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

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Abandoned Mall - Photo by Justin CozartIf 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 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…

Employment Population Ratio 2014

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.

  • Rodster

    To be fair, several of those chains which are eliminating stores are known for crappy service and corporate mismanagement. I’m not so sure we can blame all of it on the economy.

    There’s no doubt we as a population are being bled dry by the bureaucrats and banksters who put the bureaucraps in office. There’s a reason why Obamacare issued a 12 month stay of execution, so as to keep the Obamacare political supporters from losing in the 2014 election. You see it’s all a political game. They don’t give a crap about any of us. It’s all about staying in power and controlling the little serfs.

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      You are right about mismanagement at some of these chains. I could see that Sears was heading for big problems 20 years ago.


      • md

        30 years ago!

    • BenguluruHuduga

      I can understand a few chains being mismanaged. But entire sector being mismanaged ? Nah, I don’t buy that.

    • Rodster

      When the Dollar Stores begin to show losses and close stores. That’s when it’s time to run for the hills because you know it’s GAME OVER.

      • Kim

        Yeah, right? Lol

      • laura m.

        Dollar stores have turned into convenience stores in many areas. Their prices are getting higher than other stores recently, to incl Dollar Gen. and Family Dollar which is getting too pricey. I rarely go there now, unlike several years ago.

        • Rodster

          My Dollar Tree stores still have great deals for a $1 or less.

      • Fred

        Right because I mean people gosh they will just stop buying things like groceries, furniture and appliances…. lol

      • Hammerstrike


        Those who are prepared or even just ressourcefull stands a chance, it is the human-shaped roaches that will be done for.

        The Collapse can ensure the dawn of a new, glorious era…

    • Randy Townsend

      Well said. Much like Detroit of 40 years ago, the attitude of many of the big chains seems to be “The customers will always be there.” Well, Detroit is a shell of what it used to be. So it will be with many of the big chain stores (banks would suffer the same fate but for government interference).

    • Orange Jean

      I agree! I am not a big buyer of computer or electronic stuff, but the last 3 times I tried to get something just slightly different from “standard” items which is appears all that Radio Shack now carries. I live in a rural place, and can only get access to the Internet via dial up.

      These things I needed were:

      1) a computer cable at least 15′ long, so I could route it from the phone hookup in my bedroom to where I keep the computer
      2) an external modem, after mine got fried during a thunderstorm
      3) a battery for something (can’t remember what now)….

      They didn’t have any of those things; it seems like they are only willing to carry the same stuff as Walmart does. They did at least let me know where I could go get the stuff, in another town a very small computer shop had exactly what I needed.

      So… next time I need something, I will not go to Radio Shack, I’ll go to the little computer place instead.

    • Desparado

      That’s a good point, but like the saying, “time is money” good service requires the time to do it. If you are more concerned about the bottom line, niceties like dedication to customers who shop takes a back seat to shareholders getting a nice EPS and this is the backlash that results from a slowing economy in which consumer discretionary spending is tapped out, and credit cards are maxed out. Keep in mind everyone, the retail system has reached the end of its usefulness, and is no longer needed in light of what’s coming next: A strong a prosperous USA be damned so that the NWO agenda may rise. And just WHO is the NWO? The kicker is, the humans who fill the offices come and go, but the demons behind the scenes who own and operate the whole thing will be with us until the end. Yes, I did say demons.

    • Michael G. Marriam

      Control. Bingo! Puts the attack on the Bill of Rights clearly in perspective.

    • Mondobeyondo

      That’s very true. Customers are what makes or breaks a business. If you have good customer service, people will tell their friends, and someone will tell Daniel, and Daniel will tell Susan, and Susan will tell Julie, and so on and so forth. It works the other way, too. Bad customer service… yeah, you get the idea.

    • Facts101

      Most of those stores did not have crappy services. Sears had fairly well service..Among others….

  • GSOB

    Don’t worry, …they’ll just raise the minimum wage and everyone will be paid enough then.

