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THE RETAIL DEATH RATTLE

Discussion in 'Coffee Shack (Daily News/Economy)' started by searcher, Jan 20, 2014.



  1. Argent Dragon

    Argent Dragon Site Support Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    This trend in my book is 'conservative' buying where people shift to only buying what they 'need' and less of what they 'want'. It makes perfect sense in a household that's cash poor and smothered in debt. I also think these actions permeate the sub-conscience to change your view of the world which would include politics, daily habits, etc. I'm not sure about the online Amazon trend, but I do think it's a lot easier locating hard-to-find or specialized items online. You save time, money, and fuel expenses by using the computer instead of your feet.
     
  2. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    20 Facts About The Great U.S. Retail Apocalypse That Will Blow Your Mind


    By Michael Snyder, on March 9th, 2014



    [​IMG]

    If the U.S. economy is getting better, then why are major retail chains closing thousands of stores? If we truly are in an "economic recovery", then why do sales figures continue to go down for large retailers all over the country? Without a doubt, the rise of Internet retailing giants such as Amazon.com have had a huge impact. Today, there are millions of Americans that actually prefer to shop online. Personally, when I published my novel I made it solely available on Amazon. But Internet shopping alone does not account for the great retail apocalypse that we are witnessing. In fact, some retail experts estimate that the Internet has accounted for only about 20 percent of the decline that we are seeing. Most of the rest of it can be accounted for by the slow, steady death of the middle class U.S. consumer. Median household income has declined for five years in a row, but all of our bills just keep going up. That means that the amount of disposable income that average Americans have continues to shrink, and that is really bad news for retailers.

    And sadly, this is just the beginning. Retail experts are projecting that the pace of store closings will actually accelerate over the course of the next decade.

    So as you read this list below, please take note that things will soon get even worse.

    The following are 20 facts about the great U.S. retail apocalypse that will blow your mind...

    #1 As you read this article, approximately a billion square feet of retail space is sitting vacant in the United States.

    #2 Last week, Radio Shack announced that it was going to close more than a thousand stores.

    #3 Last week, Staples announced that it was going to close 225 stores.

    #4 Same-store sales at Office Depot have declined for 13 quarters in a row.

    #5 J.C. Penney has been dying for years, and it recently announced plans to close 33 more stores.

    #6 J.C. Penney lost 586 million dollars during the second quarter of 2013 alone.

    #7 Sears has closed about 300 stores since 2010, and CNN is reporting that Sears is "expected to shutter another 500 Sears and Kmart locations soon".

    #8 Overall, sales numbers have declined at Sears for 27 quarters in a row.

    #9 Target has announced that it is going to eliminate 475 jobs and not fill 700 positions that are currently empty.

    #10 It is being projected that Aéropostale will close about 175 stores over the next couple of years.

    #11 Macy's has announced that it is going to be closing five stores and eliminating 2,500 jobs.

    #12 The Children’s Place has announced that it will be closing down 125 of its "weakest" stores by 2016.

    #13 Best Buy recently shut down about 50 stores up in Canada.

    #14 Video rental giant Blockbuster has completely shut down all of their stores.

    #15 It is being projected that sales at U.S. supermarkets will decline by 1.7 percent this year even as the overall population continues to grow.

    #16 McDonald's has reported that sales at established U.S. locations were down 3.3 percent in January.

    #17 A home appliance chain known as "American TV" in the Midwest is going to be shutting down all 11 stores.

    #18 Even Wal-Mart is struggling right now. Just check out what one very prominent Wal-Mart executive recently admitted...

    David Cheesewright, CEO of Walmart International was speaking at the same presentation, and he pointed out that Walmart would try to protect its market share in the US – where the company had just issued an earnings warning. But most of the growth would have to come from its units outside the US. I mean, via these share buybacks?

    Alas, outside the US too, economies were limping along at best, and consumers were struggling and the operating environment was tough. "We're seeing economies under stress pretty much everywhere we operate," Cheesewright admitted.




    #19 In a recent CNBC article entitled "Time to close Wal-Mart stores? Analysts think so", it was recommended that Wal-Mart should close approximately 100 "underperforming" supercenters in rural locations across America.

    #20 Retail consultant Howard Davidowitz is projecting that up to half of all shopping malls in America may shut down within the next 15 to 20 years...

    Within 15 to 20 years, retail consultant Howard Davidowitz expects as many as half of America's shopping malls to fail. He predicts that only upscale shopping centers with anchors like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus will survive.




    So is there any hope that things will turn around?

    Well, if the U.S. economy started producing large numbers of good paying middle class jobs there would definitely be cause for optimism.
    Unfortunately, that is just not happening.

    On Friday, we were told that the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs during the month of February.

    That sounds pretty good until you realize that it takes almost that many jobs each month just to keep up with population growth.

    And according to CNS News, the number of unemployed Americans actually grew faster than the number of employed Americans in February...

    The number of unemployed individuals 16 years and over increased by 223,000 in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

    In February, there were 10,459,000 unemployed individuals age 16 and over, which was up 223,000 from January, when there were 10,236,000 unemployed individuals.




    Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate continues to sit at a 35 year low, and a staggering 70 percent of all Americans not in the labor force are below the age of 55.

    That is outrageous.

    And things look particularly depressing when you look at the labor force participation rate for men by themselves.

    In 1950, the labor force participation rate for men was sitting at about 87 percent. Today, it has dropped beneath 70 percent to a brand new all-time record low.

    The truth is that there simply are not enough jobs for everyone anymore.

    The chart posted below shows how the percentage of working age Americans that actually have a job has changed since the turn of the millennium. As you can see, the employment-population ratio declined precipitously during the last recession, and it has stayed below 59 percent since late 2009...



    [​IMG]


    If we were going to have a "recovery", we should have had one by now.

    Since there are not enough jobs, what is happening is that more highly educated workers are taking the jobs that were once occupied by less educated workers and bumping them out of the labor force entirely. The following is an excerpt from a recent Bloomberg article...

    Recent college graduates are ending up in more low-wage and part-time positions as it's become harder to find education-level appropriate jobs, according to a January study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

    The share of Americans ages 22 to 27 with at least a bachelor's degree in jobs that don't require that level of education was 44 percent in 2012, up from 34 percent in 2001, the study found.




    Due to the fact that there are not enough middle class jobs to go around, the middle class has been steadily shrinking.

    In 2008, 53 percent of all Americans considered themselves to be "middle class". Today, only 44 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be "middle class".

    That is a pretty significant shift in just six years, don't you think?

    For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled "28 Signs That The Middle Class Is Heading Toward Extinction".

    Despite what the politicians and the mainstream media are telling you, the truth is that something is fundamentally wrong with our economy.

    On a gut level, most people realize this.

    According to one recent survey, only 35 percent of all Americans say that they are better off financially than they were a year ago. And according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, only 28 percent of all Americans believe that this country is moving in the right direction.

    The frightening thing is that this is about as good as things are going to get. The next great wave of the economic collapse is approaching, and when it strikes the plight of the middle class is going to get a whole lot worse.



    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/...-s-retail-apocalypse-that-will-blow-your-mind
     
  3. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    [h=1]The Devil Lurking In The Retail Store Closure Details[/h]

    [​IMG]
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/11/2014 10:51 -0400





    "US retail as we have known it for hundreds of years is in sharp decline," warns Bloomberg Brief's Rich Yamarone, adding that "market participants should take note of the fallout in a sputtering US economy." The retail apocalypse, as we discussed here, is dominated by mass layoffs, weak traffic, and poor wage growth and, as Yamarone highlights, it's not hard to see why...

