Normally the summer hols finish the first week in September and then selling on the bridge goes on as normal. Not so this year – for the last three weeks, people have been telling me that they can’t afford a Big Issue until they get to the end of the month and their payday. Numerous excuses have been cited: I spent too much on my holiday/my kids new uniforms cost me a fortune/I’m just broke at the moment etc. This is definitely a new phenomenon this year and it has basically made the summer hols last 9 weeks instead of 6. I can tell you now, 9 weeks of low sales does wonders for slimming your waistline and your wallet. So are people less well-off than last year or, as an article noted recently, have people actually had enough of austerity and so blew a bigger-than-normal wad on their vacation? I think from hearing about my regulars’ holidays that it was a bit of both! Now the paydays have almost come and gone, I am hoping my sales get back to normal.
Oh, and just to let you know, in a few weeks I am going for an interview at the Big Issue. They want a vendor to write a weekly column about selling the mag, for the website. Wish me luck! I will know when the interview is in a few weeks time – they move at clockwork speed you know!