    • bakakurisu

      Better yet; we’ll just change the one-dollar bill to a gajillion-dollar bill so everyone would be rich and no one would be poor.

      Problem solved.

  • Bill

    So many things point to an economic collapse. I just wonder what event will be the big one. I’m still focused on the Dollar Index that is getting very close to the one year low.

    Also I think there is still a good chance barry won’t serve his full term.

    • Mike Smithy

      Undoubtedly, we will see a major false flag event before we reach the end of President Zero’s second term.

      • Bill

        You might be right Mike, but I hope I’m right and the imposter is impeached. Our almost daily dose of false statistics is a major issue also.

        • Red Neckerson

          I was at a sears store during a recent Barry Speech. I noticed some the people standing in front of the tv were rolling their eyes. I think people are finally waking up. Hopefully it continues.

      • Drud

        A false flag is a definite possibility. It just comes down to whether the public will buy it again. I would say “yes” most people are that indoctrinated in the system, but it seems like people are waking up at an accelerating rate. Obama, however, will not be impeached, and even if he is, it will not help. The whole system is bloated and corrupt, not just the figurehead, PR guy known as POTUS. Total systemic collapse is the only cure at this late stage.

        • Mike Smithy

          Amen to that.

  • coffeedrinker

    I would like to see Starbucks join the above company of stores by closing stores. Starbucks has very poor customer service and deserves to loss market share.
    What we need are small mom and pop coffee stores selling espresso drinks.

    • VegasBob

      And at half the price of Starbucks!

    • k

      Even better…people should make their coffee at home…instead of depending on some store for such a basic thing.

      The money will stay in the home.

    • El Pollo de Oro

      Yes, support small mom-and-pop businesses. Absolutely. In the words of Gerald Celente, “break the chains that keep us chained.”

    • Priszilla

      In UK I have seen much less customers in Starbucks since it became known they don’t pay any tax here.

      Usually their place at the market was packed, with a longe queue inside. Now there are just one or two wating for a coffee.

      And I have noticed so many other coffee shops, not belonging to a big chain. And there were more news of “Nero” not paying any tax …

  • Tim

    Many of the department stores that I grew up with are long gone. Does anyone remember any of the following? Caldor, Jamesway, Ames, Murphy’s Mart, Value City, Montgomery Ward. (Montgomery Ward is still an online retailer, but the department stores are defunct.) I’m wondering how long it will be before Sears, J.C. Penny, etc. suffer the same fate.

    • sre

      Don’t forget Woolworth’s. There was also a small local chain here that was called Yellowfront.

    • VegasBob

      Back east, there were chains like Zayres, Zollinger-Harned, Wanamaker’s, Gimbel’s, Hess, Strawbridge & Clothier, Raleighs, Hills Department Stores, Garfinckel’s, Steven Windsor, Alexander’s, and Kann’s. All dead.

      • VegasBob

        Also dead are Mervyn’s, DH Holmes New Orleans, Maison Blanche New Orleans, Goudchaux’s Louisiana, and Marshall Fields Chicago. Lit Brothers used to exist in Philadelphia, Hutzler’s in Baltimore, King’s in Virginia. I’ve probably forgotten a dozen others.

        • juno

          FedCo GemCo Bullocks Broadway ALL the record stores, I can’t even remember half of them.

        • Mondobeyondo

          JC Penney will likely rise above the bunch.
          I hope.

      • Red Neckerson

        We had Zayres here in Orlando. The one I went to converted into a sports authority. It now sits empty as Sports Authority tanked.

    • Christine Cervenka

      In the midwest E.J. Korvette’s

      • Tim

        I remember my parents talking about E.J. Korvette’s. 🙂

    • djc

      I haven’t heard or thought about Jamesway forever. The one we went to was near Warren, PA a looooong time ago.

  • GSOB

    Don’t blame the ACA for this downward spiral…. oh no, that would be irrational.

    Go out to eat at some places and you have an ACA charge added to your tab.

    • k

      You are kidding.

      • Kim

        Nope. He’s not.

  • GSOB

    ACA enrollment goes up = available jobs go down.

