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Holiday Forecast for 2002
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Gruen Gruen + Associates Predicts that in 2002 Winners Will Play Defense.

As the U.S. ramps up for a long conflict with the enemies of western civilization, the economy will take most of 2002 before crossing into positive growth. Starting during a recession, the free world fight against anti-western fanatics has changed household and business behavior. Capital requirements and consumer demands have returned to basics. Smart real estate operators and local governments will do the same.

Changed patterns of business and consumer behavior include:
  • Shifting consumer demand from luxury goods to staples.
  • Growing demand for home items spurred by the tendency for people to cocoon.
  • Continuing innovation but with security as a priority of all products and services.
  • Business substituting video and telephone conferencing for some travel, and e-mail for snail mail.
  • Manufacturing and service industries intensifying their quests for cost efficiencies.
  • Warehouse demands shifting from just-in-time to just-in-case.
  • Housing demand remaining strong but becoming more price sensitive.
  • Americans striving to serve their country, coming together and looking for opportunities to make a difference.
Effective responses to these changes include:
  • Shopping center landlords helping smaller tenants through short-term cash flow crises.
  • Retailers focusing on providing family, at home, and value goods.
  • Threatened visitor and travel services improving customer service and pricing.
  • Office space providers trading off rent increases for longer leases that keep good tenants.
  • Industrial and warehouse space providers working with producers and logistical support organizations to accommodate changes in the size and configuration of their space requirements.
  • Replacing "have a good day" rote responses to diners, visitors, travelers and shoppers with careful listening and relating to what customers say.
  • Encouraging market housing production to spur competition that puts a lid on housing price increases that hurt the ability of local business to compete globally.
  • Tending to business in the spirit of the old World War II song that said, "We did it before and we can do it again."

The staff of the GG+A offices in San Francisco, California & Northbrook, Illinois send our best wishes to you & yours for a happy, healthy, & safe holiday season.

image of 2002's annual holiday card

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