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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Economy is Improving?

If you believe the liberals (oops, progressives), you believe that everything is just hunky-dory. The economy is recovering and the gravy train will be back on track thanks to King Barack. The reality, on the other hand (hat tip to Political Brambles), is that retail stores are collapsing -- so much so that one author calls it a "retail Apocalypse." Remember, these aren't just "greedy CEOs" being impacted; these are tens of thousands of employees losing their jobs and all the benefits that go with them. Here's the article and here's the list of anticipated closings:
Best Buy
Forecast store closings: 200 to 250
Sears Holding Corp.

Forecast store closings: Kmart 175 to 225, Sears 100 to 125
J.C. Penney
Forecast store closings: 300 to 350
Office Depot
Forecast store closings: 125 to 150
Barnes & Noble
Forecast store closings: 190 to 240, per company comments
Forecast store closings: 500 to 600
Forecast store closings: 150 to 175
Forecast store closings: 450 to 550
I thought about the economic collapse yesterday when I passed what used to be a thriving business on route 55 north of Strasburg. They sold modular homes. I'm sure the housing bust did them in just like it hit the Merillat cabinet factory south of us. They used to have three shifts and worked round the clock. No more! Whenever we travel we pass through small towns with scores of boarded up store fronts. America is becoming a land of ghost towns. Sad!

But you can take comfort from the progressives' assurance that it is all George W. Bush's fault! I wonder...are any liberals (oops, progressives) getting tired of the excuses and blame that gush forth whenever a lefty politician opens his mouth?


Anonymous said...

This article is misleading. Most of these stores are closing because their wares/goods are outdated and/or being replaced by different types or as a result of corporate mergers. Gamestop, for example, is still consolidating stores after purchasing EB Games, as well as dealing with the increased presence of downloaded games instead of games on discs. Similarly, when is the last time you bought a book? The vast majority of new book sales are e-books - while many physical stores are closing, Barnes and Noble's internet presence is still strong and their Nook division is growing rapidly. A quick search shows much retail growth in several areas - bulk purchase stores like Costco and Sams Club, Starbucks Coffee is set to open 1200 new stores in the US alone, and Target Corp is also poised to grow over the next few years. Here in my town, new stores are finally opening after the slump that started in 2008. It is not all doom and gloom!

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I agree that some of the companies downsizing reflect a change in technology. Blockbuster, for example, is doomed by on-line companies like Netflix. But I don't think you can say that about most of the closings. Here's another list from Forbes that indicates increased losses and a faltering GDP leading to serious business losses.

Chudah said...

I think it's a combination of both, but that's still indicative of a shrinking economy. Internet sales from retailers such as Amazon are cheaper than most brick and mortar stores, with free shipping and most items being tax free. Between those savings and not having to drive to the store/mall using up expensive gas, it's just more practical to go the online route for most things these days. People are looking to save wherever possible, especially when their budgets and paychecks keep shrinking.

Costco and Sams Club are growing because they still offer substantial bulk discounts compared to regular food and department stores. But eventually, they will start hurting too when people's paychecks shrink even further.