The Urge to Splurge Is Here…Are You Ready?
by Jack Guarnieri, Jersey Jack Pinball & PinballSales.com
As of this writing, the richest person in the world (based on money) is Bernard Arnault. His might not be a household name in the U.S., but he is certainly well known in Europe and perhaps the rest of the world.
His fortunes are tied to LVMH (it’s worth the time to Google it, but we’re talking luxury brands) and Arnault is not going anywhere soon. He’s positioned perfectly for consumers to come roaring back spending strongly.
The urge to splurge is now known as “Revenge Spending.” You came through Covid and you were forced to cancel your vacations and postpone buying the new big ticket item. You didn’t buy makeup because your face was behind a mask. You didn’t need new clothes because sweatpants worked fine in a Zoom call. You could not go to plays or to that fancy restaurant. In short, your spending habits changed.
Maybe you received some government stimulus money, too. Sadly, you may have lost a loved one(s) and for that, I’m very sorry. But at the same time, it reminded you that life really is too short, that bad things can happen and, while you still need to plan for the future, you should live for today. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.
So, the heck with it, get out there and revenge spend! Go buy that Louis Vuitton bag or new Tesla. How about that cruise or dream vacation now that you’re vaccinated? Concerts, ball games, Broadway shows, the Ritz… It’s all possible! Live and get out there! Get revenge on Covid-19 and get even for the times you missed and were forced to scrub your fruit with soap and water.
This is real, it’s happening, and you should take notice and respond accordingly. In your business, what do you offer customers that would capture their frothy spending? Do they still want to play for spider rings and Dracula teeth at your redemption counter?
My contractor friend Joe tells me that a 2×4 is around ten bucks now and everything is going up in price. You see it at the gas pump (if you still drive a vehicle with an engine) and at the supermarket where cherries are $6.99 a pound. Inflation is rearing its ugly head.
I remember in 1974 when inflation was over 12%, President Gerry Ford decided that we could “Whip Inflation Now” by wearing a “WIN” button! That would fix everything! Of course, it didn’t but we somehow survived. I have more faith in the current Fed chairman to navigate the choppy water of predicting the way. It’s fine to spend on “revenge,” but years ago, my mom would say, “Cash is king.” I can still hear her say that. Having your money liquid may still be better than having a $5,000 handbag.
So, enjoy your Louie or your cruise, but don’t let your “revenge” come back and bite you where the screen door might hit you.
Jack Guarnieri started servicing electro-mechanical pinball machines in 1975 and has been involved in every phase of the amusement game business since then. He was an operator in NYC, then began a distributorship in 1999, PinballSales.com, selling coin-op to the consumer market. In January of 2011, he founded Jersey Jack Pinball (named after his RePlay Magazine pen name), which builds award-winning, full-featured, coin-op pinball machines. Email Jack at jack@ jerseyjackpinball.com.