Thanks, Swine Flu

As if the economy needed more problems, now we have the swine flu, and with it reports that it could further destroy consumer confidence.

As one article says: One big fear is that spooked consumers will cut back spending on travel, restaurant meals and trips to shopping malls.

We hope that the severity (or hype) of the flu doesn’t get to the point where people make less shopping trips, sending retail sales even lower. However, we’re thinking that tourism-based retail is bound to take some kind of near-term hit if all we see on the cable news networks for a while is the word “pandemic.”

What are you thoughts on how this could potentially harm the retail industry, if at all?

8 Responses to “Thanks, Swine Flu”

  1. 1 bobgreenfest April 28, 2009 at 6:27 am

    The “pandemic” of the swine flu will have absolutely no effect on the retail industry. The only reason the United States is calling it a pandemic is because that allows for additional government funding. Anyone with a brain will recognize this to be media hype. For additional information on this and other important issues, please see

  2. 2 Broker April 28, 2009 at 8:48 am

    I think after the Asian flu thing a few years ago governments around the world have a better idea of how to combat this and this will not be a threat except in densely populated slums in a few third world countries.

  3. 3 Alex April 28, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Bob – can you imagine the opposite? if its a pandemic and turns out the governement DID NOT tell anyone about it? they would be crucified! So far we’re lucky that it hasnt hit mainstream america – but you might see reduced monthly sales for areas like lower texas and lower california – where they have more mexicans coming in (mexico is where the majority of cases have started)

  4. 4 Darrell April 28, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    It depends on whether the latest flu wave mutates into a virulent flu. The 1918 Flu was not deadly in the first wave in Kansas, but six months later, the second wave was virulent. We do not have a cure for the flu and even if they came up with a medicine to address it, it could mutate again into another form. This kind of health emergency is not to be taken lightly. What’s odd about the 2009 Flu is that it’s virulent with 150 dead in Mexico, but not necessarily in other countries. Only 10 cases are in CA, and they are not deadly, but Mexico has had it for the last two months, eight cases in NY (Queens) are tested with the Flu. If it becomes virulent in the US, we will be concerned with surviving, not with retail sales. There are probably more cases in the US, that, out of ignorance, have not been quarantined or reported. This 2009 Flu may just be the thing to start to eliminate illegal immigration.

  5. 5 Dealmaker April 29, 2009 at 7:37 am

    The media is hyping it with so much energy….how can it not have an effect…..just another reason for consumers to shop by internet: avoiding both the flu and sales taxes.

  6. 6 Peter D. Morris SCSM, SCMD, CLS April 29, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Will the flu affect consumer confidence? No. The flu has no effect on confidence, which is how the consumer feels!

    Will it have an affect on retail sales? Absolutely! People will cut down on public exposure, such as shopping malls. We saw it with the Asian flu outbreak and will see it again.

  7. 7 Achoooo May 5, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Nothing has amazed me more than the resilience of the consumer. With shopping as one of the very few legal addictions, in a hyper dysfunctional society of addicts, it is no mystery. Keep shopping, just keep shopping. If, in the worse case scenario, there does come a time of massive deaths, such as Sept and Oct of 1918, there will be survivors who need to keep shopping. Of course, no one wants anything like that to happen, but it can happen here. Take your daily multivitamin, keep your stress level low (even during a time when bosses want to dump all the work of three on one – don’t buy into it, let it pile up), kiss your spouse, children, reconnect with old colleagues, and weed out your friends from your frenemies. In short, stay well and take care of yourself.

  8. 8 WorstCaseScenario May 6, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Worst case scenario that Obama’s planning for: 2 million dead in US.

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