    Via Bloomberg Brief's Richard Yamarone,




    The 13-week moving average pace of retail spending shown by the ICSC-Goldman Sachs Retail Chain Store Index is below that which traditionally signals a slowdown.


    [​IMG]

    Of course this most recent dive will all be blamed on the weather but another look at the chart shows the trend was well in place long before this winter and will continue well into the future unless something changes. As Yamorone goes to note, this has significant implications - as the shift from bricks-and-mortar to online echoes up through the retail infrastructure of America...




    That a lot of the cash not being spent on the high street will show up in online sales is scant consolation for operators of existing infrastructure. There are ripple effects for the towns that surround it, and awful consequences for retail associates and their families.

    The need for retail employees is essentially limited to clothing and footwear stores since apparel and shoes are not standard items with varying sizes, colors, and fabrics. For the more ubiquitous items like electronics or sporting goods, the need for a dedicated store or staff is diminished. During February, the number of employees at electronics and appliance stores fell by 12,000 to 503,700, while sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores furloughed 8,600 workers.

    ...

    Ordering online means reduced foot traffic at malls. The year-over-year change in the ShopperTrak’s month-to-day Retail Traffic Index contracted by 5.2 percent in February – a weak trend that has been lingering for the last 12 months.




    [​IMG]

    Finally, while many high-ranking "economists" of the sell-side varietal would prefer to shove any and all negatives under the capret proclaiming them merely weather events - for instance here is Deutsche's Joe Lavorgna's tweet cloud from the last 40 days (h/t @Not_Jim_Cramer):
    [​IMG]


    Yamorone has more ominous words by way of conclusion...




    Economically speaking however, the bottom line remains fewer jobs, the ultimate determinant of income and spending. The broader decline of bricks and mortar retail, have to be factored into any serious forecasting of the direction of the U.S. economy.


    Read more here


    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-11/devil-lurking-retail-store-closure-details
     
  4. Carl

    Carl Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Great Thread!
     
  5. Ahillock

    Ahillock A nobody Mother Lode

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    Caterpillar Global Retail Sales Continue Sliding, Drop For 15th Month In A Row; LatAm Tumbles
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/20/2014 09:24 -0400

    Any minute now...

    Just like with the fabled Abenomics recovery which is said to be just around the corner, so Caterpillar, whose stock has discounted a Phoenix-like rise from the ashes, continues to disappoint month after month, with no actual pick up in sales, and as was just released moments ago, in February the heavy industrial equipment maker posted the 15th consecutive decline in global retail sales, which declined 8% from February of 2013, which in turn was a 13% decline from 2012.

    The only silver lining in the data set was the tiniest of Y/Y increases for North American sales, which saw a 2% increase, up from 1% in January. However, this was more than offset by tumble in Latin American sales, which declined 16% compared to last year, far worse than the 11% drop seen in January, and the worst print for the continent since February 2010.

    Finally, broken down by segment, while both Power Systems and Construction Industries machines posted global sales increases of 2% and 9%, respectively, it was the ongoing collapse in the company's bread and butter, Resource Industries, that tumbled by 37% in February, confirming the commodity glut is truly crushing CAT which is unable to increase its sell through into this all important product vertical. It also means any hopes for an Australian commodity boom and/or decoupling from China, will be very short lived indeed.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-...nue-sliding-drop-15th-month-row-latam-tumbles
     
  6. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  7. Eyebone

    Eyebone Midas Member Midas Member

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    Sorry Sir, I am playing catch up here.

    What is ex?

    BM?
     
  8. EO 11110

    EO 11110 He Hate Me Mother Lode

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    http://news.yahoo.com/nevada-gambli...DMTBtMnEyb2psBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxMARzZWMDc3I-

    Nevada's gambling revenue in February plunged 13.7 percent, a decline blamed on a huge drop in baccarat winnings and a tough comparison from a year earlier when the Las Vegas Strip recorded its highest win total ever, state regulators reported Friday.

    Casinos statewide reported a win of $926.1 million in February, down from nearly $1.1 billion raked in during the same month the year before.

    The tumble on the Strip, home to Nevada's posh resorts, was even more dramatic. Casinos there reported gambling revenue of $555.7 million, down 20.1 percent compared with $696.1 million won in February 2013, the state Gaming Control Board said.

    Elsewhere in the state, clubs in downtown Las Vegas posted a 3 percent gain in gambling revenues to $43 million, while Reno casino revenue inched up nearly 1 percent to $44 million. At South Lake Tahoe, casino winnings fell 9.5 percent to $14.7 million.
     
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  9. Ahillock

    Ahillock A nobody Mother Lode

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    Maybe people just don't have as much discretionary funds and that is why revenue is down.
     
  10. Scorpio

    Scorpio Скорпион Founding Member Board Elder Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    sorry eyebone,

    just means 'without' or excluding
     
  11. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Two More Victims Of The Retail Apocalypse: Family Dollar And Coldwater Creek


    By Michael Snyder, on April 17th, 2014

    [​IMG]

    Did you know that Family Dollar is closing 370 stores? When I learned of this, I was quite stunned. I knew that retailers that serve the middle class were really struggling right now, but I had no idea that things had gotten so bad for low end stores like Family Dollar. In the post-2008 era, dollar stores had generally been one of the few bright spots in the retail industry. As millions of Americans fell out of the middle class, they were looking to stretch their family budgets as far as possible, and dollar stores helped them do that. It would be great if we could say that the reason why Family Dollar is doing so poorly is because average Americans have more money now and have resumed shopping at retailers that target the middle class, but that is not happening. Rather, as you will see later in this article, things just continue to get even worse for Americans at the low end of the income scale.


    I was also surprised to learn that Coldwater Creek is closing all of their stores...


    Women's clothing retailer Coldwater Creek Inc. on Friday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after failing to find a buyer said it plans to close its stores by early summer.

    Coldwater Creek joins other retailers to seek protection from creditors in recent months as consumers keep a lid on spending.

    The company said it plans to wind down its operations over the coming months and begin going-out-of-business sales in early May, before the traditionally busy Mother's Day weekend.

    Coldwater Creek, which has 365 stores and employs about 6,000 people, has five stores in Maryland.




    I remember browsing through a Coldwater Creek with my wife and mother-in-law just last year. At the time, my mother-in-law was excited about getting one of their catalogs. But now Coldwater Creek is going out of business, and all that will be left of that store is a big, ugly, empty space.

    Of course the fact that a couple of major retailers are closing stores is nothing new. This kind of thing happens year after year.

    But what we are witnessing right now is really quite startling. So many retailers are closing so many stores that it is being called a "retail apocalypse". In a previous article entitled "This Is What Employment In America Really Looks Like…", I detailed how major U.S. retailers have already announced the closing of thousands of stores so far this year. If the economy really was "getting better", this should not be happening.


    So why are so many stores closing?

    Well, the truth is that it is because the middle class is dying. With each passing day, more Americans lose their place in the middle class and fall into poverty. The following is an excerpt from the story of one man that this has happened to. His recent piece in the Huffington Post was entitled "Next Friday, I'll Be Living In My Car"...


    For the past 13 years, I've mostly been doing facility management in several locations across the state. After the position turned into more of a sales role, they laid me off. Since then, I've been looking to find any type of work. I've applied for food stamps, and I'm waiting for that. I'm mostly eating soup from a food pantry.