    • Take The Red Pill

      Well, remember WHO TO BLAME —
      “We have to pass it to find out what’s in it.”

  • R Lampman

    Radio Shack closed years ago in Canada. We also lost K Mart, Zellers, United Furniture, Liquidation World, The Outback Restaurant, Olive Garden etc.

    Even Red Lobster is suffering. Thing is whowants to pay over $30 a plate for their Lobster Fest special. Or pay over $5 for six chicken mcnuggets at Mac Donalds.

    • Kent Harris

      I went to Subway and got a 12′ combo with cookies and it came to $12.75 and then later went to Chick-fil-a and got a chicken combo with a milkshake and it was $9.99. Food prices are definitely going up. The way things are I am not going to be able to eat out anymore.

      • Rodster

        I quit eating out a long time ago and not for the reasons you stated but that would just make my decision all the more better. You save soooo much money cooking your own food at home without worrying if Gary2’s son is urinating in the sink after hours because he thinks you make more money than he does.

        • Red Neckerson

          you cannot go out to eat anymore for less than 8-9 dollars. Unless you eat that deep fried crap. I am with you Rodster, make it at home. If enough people do it maybe they will lower (snicker-snicker) their prices. Thought it would work for Red lobster but Dardens is just selling them or cutting them loose.

          • afchief

            Sure you can. Just don’t buy the sugary drinks and drink water instead. You can go to McDs and get a nice salad for $5 and water.

        • Priszilla

          Or maybe his employer saved on the toilet, and is deducting from his wage for every minute spent away from the kitchen.

  • GSOB

    Amnesty for illegal immigrants!
    That will stimulate the economy…

    • iceman

      Too bad that they send a lot of their earnings back home instead of spending it all here, however.

      • Priszilla

        Probably their family can’t live from the money they get at those Made-in-China factories.

        And for their rice fields they need to buy rice seeds and fertilizer and pestizides from Monsanto.

    • hj

      Hahaha Moronic Americans still dont get it. They are outnumbered by illegals who vote in their fixed, crooked, rigged elections. Let another 40 million third world poor in your country.

  • K

    As someone who has fallen from the middle class, I can tell you there is no recovery. I am not complaining. Compared to most the people in my area, I am still doing fine. What is the difference? I have no debt. If I had the debt that most people seem to have, I too would be in trouble. Cerberus has just bought Safeway. Since they already own Albertsons, I suspect there will be even more grocery stores closing. More and more I can hear Tennessee Ernie Ford singing sixteen tons. It seems it really sums things up. Except now they are even closing the mines.

    • Mondobeyondo

      :B -12… B..twelve…
      “Hey, that’s ME! Bingo! I got BINGO!!”

  • Backdoor Barry

    You mean to tell me that slave labor selling to slave labor is not a sustainable economic model? Who would of ever known? LOL

    • Priszilla

      Why do so many people write “of” when they should write “have”?

      • Ernie kaputnik

        Because they were educated by the public school system?

        • Priszilla

          I also went to public school, and English isn’t even my first language.

          • PIEguy

            What of you done since gradiating from school?

          • Priszilla

            come again?

  • KYTim89

    One retailer that needs to go out of business is Gamestop. When Sony announced their Playstation Now streaming service Gamestop’s stock prices dropped by eighteen percent. They mostly make the bulk of their money by selling used games five dollars cheaper than the new versions and pocket all of the profit for themselves.

    Case in point, I went into local Gamestop a few days ago to buy Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 for the Wii and they wanted $30.00 for it used. I ended up buying that same game off of eBay for half of that price with no shipping cost.

    It does not surprise me that Radioshack is going out of business.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Hey now! I got some of my best games from there back in the day.

      I don’t play those games anymore.
      Pawn takes bishop.

  • Jim Davis

    As I commented on this site during the 2013 Christmas shopping season, the mall where I shopped, and the surrounding big box stores and strip malls were D-E-A-D. If the Black Friday thru Christmas Eve is the time when retailers are supposed to turn profitable, then I just don’t see how these retailers can possibly remain in business.

