Postcard from Palermo: United Colors of Panic

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UnitedColors.jpgIf national character can be defined by shopping habits, Americans are in denial, the French are (as always) indirect, and the Italians (with cheerful optimism) straightforward: the sky is falling, it's the end of the world.

No one's immune, except perhaps the Sephora cosmetics store. Sale posters in the windows of every designer along the Via Maqueda and the Via Roma, from Armani to Zara. Most are holding the line at 40 or 50 percent, but Benetton's out there with 70 percent discounts.

Fashion-conscious Italians, and that's virtually the entire population, spend heavily on designer clothing, but the weather's been icky the past month (northern Europe's been snowed under; southern Europe's just wet and windy) and the shoppers just aren't buying. Restaurants and smaller shopkeepers haven't followed suit; they don't have the sophisticated systems to predict how bad that sinking feeling's going to get. You can almost hear the retailers crying out, as did Rigoletto, La maledizzione!

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on February 7, 2009 8:28 PM.

Palermo Postcard: Temptation by the Sea was the previous entry in this blog.

Palermo Postcards: Street Food is the next entry in this blog.

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