    I've been on several interviews -- second, third, fourth interviews -- and just haven't been able to land a job for whatever reason. I definitely have the qualifications and the experience. Last week, I had a job offer that I thought was secure, and we were talking my work schedule. They decided to call me back and go with an assistant rather than a manager.

    For a number of applications, I've dumbed down my resume. I don't even go with a resume sometimes, just because I don't want them to know that I'm educated and have a master's degree. It shoots me in the foot. They don't want me because they don't think I'm going to stay. I don't blame them. I was making six figures at $60-70 an hour. Now, I'm looking for a $10 an hour job.




    There are millions upon millions of Americans that can identify with what that man is going through.

    Once upon a time, they were living comfortable middle class lifestyles, but now they will take any jobs that they can get.

    Just today I came across a statistic that shows the massive shift that is happening in this country. A decade ago, the number of women working outnumbered the number of women on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin. But now the number of women on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.

    Wow.

    How could things have changed so rapidly over the course of just one decade?

    And sadly, things continue to go downhill. Every day in America, more good jobs are being sent out of the country or are being replaced by technology. I really like how James Altucher described this trend the other day...


    Technology, outsourcing, a growing temp staffing industry, productivity efficiencies, have all replaced the middle class.

    The working class. Most jobs that existed 20 years ago aren’t needed now. Maybe they never were needed. The entire first decade of this century was spent with CEOs in their Park Avenue clubs crying through their cigars, “how are we going to fire all this dead weight?”. 2008 finally gave them the chance. “It was the economy!” they said. The country has been out of a recession since 2009. Four years now. But the jobs have not come back. I asked many of these CEOs: did you just use that as an excuse to fire people, and they would wink and say, “let’s just leave it at that.”

    I’m on the board of directors of a temp staffing company with one billion dollars in revenues. I can see it happening across every sector of the economy. Everyone is getting fired. Everyone is toilet paper now.

    Flush.





    There is so little loyalty in corporate America these days. If you work for a major corporation, you could literally lose your job at any moment. And you can be sure that there is someone above you that is trying to figure out a way to accomplish the tasks that you currently perform much more cheaply and much more efficiently.

    Most big corporations don't care if you are personally successful or if you are able to take care of your family. What they want is to get as much out of you as possible for as little money as possible.

    This is a big reason why 62 percent of all Americans make $20 or less an hour at this point.

    The quality of our jobs is going down, but the cost of living just keeps going up. Just look at what is happening to food prices. For a detailed examination of this, please see my previous article entitled "Why Meat Prices Are Going To Continue Soaring For The Foreseeable Future".

    As the middle class slowly dies, less people are able to afford to buy homes. Mortgage originations at major U.S. banks have fallen to a record low, and the percentage of Americans that live in "high-poverty neighborhoods" is rising rapidly...


    An estimated 12.4 million Americans live in economically devastated neighborhoods, according to American Community Survey data collected from 2008 to 2012. That's an 11 percent jump from the previous survey, conducted from 2007 to 2011. Even more startling, it's a 72 percent increase in the population of high-poverty neighborhoods since the 2000 Census.





    If nothing is done about the long-term trends that are slowly strangling the middle class to death, all of this will just be the beginning.

    We will see millions more Americans lose their jobs, millions more Americans lose their homes and millions more Americans living in poverty.

    The United States is being fundamentally transformed, and very few people are doing much of anything to stand in the way of this transformation. Decades of incredibly foolish decisions are starting to catch up with us, and unless something dramatic is done right away, all of these problems will soon get much, much worse.



    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/...-apocalypse-family-dollar-and-coldwater-creek
     
  12. azxcvbnm321

    azxcvbnm321 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Well I guess the solution is for more government then. Only government can protect us from the evil corporations. Just look at the paradises where government has been able to run off the corporate leeches like Cuba and Venezuela....oh wait.
     
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  13. Carl

    Carl Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    azxcvbnm321, the only reason you say things like that is because you're stupid, you haven't a clue so all you can do is babble nonsense.

    GIM should charge you a fee for wasting bandwidth...
     
  14. Ahillock

    Ahillock A nobody Mother Lode

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    Carl, I believe azxcvbnm321 was being sarcastic from the way I read it. :)
     
  15. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    My experience with the "Dollar Stores" = inferior quality - design - selection for more money.
    Woman's clothing stores = huge markups on cheap clothes made overseas for peanuts. They can "slash prices" 95% and still make a profit.

    What has more effect is importing 11 million peasants from the third world and inviting them onto food stamps section 8 housing WICK etc.

    That is the problem.

    Now think, if you wanted to get into a business that would be "booming" in the future, with lots of growth, would it be local B&M retailing? It would be one of the last businesses I would get into now.
    We have a wonderful catalog called the internet that anyone, anywhere in the world can offer me a product or I can offer them one. Instead of my market being my little town in my little county, maybe a 20 mile radius, it can be the world, literally. Things change folks, they always have, and they always will. Remember Zayres? They were a discount store back in the 60's, 70's that went away. Remember Benjamin Franklin 5 and 10 cent stores? Woolworth's? etc.

    It's not the end of the world because Radio Shack went away. They have been dying for at least a decade.
     
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  16. Carl

    Carl Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Yes, I'm sure he was as that's about the only type of posts he makes because he assumes that the reason anyone would post something like that article, is that they are crying for the government to do something.

    Those franchised corporate profit centers destroys economies, lower standards of living, syphon resources out of the communities that they invade and create dependency. It's scorched earth economics.

    And after they've sucked everything out of the communities, they close up, go bankrupt and the execs retire to the Bahamas. The people are left with all the rules and regulations that prohibit them form exercising some self determination, rules and regulations that were created to apply to those corporations, which they could afford to comply with, so the people are left with no viable means to support themselves and prohibited by law from trying.

    And then he pipes in with that sh!t....
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
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  17. Scorpio

    Scorpio Скорпион Founding Member Board Elder Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    Is any of this really a surprise though?

    The services sector (which includes retail) has been carrying US gdp for years and years while our manufacturing has been decimated and off shored.

    Leading to the extreme glut of retail space. Thousands of stores selling the exact same stuff from the exact same factories. Shirt takes a right to go to Sears, and a left to go to JC P, and up the gut to go to Target.

    All these retailers screaming for you to notice them in particular 'cause they are special.

    They aren't special at all. Same garbage, applying across the vast horizon of modern retailing.

    I say bring it on, bout darn time

    So I for one shall not cry over the loss of these purveyors of mass marketing/consumption

    and yet it is our fault as a whole, asking for this, hell demanding this, as we export inflation and import deflation in lower prices of goods,

    all to maintain the illusion,

    so it isn't just the .gov with their regulations, or the corporations taking advantage of it. The blame lies also with each and every one of us.

    Every time a Toyota vehicle is purchased, a Panasonic Cassette player back in the day, this has been going on a long long time,

    The old game is just plain wearing out,

    waiting for a suitable replacement
     
  18. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Retail Store Closures Soar In 2014: At Highest Pace Since Lehman Collapse



    [​IMG]
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/21/2014 14:37 -0400


    What a better way to celebrate the rigged markets that are telegraphing a "durable" recovery, than with a Credit Suisse report showing, beyond a reasonable doubt, that when it comes to traditional bricks and mortar retailers, who have now closed more stores, or over 2,400 units, so far in 2014 and well double the total amount of storefront closures in 2013, this year has been the worst year for conventional discretionary spending since the start of the great financial crisis!


