The weekend’s signings in the North East went okay, though it is becoming clear to me that the recession is biting and non-essentials are being squeezed in people’s purchases. Durham city was very busy on the Saturday, however all the shops seemed quiet. I got the impression that a lot of people were window shopping and were being rather more careful at budgeting what they were buying. I still did okay though in the end. I am finding though that I’m talking to a lot more people who decide in the end not to buy based purely on not being able to justify the spend. With any luck some of these people will convert into sales as they change their minds over the next few weeks.
The MetroCentre was a new venue for me. We got a good welcome, and I took the opportunity to get an hour’s shopping in beforehand buying some much needed shoes. I have big feet (size 10 wide fit) so Evans is my usual place of choice. However not all Evans shops actually stock over size 8, even though as a chain they now do up to size 11. Luck was in town and I got two lovely pairs of shoes. I also got to try on a pair of size 11s and experience the rare feeling of floppy clown shoes. I think that I now know how Zoë must feel if she accidentally tries on a pair of my shoes!
The signing though was tougher than Durham had been the day before. Again, lots of people milling in the mall but no-one actually buying much. I talked to lots of people, but had the least number of sales of any venue so far on the signing tour. They do now have plenty of copies in stock though, so I guess that all the people who chatted but bowed out because of being cash strapped have the opportunity to buy over the coming weeks.
We live in strange times economically. Every time I log onto the BBC news site I see another major calamity has befallen the world. How will history remember this period of natural disaster and banker-wanker shenanigans?