    And if Walmart starts closing stores, that could trigger a collapse in the house of cards that is the Chinese economy, which in turn could result in all kinds of cascading failures in the derivatives market. Yellen will have to play some kind of new QE card. The mother of all QEs!

    • Mike Smithy

      But, but, but …. President Zero and his media lapdogs tell us that the economy is doing great and we are in a recovery.

      • selaretus

        President Oboob tells us we are in a recovery because American’s would rather hear comforting lies than uncomfortable truth.

      • Yasha7

        Yeah, nod, nod, wink, wink

    • Mondobeyondo

      Nobody’s shopping, unless they have to.
      Look into it a little bit, and it becomes obvious. People have no money. How do you shop without money? Oh, that’s easy! Something called the “black market”. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS!!!

      • Priszilla

        Look at the state: if you have no money, you take out a loan!

    • Drud

      I was in a Walmart the other day, and really looked around at what they were selling. So much of their goods are in huge metal bins and it seems to me the ONLY reason they are ever produced is to have something with which to fill those bins. Does that seem like free markets at work to anyone? I certainly hope not.

    • JAH666

      The economy of the PRC is in the process of collapse NOW. The numbers don’t lie, even though the MSM does. Once the China collapse gains some more momentum, the contagion (which is beginning) will spread to the EU, the BRICS, and the US. As you note, Yellen will put the QE taper on hold in order to prop up our economy for a little while longer.

      • Priszilla

        Actually, when Walmart and Sears, and Home Deport are not there anymore to dictate the cheap price to Chinese manufacturers, the Chinese are free to produce high quality goods at higher prices.

        Those who don’t sell to the big retailers but have their own retail shops usually do.

        Just look at the phone shops in Hong Kong, where they have much more than just iPhone5, Nokia, Sony and Samsung.

        Phones with built-in TV, for example (not streaming!).Or phones with two SIM cards (and two numbers) for the traveller, to avoid the high roaming costs abroad.

    • piccadillybabe

      From what I hear, China has build cities all over the country complete with infrastructure but no one lives in them.

  • GSOB

    Wear your heart on your sleeve; this just could be your last day.

  • djohn

    If the plan is to bankrupt the entire free world, those in charge have certainly done a great job of it.
    Starting in about 1964, the country has gone down hill economically. The money spent on the Vietnam. War was in the neighborhood of 500 billion dollars.
    That was in dollars worth 35 dollars per ounce. In today’s value of the dollar it was much more.
    I remember my working conditions and the value of my paycheck in 1968. I bought a brick home for $13,900 with 3 bedrooms and a one car garage in a plat of homes.
    Finance and Appraisal should be mandatory reading for every American.
    Our economy was built on inflation. The normal rate of inflation is approximately 4.5% per year in a normal economy.
    So employers went to giving yearly raises of 2.5% maximum. This occurred in the late 1980s. So there was a reduction in useable income each year since then.
    It was also a sneaky way to pull everyone into new tax brackets where government takes more and more of your money for the same amount of real money in inflated dollars.

    Nixon faced bankruptcy in 1970. Vietnam bankrupted the country back then. That is why we started buying more and more retail goods from China and other places.
    That is why inflation rose to 12-14%.
    Now we are paying for all of that. In 1970 we devalued our debt by freeing the dollar from gold and sending the value of our dollars down to approximately $600 ounce of gold. We regained $300 of that value when Russia went bankrupt in the early 90s. It was an illusion.
    Shortly after our country went through 9/11 gold started increasing in value in relationship to our dollar. We had another devaluation in the form of inflation.
    In the meantime we have lost almost half our wage value and a lot of our industry.
    The results are that discretionary income has disappeared, jobs have gone abroad, and the economy is down the tubes.
    Those in charge have made blunders. Huge blunders. One of those blunders has been to save money on programs here and spend huge sums abroad. We need to reverse this trend immediately or Michael is right. It may at this point in time to late to change what will come.
    The people in charge obviously did not see this coming.
    What is likely to happen is no one will come out of this with a financially whole skin.