    From Credit Suisse's Michael Exstein

    Since the start of 2014, retailers have announced the closure of more than 2,400 units, amounting to 22.6 million square feet, more than double the closures at this point in 2013 (940 units and 6.9 million square feet). After several years of attempting to cut overhead costs, the acceleration in store closures appears to be a response on the part of retailers to cope with the challenge of ecommerce and structural declines in foot traffic, and the need to address declining levels of in-store productivity. The year-to-date totals for store closing activities now challenges 2009 as the most recent year for the highest number of store closings announcements.


    While distressed retailers (eg. Radio Shack) and bankruptcies, which have reached a three-year peak year-to-date, make up 63% of the unit closures in 2014, they comprise only 34% of the total square footage closed. On a square footage basis, broadline retailers contributed over 28% of closures, with M, DDS, JCP, TGT, and Sam's Club participating in right-sizing their store bases.

    Office supply stores have been equally significant contributors to the rationalization process as they grapple with the effects of broader distribution and deeper online penetration. We expect this trend to continue as Office Depot evaluates its real estate in the wake of its merger with OfficeMax. Even dollar stores and drug stores, which combined have consistently built out hundreds of stores per year, are beginning to reel back on expansion, with Family Dollar and Walgreens both planning to shutter underperforming stores.

    The acceleration in retail closings follows several years of negative sales growth for many retailers. After slashing expenses and taking a more disciplined approach to spending, there appear to be few levers left to pull, as the top line growth remains difficult. Mall-based stores (both department store anchors and specialty apparel) in particular appear to have taken advantage of leases that have come up for renewal, as opportunities to close underproductive stores. Those that have not participated in the trend to close stores—such as higher end retailers (eg. JWN, Bloomingdale's, and Saks)—have been relocating existing stores to more productive malls, or areas of existing malls. JWN for example recently announced the relocation of its Westfield Horton Plaza San Diego store to an upgraded area within the same mall, and is doing the same thing in Honolulu at the Ala Moana Center.


    [​IMG]



    Of course, it wouldn't be a Wall Street sellside piece if there wasn't a bullish spin on the data:

    We would view more momentum in store closures as a positive for the retail industry.
    Retail as a whole remains overcapacitied.... further rationalization appears to be a necessary change in trend where even during good economic times the store base is being adjusted



    Yup - nothing but blue skies ahead.


    In fact, here is some more good news. As Bank of America notes, Consumer Durable spending - another key component of any, well, durable recovery - is founering. In their words: "Durable spending has had a very weak recovery by historic standards. The ratio of consumer durables to GDP shows that while the share of spending has recovered, it remains at recessionary levels."



    [​IMG]



    Don't worry, that too is "positive" for the... making **** up industry.


    Of course, who needs to spend on durables when one can just spend on stocks that in the new normal can never, ever go down?



    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-...osures-soar-2014-highest-pace-lehman-collapse
     
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  19. Carl

    Carl Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Walmart Just Revealed How Poor U.S. Shoppers Are



    Walmart is no stranger to sensational headlines, but there’s at least one story this week that is just begging to be taken apart. Anyone who thinks “Walmart Just Revealed How Poor Its Customers Are” is an accurate reflection of the facts, needs to keep reading.

    Because the problem isn’t that Walmart revealed how poor its customers really are, it’s that Walmart revealed how poor U.S. shoppers really are.


    The hook here, the news peg, is that Walmart released its annual report and in it, there’s a paragraph that states:


    “Our business operations are subject to numerous risks, factors and uncertainties, domestically and internationally, which are outside our control … These factors include … changes in the amount of payments made under the Supplement[al] Nutrition Assistance Plan and other public assistance plans, changes in the eligibility requirements of public assistance plans, …

    The implication is that Walmart preys on the poor, that the retailer has somehow created poor people by paying low wages. That it relies on government assistance in a way that goes beyond accepting payment from shoppers via government programs. According to Business Insider:


    Walmart, for the first time in its annual reports, acknowledges that taxpayer-funded social assistance programs are a significant factor in its revenue and profits. This makes sense, considering that Walmart caters to low-income consumers. But what’s news here is that the company now considers the level of social entitlements given to low-income working and unemployed Americans important enough to underscore it in its cautionary statement.

    Not quite.

    It’s not the first time Walmart noted that a reduction in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would hurt business. It may have been the first time it was mentioned in an annual report, but that’s because the reduction took effect during the fiscal year in question.

    In November, benefits for a family of four were reduced by $36 a month. Benefits had been increased as part of the Recovery Act in 2009, but Congress allowed the increase to expire on Nov. 1, 2013.

    An estimated 48 million Americans benefit from SNAP while roughly 80% of U.S. consumers shop at Walmart at some point during the year.

    Not all of them use SNAP, but the majority have some kind of budgetary constraint and it’s a number that keeps growing. Ten years ago, roughly 50% of Walmart shoppers cited low prices as the most important reason to shop at Walmart; today that number is 75%, said Andy Murray, Walmart senior vice president, creative, speaking at the Shopper Marketing Summit this week.

    Walmart shoppers are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in the price of gas, to small tax increases or to anything that adds another $20 burden to a household in any given week. Budgets are tight and getting tighter all the time, in spite of a slowly recovering economy.

    Walmart is hardly the only retailer to be affected by a reduction in SNAP benefits, or to say so in financial documents. The dollar store segment is also vulnerable. Roughly $4 billion in SNAP benefits were vaporized, money that was once spent at U.S. stores, not just at Walmart. This was bad news for shoppers and retailers, across multiple channels.

    As one grocery executive said in an online retail forum regarding the issue, “This cut hurts all of our sales, not just Walmart, let me make that clear. The struggle is universal for retailers, and sales are down around 8-10% since the first of the year.”

    I’m not a fan of criticizing other reporters or publications, but these headlines are designed to get clicks, to be shared, to fan the flames of outrage. In this case, it’s a false and very misplaced outrage.

    Walmart didn’t just reveal how poor its customers really are, it revealed just how poor so many U.S. shoppers are.

    Follow me on Twitter @lfheller
     
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  20. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    This Deserted Shopping Mall In Ohio Is Incredibly Eerie [PHOTOS]

    Hayley Peterson

    May 5, 2014, 10:25 AM





    [​IMG]Nicholas Eckhart



    Like hundreds of other shopping malls across the U.S., Euclid Square Mall in Euclid, Ohio, is now a shadow of its former self.Nearly four decades after the 700,000-square-foot mall opened, there are no longer any retailers left. The mall now houses a handful of churches and religious organizations, while the rest of the retail space remains vacant.

    We have compiled some recent photos of the mall. The photos were taken by Nicholas Eckhart, who has photographed dozens of dying malls and runs the blog Dead and Dying Retail.


