Shop Talk: Family-owned luggage store, Jeffrey boutique close due to coronavirus crisis | Town Square | Palo Alto Online |

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Shop Talk: Family-owned luggage store, Jeffrey boutique close due to coronavirus crisis

Original post made on Jun 19, 2020

In the latest Shop Talk column on local retail, news about a longtime luggage store's decision to shutter, Palo Alto Korean restaurant Maum's shift to an online market and the closure of the new Jeffrey boutique.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 19, 2020, 6:49 AM

Comments (1)

5 people like this
Posted by Resident who hasn’t gone to Univ since it became an office park
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 19, 2020 at 9:20 am

There was an interesting interview with a Harvard economist yesterday or the day before on Amanpour and company. He showed whether the stimulus worked, who had stopped spending, etc. It showed that it’s really the wealthiest who stopped spending, the poor and middle class spending has dropped far less. ( I thought it was hilarious that the professor couldn’t guess why, such as, oh, the poor mostly spending money in necessities and the cost of those going up.) They found that poor people spent their stimulus checks and rich people who got them didn’t spend theirs. (This disparity happened because as usual, the federal government failed to take cost of living into account. With a limit of $150k or $200k on receiving it per couple, this ignores that that limit in some parts of the country is the equivalent of someone making over a million here, and a family making $150k here is the equivalent of a $20k or $30k income in many other parts of the country.). The stimulus helped but only in segments that spent it. California middle class has been hit hard already. I read that the Trump tax changes increased taxes in the middle class by about $660 billion and that money all went to the wealthiest. People are out protesting but this administration is still funneling all the money to the top. Those businesses that rely on spending by the wealthiest have cut way more lower wage workers, too.

An economy that relies on a few big spenders (trickle down economics) will always be more fragile and less sustainable than in which has a lot of money circulating in the economy by millions of spigots. In the fifties, the majority of the wealth was in middle and lower class hands, and government of checks and balances was their balancing power (CEO of the people) against concentrations of wealth. The Republicans changed all that, especially with Reaganomics. We are more plutocracy than democracy or democratic republic.

Businesses that serve the wealthiest saw the biggest drop in spending. Even most Palo Altans couldn’t afford to eat there. I wonder if this reimagining of Maum will bring the culinary excellence to a broader economic range of residents? I hope so. It may be essential for their survival.

It’s interesting to see many blame the internet on the demise of retail yet if this pandemic showed anything, it’s that retail is more reliable, more sustainable environmentally, and crucial in a pandemic. We have to reimagine retail at all levels. I am sorry to see Edwards go since retail is critical for last minute travel needs.

I hope these changes at Maum contribute to a revival of local retail success. Good luck. (I could never have afforded to eat there but will check this out when they open.)

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