirty days prior to the election, business was at its all-time slowest, certainly the slowest I can remember seeing in the last ten years. Immediately after the election, people began spending more money across the board."

Randy Cohen, co-owner, A-Royal Loan Bank, 428 S. Clark:

"People are buying more. They're buying higher-ticket items than last year at this time. And they're more generous; they're not trying to chisel down my prices as much."

Janet Soule, co-owner, WomanWild, 5237 N. Clark:

"We did notice quite a slowdown in the last two weeks before the election. Afterwards, people seemed hopeful, relieved, more relaxed; they're more willing to buy instead of just look."

Eric Polcyn, co-owner, Spacetime Tanks, 2526 N. Lincoln:

"We like to think that we are responding to the change personally, as a business. There's a new energy. We're bringing floating to a younger crowd, and the idea that there's a non-World War II, 60s president reflects the new generation that's starting to float. It's a new clientele--they're renters, not home owners, and they like our two-for-one specials."

Carey Weiman, owner, Prop House, 1675 N. Elston:

"Country western's getting bigger on the karaoke machine. Unfortunately."

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