    Lights are still on inside the mall but the fountain, pictured center, is no longer in use.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    Many of the stores and restaurants, like this former hot dog shop, are covered by tarps.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    The seats are torn and dusty inside this former Beef Corral, which was more recently an Arby's.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    Signs of decay are everywhere.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    At the end of this hallway is a Dillard's store that closed in fall of 2013. It was the last retailer left in the mall.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    The hallways are dark and deserted.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    Euclid Square originally had two anchor stores, Higbee's and May Co.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    Higbee's eventually became Dillard's and May Co. eventually became Kaufmann's.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    Signage remains at shops that vacated the mall years ago.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    Religious organizations, like this one, now fill a handful of former retail stores.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    This bank outside the mall is falling apart.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    The nearby Richmond Town Square contributed to Euclid Square's downfall, according to Eckhart. Richmond Town Square had Sears and JCPenney as anchors and underwent a major remodeling and expansion in the 1990s.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    Dillard's closed down the second story of its store in 2002.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    Outlets USA took over Kaufmann's in 2004 and closed in 2006.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    "After Outlets USA closed it was proposed that the Euclid Square Mall would be demolished, but this never happened and the mall has stayed open," Eckhart says.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    Telephones and lockers were apparently once housed in this hallway.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    This abandoned Red Lobster is located just outside the mall.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    This building once housed a Toys 'R' Us.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    The infrastructure of the mall is starting to decay. The ceiling in the image below looks like it has been leaking.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    The ceiling damage is even worse in this image.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    A few decorative plants are still hanging on to life near the mall's lounge area.

    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart



    Now that you've seen a dying mall ...

    Check out dead Kmart stores>>


    [​IMG]
    Nicholas Eckhart










    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/abandoned-shopping-mall-pictures-2014-5?op=1#ixzz30zENXn6f
     
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  21. luckabuck

    luckabuck Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    I would guess that this location is in a low income, government subsidized apartment, minority occupied part of town. It happens in my city, and cities all over the country.
     
  22. JustPassinThru

    JustPassinThru Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    It was an area that changed rapidly, in many ways. When the mall was built, it was a rural area outside incorporated limits - basically farmland. The mall came and the road was widened; and the people came and all was good.

    Except that, over time, the TYPE of people coming...changed. Drastically.

    Yup, it was a skin-color hue change. And no, it didn't drive suburban shoppers away, not immediately. It took gangfights and gang grafitti and flashing gang-signs and harassing female patrons; it took loitering by large numbers of non-shoppers; it took, IIRC, a few BODIES popping up. By that time I no longer lived in the area.

    It's a microcosm, speeded up, of what's happened to American cities. Especially once society no longer punishes or forbids antisocial acts by idle young people and others.

    CORRECTION: I was reading about another Ohio mall on the link, Rolling Acres. That was in rural Green Township near Akron.

    Euclid Square Mall (I lived near there, too, for a bit) was the result of urban rot infecting inner-ring suburbs. Euclid, Ohio, was a very-nice older suburb...until its very-nice older residents started dying off. The kids didn't want to live so close to hyphenated-American East Cleveland, which looks like Dresden after the bombing and is only a few miles away...so the kids sold the parents' homes as they passed on. Sold cheap; and by law couldn't differentiate between buyers. If a buyer had a Liar Loan and a grille on his teeth, and a long prison record...nothing to do about it, if he met the asking price.

    Enough of those were sold to where Euclid became one more urban sump. And urban sumps cannot support businesses that don't have bars on the windows. Open malls with open stores cannot function with feral hominoids who can't tell between grasping and buying.

    Ergo, Euclid Square Mall was no longer viable.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
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  23. pre-64'

    pre-64' Slaying Debt for Gold Gold Chaser

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    Damned cold weather!
     
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  24. luckabuck

    luckabuck Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Yeah. 85 degrees cold here today.
     
  25. brosil

    brosil Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Wow, that really sounds like the Southwyck Mall in Toledo.It took a while but it was the same process.
     
  26. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Retailers' Profits Miss By Most In 13 Years: "Consumer Is Not Back"


    [​IMG]
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/23/2014 11:10 -0400[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    "The American consumer is not fully back and remains cautious," is the oddly real tone of Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, reporting that U.S. retailers’ first-quarter earnings are trailing analysts’ estimates by the widest margin in 13 years amid weak spending by lower-income consumers intensified competition:



    • *U.S. RETAILERS’ PROFITS MISSING ESTIMATES BY MOST IN 13 YEARS
    • *U.S. RETAILERS MISSING ESTIMATES BY 3.2%, RETAIL METRICS SAYS


    While extreme weather is tossed out as the reason for this miss, what is an ugly smoking gun is the expectations the chains are missing had already been significantly lowered. Hope remains strong as "pent-up demand" has analysts projecting a 8.6% surge in profits in Q2... as long as it's not too hot or cold or wet or dry.

    As Bloomberg reports,


    Chains are missing projections by an average of 3.2 percent, with 87 retailers, or 70 percent of those tracked, having reported, researcher Retail Metrics Inc. said in a statement today. That’s the worst performance relative to estimates since the fourth quarter of 2000, when they missed by 3.3 percent. Over the long term, chains typically beat by 3 percent, the firm said.

    ...

    “The American consumer is not fully back and remains cautious,” Ken Perkins, Retail Metrics’ president, wrote in the report.

    ...

    What’s more, the expectations the chains are missing have been significantly lowered. While analysts now project retailers’ earnings fell an average of 4.1 percent, back in January they had estimated a 13 percent gain.

    Most retail segments are showing profit declines, with department stores, teen-apparel chains and home-furnishing stores faring the worst, Retail Metrics said. About 41 percent of retailers have missed estimates, while 45 percent have beat.



    But faith remains strong that it will all be ok...


    Improved weather, pent-up demand and better employment trends may help the industry in the second quarter, Perkins said. Analysts are projecting an 8.6 percent gain in profit for the current three-month period, he said.


    Unforntunately, the winter of 2000 was a relatively mild one - so we wonder what they blamed the miss on then...


    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-23/retailers-profits-miss-most-13-years-consumer-not-back
     
  27. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    [h=1]As Goes Walmart, So Goes America: “Major Holes Are Starting to Form In Its Business”[/h][TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD="width: 240"]Mac Slavo
    May 23rd, 2014
    SHTFplan.com


    [/TD]
    [TD="width: 350"][TABLE="align: right"]
    [TR]
    [TD]
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]

    [​IMG]


    If there’s one indicator of the state of the global economy it’s consumer purchasing on the retail level. And if there’s one retail company to watch as a prelude to what comes next it’s always been Walmart. Known for low prices, low wages, and multi-billion dollar profits, the world’s largest retailer is struggling.

    According to a recent report from Motley Fool, the behemoth’s same stores sales in the U.S. have dropped precipitously and internationally they have outright collapsed, signalling serious trouble ahead.


    Wal-Mart has begun to lose its cache with consumers and major holes are starting to form in its business.

    Interestingly, Wal-Mart has hidden its financial problems from the headlines because challenges are different around the world, masking themselves in the overall picture.

    But when you dig between the headlines you can see a company in serious trouble and could be the latest in a long line of leading retailers to go from boom to bust in the blink of an eye.


    The problem for Wal-Mart goes far further than just cyclical swings in retail or a weak economy. Wal-Mart has long been able to lure customers with one-stop shopping and low prices, but consumer trends are now working against that core strategy.

    For cost conscious shoppers, lower prices can often be found online and more affluent consumers are choosing style and quality products over one-stop shopping.


    Here’s where Wal-Mart’s story gets really interesting. Sales in the U.S. are beginning to struggle, but overseas the company’s profitability is in downright freefall.


    In an earlier report we noted that economist John Williams says a deep recession will likely become official by Summer of this year, when the government releases it latest economic growth numbers.

    According to Williams, consumers in America are strapped because of stagnant incomes and rising costs for food, energy and health care, leaving little money in consumers’ pockets for other purchases. “The consumer doesn’t have the liquidity to fuel the growth in consumption,” Williams says, a serious implication that is a key reason for why Walmart is seeing same store sales collapse and return on investment shrink across the board.

