I must kick off by showing you some photos from our dinner last night, Fee and I went to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. They do main courses as well as the cheesecakes and I had Chicken Madeira and mashed potatoes which was delicious. We were so full after the main course that we couldn't manage desserts but as you can see from the photos that was not an option!
Instead we got a piece to go. I had Chocolate and Raspberry. At $7 for a HUGE slice is compared very favourably to the dreadful Cheese and Ham sandwich the same money would buy in the convention center - think the worst ever motorway service station food and you are approching how bad it was! I really can't emphasise enough how utterly GORGEOUS my cheesecake was - I have resolved to see if they have any outlets outside the US and will definitely be recommending it to Mel when she goes to Florida in the summer!
OK, so back to the purpose of my visit to Anaheim (really it was not all a ruse to visit the Cheesecake Factory!) Wednesday is the last day of the show and it finishes early afternoon. Last year it was quite busy - a lot of the manufacturers sell the contents of their stands to local stores who bring vans to collect it, some give away stuff if you are prepared to scrum for it and others take it home.
This year it was eerily quiet on the last day. I stood at a crossroads (or as our American friends would say, an intersection) of the aisles and took photos in three directions:
Of course it made it easy to negotiate the rest of the stands I wanted to look at or go back to but it is a worry. This is the largest trade show in the industry and for it to be this desserted is concerning. I hope that perhaps retailers feeling the pich saved on the cost of the trip but ordered anyway, or that those who did come saved by staying less time because if we want to continue to see the wide range of companies, new designs and products they need to be making money!
I am looking forward to our new ranges coming in. Like everyone else we have had to be a little more aware of our spending with the tumbling exchange rate and the credit crunch hitting customers pockets hard. However I hope that we have still been able to provide a good range of new products, from newer companies and old favourites alike. Fingers crossed for a speedy delivery!!!!