Saturday, August 17, 2013

Health and Personal Care Store Sales Have Gone Parabolic!

Click to enlarge.

If you are an optimist, I bet you were hoping that the parabola would be right side up. No such luck.

Should the 2nd order polynomial trend continue to its logical conclusion, then say goodbye to 1 million health and personal care store employees someday. Sigh.

Mall Rat Rap

If it's sold at a mall
Then it's due for a fall

If you pay with a card
Then online is not hard

If you get there with gas
Then just stay home and pass

If it fits in a box
Then do not buy the stocks

For those counting on Ben
He cannot change the trend!

Sorry, just a bit of e-commerce and monetary policy gallows humor, in very poor taste I might add.

This is not investment advice, but damn.

This post inspired by the following comment (as seen here).

I think "hanging out" and "being seen" account for a good deal of mall traffic. - Luke Smith

See Also:
Trend Line Disclaimer

Source Data:
St. Louis Fed: Custom Chart


Stagflationary Mark said...

Just to be clear, the red parabolic trend uses all of the data points in blue.

Stagflationary Mark said...

As seen here, we're 2 for 2 at getting recessions (the most recent ones) when the number of health and personal care store employees peaks.

Neither recession gave us any advance warning. Employees were being added at a rapid pace until suddenly they weren't.

Troy said...

I bought a pack of Proglide razors and a pack of Oral B heads at Costco late last decade that I'm still working through.

I get the $5 Mentadent pumps that last 6 months (two in the box).

Shampoo, $5 bottle lasts 6 months.

Soap, $4 for 6 months.

$30/yr in grooming costs, this is probably why I'm still single.

Stagflationary Mark said...



I've got an electric razor but I only use it every other week or so (at best).

Actually, I've got two. One's a cheap mustache trimmer that I'll use instead of my expensive razor if all I want to do is go for that Miami Device look, which I mostly do. Saves wear and tear on my good one *and* appeals to my lazy nature. ;)

As for shampoo, $1.50 for 22.5 ounces at Wal-Mart. Suave works just fine for me. The price has gone up since I first started hoarding them though. I recently restocked and got some sticker shock (it was much cheaper last time I bought, partly because it was a larger 30oz bottle with a "33% free" bonus).

As for toothpaste, I go for the coupon deal at Costco. I prefer Colgate but I'll take whatever they have sometimes.

You've still got me beat though. I go through Sonicare toothbrush heads like there's no tomorrow (mainly because I've had so much dental work done that I have to be very careful from here on out).

Costco recently raised their prices on Sonicare brushes. That's $50 for 6 (minus $10 for the coupon). I use at least 6 per year. I like a firm brush. And then there's the dental floss. I've got at least 100 of those saved up I'd guess. The Costco coupons keep appearing and I keep buying more. *shrug shoulders*

All said, I'm probably up closer to $100 per year (mainly on the dental products).

Stagflationary Mark said...

That's 100 rolls of floss, not 100 packages (of 6 each)! I'm not completely insane. Just mostly. ;)

dearieme said...

You could try fitting a sigmoidal curve to those data e.g.

dearieme said...

Come to think of it, sigmoidal curves should appeal to the "stag" part of your nature.

Stagflationary Mark said...


I'm mostly relying on Excel's built-in functions these days.

I could have done it back in college, but I lack the motivation these days.

We had to do similar things in the advanced physics lab. One experiment required pulling two exponential decay trends out of one data series (it was this this experiment, but at a different university). It was definitely one of my favorite ones, and probably partially explains why I am fascinated with
exponential trend failures.