    In June of 2009 trend forecaster Gerald Celente, in an interview on Infowars with Alex Jones, discussed the parallels between Walmart and the United States of America, suggesting that as goes Walmart, so goes America.


    When you hear these advertisements where Walmart brags about everyday low prices, well sure, we’re turning into a Walmart economy.

    With everyday low prices comes everyday low paying jobs. With everyday low paying jobs, comes everyday low quality. So every day America is sinking lower and lower.


    Since then we’ve learned that a large percentage of Walmart employees make so little money that they have to depend on the government for nutritional assistance, joining nearly 48 million other Americans in the process. Morale at the company has always been low, as evidenced by the often sullen faces seen when being “greeted” upon entering a local store. This mirrors the general sentiment in many parts of America as the financial and economic destruction of the last five years takes it toll.

    For many, Walmart has become the soup kitchen of the modern day bread line. One could even argue that the only reason Walmart hasn’t yet gone bankrupt is because of the surge of monthly customers who receive Electronic Benefits Transfers from the government and head straight to the low-cost retailer to spend their taxpayer subsidized income on food, clothing and other knick-knacks they offer.
    Just as Walmart has been sinking over the last several years, so too has America.

    Our national debt has skyrocketed, Americans dependent on monthly disbursements just to survive have hit historic highs, and there are more people out of the labor force today than there are working.

    Taken in this context Walmart’s success or failure certainly seems to mirror that of the United States as a whole.

    Like Walmert, iconic retailers Montgomery Ward, Sears, and K-Mart were once believed to be immune from the busts normally associated with economic downturns and new competition. The United States, another super power in its sphere of influence, also seems indestructible for these reasons.

    Reality is catching up with both of them.


    Please Spread The Word And Share This Post


    http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-ne...are-starting-to-form-in-its-business_05232014
     
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  28. Carl

    Carl Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Absolutely Nails It!
     
  29. Scorpio

    Scorpio Скорпион Founding Member Board Elder Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    Yep, sure does, in a nutshell
     
  30. arminius

    arminius Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    [video=youtube_share;pKv6RcXa2UI]http://youtu.be/pKv6RcXa2UI[/video]
     
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  31. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    lol..........That was pretty good.

    Unfortunately there is a lot of truth there.
     
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  32. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    [h=1]May Retail Sales Miss, Core Retail Sales Unchanged, Control Group Declines[/h]
    [​IMG]
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/12/2014 08:47 -0400




    Another swing and a miss for the so-called Q2 GDP surge.

    After April data was revised higher, with headline retail sales pushed from 0.1% to 0.5%, and core retail sales ex-autos and gas boosted from -0.1% to 0.3%, May showed a big drop in whatever momentum may have resulted from the March spending spree. As a result May headline retail sales missed expectations of a 0.6% increase, printing at 0.3%, with the entire positive print due to auto and gas sales. Indeed, when looking at core retail sales excluding autos and gas, these were unchanged from April, printing at 0.0%, far below the 0.4% expected.

    As the table below shows, segments that saw a decline in May were Electronics stores (again), as well as food and beverage stores, health and personal care, clothing stores, sporting goods stores, restaurants, as well as general merchandise stores. In other words a decline across the board.


    [​IMG]



    As usual, the biggest wildcard is just how accurate and relevant the seasonal adjustment is: the headline change from April to May was a substantial $26 billion, which however was neutered to just $1.5 billion when applying seasonal adjustment factors, which however as the ISM data recently showed, are nothing but a farce.

    Finally, and what's worst for GDP calculations, the retail sales control group which goes into GDP calculations showed the first sequential decline since January when the full brunt of the "harsh weather" which is now said to have subtracted 2.0% from Q1 GDP hit. Clearly, US consumers are still delaying all those purchases they would have otherwise made in January.


    [​IMG]


    Just blame it on the blamy balmy May weather.


    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-...retail-sales-unchanged-control-group-declines
     
  33. RUSH2112

    RUSH2112 Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Where will I buy platform shoes and designer jeans without the "mall".

    shoes.jpg
     
  34. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    [h=1]June Retail Sales Miss Across The Board, May Revised Higher[/h]
    [​IMG]
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/15/2014 08:56 -0400
    Following disappointing retail sales number for both April and May, or two thirds of Q2, there was hope that June would finally be the month retail sales would soar. Alas, that would not be the case, following the release of the latest retail sales data by the Department of Commerce which reported that in June retail sales rose just 0.2%, well below the 0.6% expected and matching the lowest end of the forecast expectations (from 0.2% to 1.1%).

    Misses were also reported for retail sales ex-autos (0.4%, Exp. 0.5%) and ex-autos and gas (0.4%, Exp. 0.5%). Perhaps the only saving grace was the upward revision of May data from 0.3% to 0.5% for the headline number and from 0.0% to 0.3% for the ex-autos and gas. If anything, however, today's retail sales increase which was the slowest in 5 months confirms that the trend we warned about in April, namely that the US consumer tapped out in March to fund that month's mad spending spree, and the spending trend has been deteriorating ever since.

    There was some good news in today's report which was the retail sales control group, which rose 0.6% compared to estimates of 0.5%, and the May revision of 0.0% to 0.2% means that GDP beancounters will likely end up adding a few basis points to their Q2 GDP estimate even as consumers enter Q3 in the weakest shape they have been since the polar vortex.


    [​IMG]


    The breakdown of retail sales by business was rather paradoxical, because while automakers reported yet another surge in June car sales, retail sales for the category per the Dept of Commerce showed a -0.3% decline. The other big drop? Building materials and garden equipment supply dealers which slid -1.0%. Hardly a positive for that other key component to US GDP - housing.


    [​IMG]


    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-15/june-retail-sales-miss-across-board-may-revised-higher
     
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  35. Ahillock

    Ahillock A nobody Mother Lode

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  36. argentos

    argentos Former Boat Owner Gold Chaser

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    Deleted. I got it wrong!
     
  37. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    [h=1]The "Real" Retail Story: The Consumer Economy Remains At A Recessionary Level[/h]

    [​IMG]
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/29/2014 18:33 -0400



    Earlier this month, Retail Sales missed expectations for the 3rd month in a row, essentially flat on the month. As Doug Short rhetorically asks 'how much insight into the US economy does the nominal retail sales report offer?' With the release of the CPI data, we can judge this in 'real' terms (adjusted for inflation and against the backdrop of our growing population)... and the picture is anything but healthy.

    Via Advisor Perspectives,


    The "Real" Retail Story: The Consumer Economy Remains at a Recessionary Level

    How much insight into the US economy does the nominal retail sales report offer? The next chart gives us a perspective on the extent to which this indicator is skewed by inflation and population growth. The nominal sales number shows a cumulative growth of 168.0% since the beginning of this series. Adjust for population growth and the cumulative number drops to 114.7%. And when we adjust for both population growth and inflation, retail sales are up only 24.8% over the past two-plus decades. With this adjustment, we're now at a level we first reached in September 2004.


    Let's continue in the same vein. The charts below give us a rather different view of the U.S. retail economy and the long-term behavior of the consumer. The sales numbers are adjusted for population growth and inflation. For the population data I've used the Bureau of Economic Analysis mid-month series available from the St. Louis FRED with a linear extrapolation for the latest month. Inflation is based on the latest Consumer Price Index. I've used the seasonally adjusted CPI as a best match for the seasonally adjusted retail sales data. The latest retail sales with the dual adjustment declined 0.1% month-over-month, and the adjusted data is only up 0.9% year-over-year.