    • Christine Cervenka

      They saw it coming. This is their plan.

    • Take The Red Pill

      Don’t forget how Pres. Johnson removed all the silver from our coinage in 1964, and how he also started his “Great Society” social welfare programs at about the same time.
      He knew he couldn’t have his “War on Poverty” social welfare spending, the Space Program, and expand the VietNam War at the same time without a fiat currency.

  • Robert Happek

    The closing of stores is actually good news. There is too much shopping everywhere. The economic future can not be in shopping. Shopping means consumption and consumption means garbage production. That is not good. We need an economy where people produce, improve, conserve – the opposite of garbage production. There is plenty of work to do in our failing infrastructure. We need more new ideas in which direction we want to move. The old models are history. They are obsolete.

    • Drud

      Totally agree, Robert. Our current model is obsolete, wasteful and unsustainable even in the relatively short term. We need a new society, and in truth, we will get one. Twenty years from now we will have a new, better, simpler and more sustainable way of doing things, we will have more liberty, less consumerism and less waste. This will not happen because our society will, at some point in the future, suddenly become more intelligent and forward thinking, it will happen because of simple necessity. Our society is like a late-stage drug addict, we will eventually recover, but first we must hit rock bottom. That is the scary part, because bottom is a long way down for all of us.

      • Priszilla

        People won’t change. They will die.

        It’s like evolution. The old die, those who fit the system survive. (Fit as in lock and key, not as in track and field)

    • piccadillybabe

      True most people have stuff up the kazoo but a sense of belonging is sorely missing in people’s lives.

  • vinmakare

    The void between the official rhetoric on the recovery and
    the grass root reality is so huge that people do not trust any more on their own observations, sound judgement and reality perception. It is living in an Orwellian 2014, where daily chocolate rations increase from 30g to 20g.

  • Mondobeyondo

    The first impluse is to say, “What the heck is going on?”

    Sears was founded in 1886. That company has survived a huge depression in the 1930’s, not to mention a couple of world wars and stuff. This company has been through some serious hardships. And they’re having problems NOW? How is that possible?

    That’s for you to figure out. I hope you can – because I for one, am having a very hard time getting itl

    • Bill

      Perhaps it has taken a hundred years for those who created the evil monster called the federal reserve to bring their plan of destruction to a conclusion.

    • k

      Supply chain!….walmart and some of the others have locked up the supply of cheaper chinese goods and are able to sell them cheaper to americans.

    • JustMyOpinion

      I wonder how many with college degrees were running Sears in the 1930s? How many with college degrees are running Sears now?

      Older, uneducated Americans knew that customer service and customer relationships were the only thing that mattered. Now, with college degrees, many people just follow what the book told them to do, even if the book told them that customer service wasn’t a priority. I would hire the right people without college degrees any day of the week and train them. If someone came in with a degree, I would likely pass on hiring them. I need real world knowledge that one gets from actually living life. A great example of what I mean is that movie about Google called “Internship.” It was the 2 guys without college that knew what needed to be done. Just like the movie “Larry Crowne” showed, the one without the college degree was the best worker. If many employers would stop being so narrow minded by insisting on only hiring college grads, they just might find the talent they need to stay in business.

      • DJohn1

        Emperical knowledge wins every time. Peter Townsend wrote a book in the 90s called Up the Corporation, Down the People or something like that. The rules are simple enough.
        Make an innovation then get out before it comes back to haunt you. You have to move out of your position within 5 years to succeed.
        The main supporter of the college system is the U.S. Military. It is a rule that you cannot become an officer without a college degree.
        Then along came Gen. LeMay. He started a third class of people called Warrant Officers. This was a combination of experience and education. Warrant Officers generally had authority up and to the Base Commander and reported directly to said Commander. It was the equivalent on a base to that of a Major or better. It was deliberately kept vague so the base commander could back his warrant class officers up when there was any conflict between fresh officers and the older NCOs.
        There is a glass ceiling here and if you do not have the proper educational background then that is as far as you can go.
        I maintain in business everyone needs to start at the bottom and work their way up to management positions. In reality many of these people are sons and daughters of college educated bums in positions of authority with no real experience over people in the real world that do know how things work.

