My favorite store is Fry's electronics. For a tech geek it is the equivalent of the Nordstroms shoe department for women. I find myself there sometimes just to walk around and see what's new, see what people are buying, see which manufacturers are buying end caps etc etc
The one complaint about the store is customer service. The stores are generally packed with people and it is really hard to get a salesman to help you. You essentially have to find one who is helping someone else and follow them around til they are done with that customer then grab them---kind of like getting a seat at a crowded bar.
Yesterday I stopped in a Fry's. There are two things that happened that prove to me once and for all our economy is in serious trouble and all kidding aside elevated my level of concern about what the future holds.
First I had 3 different sales people come over to me over the course of 10 minutes and ask if there was anything they could help me with. Never has happened before. Then as I was looking at bluetooth headsets I observed 5 sales people standing around together just talking, simply because there was nobody to help
Then the worst of all. One of the 5 said "there were some people in last week that were interested in the LF washing machine" and he was going to call them and see if they would come in an buy it if he could deliver it for free. Then I heard him make the call essentially grovel to sell the washing machine.
This experience has had more impact on me regarding my level of concern for the economy than any report I have seen on CNN/CNBC or any other news program. Things are bad.