    Consider: Since January 1992, the U.S. population has grown about 25% while the dollar has lost about 42% of its purchasing power to inflation. Retail sales have been recovering since the trough in 2009. But the "real" consumer economy, adjusted for population growth is 3.9% below its all-time high in January 2006.

    As I mentioned at the outset, nominal month-over-month retail sales were up 0.04%. Let's now examine Core Retail Sales, a version that excludes auto purchases.



    By this analysis, adjusted Core Retail Sales were down 0.1% in July from the previous month, up only 0.4% year-over-year and down 1.9% from its record high in November 2007.


    The Great Recession of the Financial Crisis is behind us, a close analysis of the adjusted data suggests that the recovery has been frustratingly slow. The reality is that, in "real" terms — adjusted for population growth and inflation — consumer sales remain below the level we saw at the peak before the last recession.



    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-...y-consumer-economy-remains-recessionary-level
     
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  38. Ahillock

    Ahillock A nobody Mother Lode

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    Not retail per say, but more layoffs.


    Big Tech Teeters, May Sack Most People since 2009

    There is one thing for sure that big American tech companies, many of them severely revenue-challenged, excel at: buying other companies. They’re all doing it. And the price they pay? The higher, the better. They’re paying for these overvalued acquisitions with their overvalued stock, of which they can print an unlimited amount; and they’re paying for them with money they can borrow at nearly no cost after inflation.

    When the cost of capital is near zero, thanks to the Fed’s machinations, it doesn’t really matter on what this nearly free capital gets blown. So long as it doesn’t get spent on people.

    Acquisitions bestow a lot of benefits on the acquirer, including obtaining instant revenues, in-the-can technologies, and possibly top-notch people. But no benefit is more important than the liberal use of “acquisition accounting” which allows the company to lump all kinds of real expenses, paid for with real dollars or real stock, into a massive “non-cash acquisition-related” write-off that analysts are well trained to ignore. And it makes the resulting “adjusted earnings” smell like a rose.

    This year, there’s something else Big Tech has excelled at: mass layoffs. These layoffs in tech contrast with the relatively low number of layoffs in most other industries (most, except transportation and entertainment, but that’s another story).

    All industries combined announced 40,010 job cuts in August, down 15% from July, and down 21% from a year ago, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas. It was the fourth month in a row when total job cut announcements were lower than the year before. Year to date, they’re down 4% from the same period in 2013. So if this picture looks rosy, what the heck is happening in the tech sector?

    The paragon of American business and the shining hope for the future booked more job cuts in August than any other sector. Among them, computer companies axed 567 jobs, telecommunications companies 866 jobs, and electronics firms 7,350 jobs. This includes our hero Cisco which announced plans to unceremoniously chop 6,000 people from its payroll, in the wake of crummy revenue numbers. In total, the tech sector announced to the markets in August that it would get rid of 8,783 people.

    It was all perfectly timed, and expressed with maximum fanfare in immaculate corporate speak and sprinkled with hype. There would be future savings, efficiencies, and what not – in addition to the big “non-cash” charge that would have to be ignored. The purpose of these announcements is to goose the stock price. And it works.

    But they add up, year-to-date: Microsoft (18,000), perennial acquisition and lay-off queen HP (16,000), Cisco (6,000), Intel (5,350), serial job cutter TI (1,100), Dell (1,000), EMC (1,000) – and pretty soon you’re talking real numbers.

    So far this year, the tech sector has announced 80,088 job cuts. A 41% jump from last year. Of them, computer makers are responsible for the lion’s share, 48,928 job cuts, up 87% from last year. And electronics firms, including Cisco, have decided to boot 16,406 people so far this year, up 170%.

    At this rate, the tech sector could experience its worst layoffs since the panic-year of 2009, when tech companies announced 174,629 job cuts. But it would still pale against the collapse-year of 2001, when the evaporating dotcom bubble caused tech companies across the board to announce nearly 700,000 job cuts. So at the current rate, there’s still some room to grow.

    The hoopla and hype over American tech can be deafening. And there are many companies that are doing very well, that are not having to brag about decimating their workforce and throwing out engineers and brains and experience in order to boost their stock price.

    “The cuts appear to be motivated by fundamental changes in the industry,” explained John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “The cuts we are seeing are coming from companies that did not keep up with the rapidly changing trends….”

    It’s hard to keep up with new trends if you’re tangled up in chasing down, and overpaying for, other companies while at the same time shedding a big part of the experienced workforce. Actual engineers are relegated to an expense category that needs to be trimmed down, while financial engineers are tasked to push the company into a glorious future.

    So Challenger tried to put a positive spin on the Big Tech debacle: the companies were “laying off workers in some areas, hiring in others, and simply cutting layers of management in order to become more nimble and better prepared to meet the next trend shift.”

    In this manner, acquisition and lay-off queen HP has been becoming “more nimble” for years. And look what happened! Now, after 11 straight quarters of declining sales, they ticked up a smidgen but for the wrong reason, while net profit plunged nearly 30%. But no problem. “I’m very pleased with the progress we’ve made,” bragged CEO Meg Whitman [read... Hewlett-Packard Reports a Miracle ].

    It takes months and sometimes over a year to complete the announced layoffs. So the waves of announcements this year are just now turning haltingly into actual pink slips. Other corners of the tech industry are hiring – and if these folks who are getting booted out are lucky, they’ll find a new home soon. But if they’re not lucky….

    Here is the CEO of a startup who explains what will happen to them. She describes in her clear, from-the-trenches voice what pushes employers like her, and big companies too, to keep the unemployed from being even considered for a job. And she outlines the convenient and low-cost systems universally available that she and other companies use and eagerly pay for to accomplish just that.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-05/big-tech-teeters-may-sack-most-people-2009
     
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  39. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    RETAILERS IN DEEP TROUBLE


    Posted on September 14, 2014 by JimQ


    “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” ― Mark Twain



    [​IMG]



    I never believe government manufactured numbers. They will always be adjusted, massaged, and manipulated to achieve a happy ending for the propagandists attempting to control and fleece the sheep. Yesterday, the government produced retail sales numbers for August that were weak and the corporate MSM propaganda machine immediately threw up bold headlines declaring how strong these numbers were. Positive stories were published on the interwebs and Wall Street hack economists were rolled out on CNBC, where the bubble headed bimbos and prostitutes for the status quo like Jim Cramer and Steve Liesman declared the recovery gaining strength. Woo Hoo.

    If everyone else is whipping out that credit card, why aren’t you? Credit card debt has reached a new post recession high. They tell me consumer confidence is soaring. Forget about the 92 million working age Americans supposedly not in the labor force. Forget about real household income hovering at 1999 levels. Forget about median household net worth still 30% lower than 2007. Forget about what you see with your own two eyes in malls, strip centers and office parks as you motor around our suburban sprawl empire of debt. Those Store Closing, Space Available, and For Lease signs mean nothing.




    [​IMG]




    I didn’t get a chance to peruse the commerce department drivel until this morning. They put out unadjusted data and adjusted data.