        • Priszilla

          That’s where your money goes. All officers are financed from taxpayers money without producing anything.

          All that money is pure consumption.

        • JustMyOpinion

          Just like in the movie “Men of Honor” the college kid that had no diving experience wrote the rules on diving. Does that make sense? I would much prefer someone that has actually done the diving to instruct me on how to dive.

          I agree. Everyone starts at the bottom and works their way up through every position. College should not have any weight in job placement.

      • Take The Red Pill

        Don’t forget that now you have the Imperial Federal Government and it’s invasive, dictatorial bureaucrats interfering with every aspect of running a business. For example:
        — Affirmative Action quotas in hiring and promotions
        — over-restrictive environmental regulations that reduce productivity
        — onerous, overreaching governmental ‘red tape’ programs REQUIRED by ‘big government’ which produce nothing but paperwork for government paper-pushers
        These examples are just a FEW of the many ways that government (state as well as federal) interferes with businesses.

    • Yasha7

      I do wonder if “made in China” has had anything to do with it.

    • FirstGarden

      Mondo-man, Sears was the #1 retailer for FIFTY YEARS. That changed in the 90’s, when the world’s largest thrift store – K-Mart – took em out.

      Water has a way of flowing to the lowest point. For one, manufacturing markets.
      I like to see “Made in USA.” But when it comes out of Detroit, I surely don’t have the same confidence as I did in the 50s, 60s & 70s. When I started buying Toys from Yoda, my luck changed drastically as my cars were no longer F.O.R.D.s (found on roadside dead.)

      But here’s my point. Japan has been in trouble too, and for a long time. With the rise of NIC’s (newly industrialized countries), the labor got cheaper, and the water found a lower level to flow.

      On it went to South Korea, Mexico, China..
      You get the picture. Meanwhile, folks in the previous countries are still, more or less, on a higher standard of living, as their living-to-cost ratios go up & up & up.

      And corporate greed cannot resist the dangling bobbles of lower labor costs and higher profits to show shareholders.

      Anyway, I don’t give this scenario as the WHOLE reason for what we see. There are several factors. Maybe “it Nature’s way of telling us something’s wrong.”

    • Orange Jean

      In five words:
      Now their stuff is crap!

      • sharonsj

        I agree 100%. Why spend money on stuff that will fall apart or not work in six months? Most of us can’t afford to keep buying replacements–replacing Chinese crap with more Chinese crap (and that’s why thrift shops are doing so well).

  • Guthrie

    Live frugally, it’s your best tool for survival.

  • DJohn1

    I have seen the corporate side making decisions that I know are just plain wrong. People working in the stores just shake their heads. These people in corporate management do not seem to have a good handle concerning things that should be done and those that are done.
    For example, taking a lot of minor products out of a grocery store because they do not make big profits. The reason those items are there is to bring people into the store. The first line of business is to get someone to come into the store.
    Deliberately keeping your merchandise 20-30 cents higher than the competition. Eventually you get a reputation of being too high and people quite coming back.
    Not minding after the little things. For instance in grocery business, a lot of people cannot walk. So they use the electric carts. But if business doesn’t take care of the carts then there are no carts to be had. It is not something they have to do, right? Well a good 10 and possibly 15% of the business coming into the store is handicapped in one way or another. If you have no carts for them, then they go somewhere else.
    A lot of the department stores mentioned are no longer in the competition price wise. Some of these department stores need to close their doors.
    Sears used to be the best appliance place around. Then they closed all their parts warehouses in our town so you had to go somewhere else to repair them. I was looking at Window AC units last year. There was a real sticker shock at what they stores in the area were charging vs. what the same item goes for online.
    Now the only Sears worth going to look at is mostly the Outlet Stores that are not part of the Sears corporation.
    One store quit giving people the right to return things after Christmas. Naturally everyone went somewhere else after that happened.
    The main retail problem is that people are having to watch their money a lot closer today than they ever have in the past. There is a real nasty competition out there and the weak are going under fast.

