Recesssion watch: Unnatural business combinations

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This post is part of a series about real-life signs we're in a recession.

Tobias Buckell tells me that the dojo in his hometown has added a new side business to its martial arts; balloons. This is one example of a growing movement of small businesses compensating for falling sales by adding new business products, sometimes with comedic results.

In my neighborhood, the local model train shop is now also making banners. Signs announcing the lure of 'free internet inside' are on every business door except the portable toilets.

I see the potential for ancillary businesses as a great way to weather the recession. For example-

  • A combination funeral parlor and Ebay shop (sell off the estate)
  • Why not cross Terrier breeding with ditch digging?
  • A diaper service / defumigating service would be a natural.
  • Tobacconists could make a mint selling bottled oxygen.
  • Why don't laundromats sell deodorant?
  • How about a combination pizza parlor & Weight Watcher's center?
  • An optometrist that runs a car body shop on the side.
  • And pick your politician – shouldn't they be selling bottled gas?

What is the funniest or oddest business combination you've seen?

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