    Shockingly, the adjusted data is always rosier than the unadjusted data. I wonder why? I can understand the rationale for adjusting month to month data due to holidays and calendar events. But I still don’t trust the adjustments. There should not be a major difference when comparing year over year data. The adjusted data should reflect the same relationship to the unadjusted data on a year over year basis. Well guess what? It appears our friendly government drones may be pumping the current data to give the appearance of recovery.

    Here are my observations after taking a look at the government propaganda report:



    • The unadjusted retail sales were only 3.2% higher than last August. Considering government reported inflation of 2%, that is a pretty shitty result. But have no fear. The “ADJUSTED” retail sales for August were 5.0% higher than last August. WTF? Guess which number gets reported to the sheep?



    • Hysterically, your government drones consider lending deadbeats $40,000 for seven years with no money down to drive away with a GM deathtrap SUV as a retail sale. The billions in subprime auto loans led to an 8.8% YoY surge in “ADJUSTED” auto sales. It seems the unadjusted number only went up 5.3%.


    • When you back out the Federal Reserve/Wall Street pumped auto sales, which will ultimately result in billions of written off bad debt (you’ll pick up the tab), unadjusted retail sales were only 2.7% higher than last August. With real inflation of 5% or more, real retail sales are negative on a year over year basis.


    • Despite financing deals of 4 years with no interest, furniture and electronics retail sales were flat versus last August. If there really is a housing recovery and 2.1 million more Americans are employed versus last August how could these discretionary sales be flat, and negative on an inflation adjusted basis?


    • Grocery store sales were up only 2.1% over last year. Even the government is reporting 2.7% food inflation in the last year. We all know it is closer to 10%, so people are actually reducing the amount of food they are buying. That is a sure sign of an economic recovery.


    • Clothing store sales were flat and department store sales were negative versus last August. So much for the back to school storyline. I do believe August is back to school time. The Sears and JC Penney Bataan Death March trudges toward bankruptcy.


    • What did surge was sales at restaurants and bars. They soared by 6.8% versus last August. We already know Darden, Yum Brands and McDonalds have reported dreadful results, so either the government is lying, soaring food prices are being passed on to customers, or people are so depressed by this awesome economic recovery they are drinking themselves into a stupor.


    As a side note on the accuracy of this government data, in a previous role at IKEA, when I was a much younger man, I was responsible for filling out the monthly government retail surveys for the Census Bureau. The government drones collecting this data do not check it. They do not require proof that it is right. It is self reported by retailers across the country. Filling out this crap for the government was about as low on my priority list as whale shit. If I was really busy, I’d make the numbers up, scribble them on the form and put it in the mail. The numbers the government are accumulating are crap. And then they massage the crap. And then they publish the crap as if it means something. It’s nothing but crap.

    When you see the headlines touting strong retail sales, you need to consider what you are actually seeing in the real world. RadioShack will be filing for bankruptcy within months. Wet Seal will follow. Sears is about two years from a bankruptcy filing. JC Penney’s turnaround is a sham. They continue to lose hundreds of millions every quarter and will be filing for bankruptcy within the next couple years. Target and Wal-Mart continue to post awful sales results and have stopped expanding. And as you drive around in your leased BMW, you see more Space Available signs than operating outlets in every strip center in America.

    My anecdotal proof of this relentless slow motion retail trainwreck is twofold. We received our second 30% off discount coupon from Kohl’s in the last three weeks. We are so indifferent to these constant offers that we didn’t even use the first one. I have to wear dress clothes to work every day, so I went over to Kohl’s this morning when they opened at 8:00 am to get some dress shirts and pants.

    The parking lot was an oasis of empty spots and there were maybe 5 customers in the entire store. I went to the mens’ section and was shocked to see about two dozen 60% to 80% off racks. There are usually two or three racks. The store was overflowing with summer merchandise. Summer is over. The store should have been overflowing with Fall merchandise. They are clearly in the midst of an inventory disaster. I found excellent dress shirts on the 70% off rack. Everything I bought was at least 50% off, even before my 30% coupon and another $10 menswear coupon.

    I live in a relatively upscale suburban area and still this Kohl’s is an absolute disaster. Their gross margin is going to be hammered. Profits are going to implode. Kohl’s has always been a favorite retailer of the middle class. Decent quality at reasonable prices. Their comp store sales were between positive 5% and 15% for years, until the 2008 financial collapse. Their struggles since then coincide with the decline of middle class incomes and the fake jobs recovery. The fact that they are spiraling downward flies in the face of the propaganda being spewed by the government and media.There is no recovery for the average American.

    My second data point happened on Thursday. An accident on the Turnpike forced me to take Lincoln Drive and Germantown Pike home from work (1 hour and 55 minutes of agony). I hadn’t taken this route in about six months. Germantown Pike winds through the Chestnut Hill section of Philly. This is an artsy fartsy area with boutique retail, chic outlets, and fancy restaurants. The upper middle class frequents the area. The retail stores were always open, occupied and busy.

    Not anymore. I saw dozens of empty storefronts, Space Available, and For Lease signs. The open stores had no customers. The trendy eating establishments had few patrons. Even the yuppie latte drinking areas are beginning to crumble. Every office park I passed had Space Available signs in front. The amount of vacant retail and office space in this country is too vast to comprehend and is being under-reported by the real estate whores whose job it is to rent space. Ignoring the facts and the truth doesn’t change the facts and the truth.

    Do you believe the government and the corporate media, or do you believe your own two eyes?

    You can ignore the government reported happy talk. When retailers and restaurants report their actual sales and profits, the truth shall be revealed. It will set you free.


    [​IMG]


    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/09/retailers-deep-trouble.html
     
  40. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    Yes, a lot of brick and mortar stores are suffering loss of sales. Some of it is due to the poor economic conditions I am positive. However, Radio Shack has been on life support for at least a decade if not more. Sears was run into the ground, economy or no economy. Market share for internet sales keeps climbing. Every box of paper towels, toilet paper, household furnishings and accessories sold online is a lost sale for mass marketers. There is no getting around that. People have commented here about how Walmart for example is so crowded after midnight on the day the EBT cards get recharged. Of course. You can't order from amazon with an EBT card. These people have become Walmarts prime customers in some areas. My area has all the usual suspects selling, Walmart is packed almost all the time, I don't go there hardly at all because I don't like fighting the crowd, Kroger is busy all the time. However, Radio Shack is a ghost town, Office Depot closed, Staples is on life support, offering free paper and huge rebates just to try to get you into the store. Sears has more employees than customers. My point is, certain types of stores are hurting because the customers aren't interested in what they are selling at the price they are selling it at. Staples used to be very busy 10 years ago, but I and many others obviously stopped shopping there when we could get the same products cheaper without even leaving the house.

    Retail sales of goods are moving from a warehouse to retail store model to a warehouse to home delivery model, when it is possible to do so at a better price. I'm not saying it is good for the local economy or local employment, but the facts point to that model hurting a lot of traditional marketers. Just as the nationwide or regional chains pushed mom and pop out of the retail business, the internet marketer is doing the same to the nationwide or regional chains when economically feasible.

    Have you been to McDonalds? I can go and sit down and have a steak dinner with my wife for a few dollars more than two of McDonalds "Meals". Why would I go there if I don't have to?
    If people were poor and needed to drink to get over it, wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a bottle of whiskey and drink at home???? If McDonald's, Yum Brands and Darden [I don't know them] are suffering poor sales due to passing on soaring food prices, what about the surge in restaurant sales? They are "immune" from food price increases? They are adsorbing the increase? I call bullchit. The author isn't a very deep thinker, at least with this comment.
     
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