    • JustMyOpinion

      “I have seen the corporate side making decisions that I know are just plain wrong.”

      What?!?! Those college degrees don’t make them smarter and better than everyone else?

      • Take The Red Pill

        They LIKE to think so!

        Then Reality bites them…hard!
        (And I speak as someone with an Associates Degree in Mechanical Technology — but even I knew then that ‘book learning’ was different from ‘real world’ knowledge and experience!)

  • Mondobeyondo

    I’m not sure if it’s the natural progression of things, or other stuff such as.

    But anyways…
    In 1977 ,December 25th, 1977, to be exact – I got a Christmas present, courtesy of Santa Claus. It was an electronics kit from Radio Shack. Apparently, Dasher and Dancer didn’t have the time to rip off that sales tag from the receipt.They were making a mad dash towards Moscow. So I don’t blame the reindeer at all.

    I loved that little kit. It was so cool.

  • bobcat

    It would be interesting to see the EMRATIO graph extending back to 1980.

    To hear the mainstream media tell it, happy days are here again, what, with the “strong” jobs report and all.

    • JustMyOpinion

      I have heard the “happy days are here again” garbage too. If the happy days are here, why did the Golden Gate Bridge set a milestone for suicides in 2013?

  • Realityvstruth

    Maybe…just maybe….people have figured out that they don’t NEED the crap these stores sell? Now you’re complaining about smarter consumers?!

    • k

      Another good point. In addition to the ‘not being able to buy’ situation faced by many people, there is also a ‘nothing worth buying’ situation too.

      Almost every stuff right from TV,PC’s, clothes, are no longer getting better or have lost their creativity,when it comes to newer varieties among them. In the last decade TV’s have gone from being like a box to becoming completely flat and able to be hung on a wall. Thats a huge difference that motivated people to sometimes even sell off their nicely functioning box TV’s too. Similar with PC’s which have lost their appeal after tablets, smartphones entered. And these too are losing their appeal due to mostly being the same since the last couple of years. Same with clothes, which havent changed in design or form since a decade. Even cars, which havent changed much except probably a touchscreen in some of them.

      Even retail food..where innovation that hapened mostly in the last century, has come to a halt.

    • JustMyOpinion

      Perhaps consumers prefer to buy “100% Made in the USA.” If they can’t find that, they don’t buy.

      • Yasha7

        I very much prefer that option. The ironic thing is that many, many American-made items are easily triple the price. Seems we’re stuck either way. But I’d rather postpone immediate gratification and save to buy American-made if at all possible.

        • JustMyOpinion

          I agree.

          How many times have we heard about toxic items from China being sold to Americans? That alone makes me prefer to save up for the “Made in the USA” items.

  • Marco

    Is it necessarily that bad though that all of these mega chain stores are closing down? They pay their employees poorly while they get rich, at the same time they don’t contribute their share to tax revenue. Plus all the capital gains and dividends from stocks in these companies sit in bank accounts where they don’t benefit anyone except the wealthy.

    I would rather these places shut down and us start supporting local small businesses. At least that way we know the money stays in our community.

  • Mondobeyondo

    For those of you who still think the American legacy retailers (Sears, JCPenney, etc). still rule the roost….
    You my friend, are in for a rude awakening.
    Bye bye, miss American Pie.

  • j christensen

    get out of the big cities. I live in a small city not near a big one. we never had a big run-up in ’02-’07 and so didn’t have a big crash. cost of living is way lower than where my 2 brothers live in/near 2 different large metro areas. I live as well or better than 10years ago while they struggle to maintain the same lifestyle.

  • Mondobeyondo

    A local example:

    There is a Radio Shack at a strip mall, 40 minutes walking distance from my house.

    They sell cellphone related stuff, just like Walmart, about a 15 miinute walk away.

    Radio Shack had a niche market. They lost it.
    Now, they are like every other retailer. That means – death.
    Make a name for yourself. Or die.
    Sorry to be so harsh…

    • FirstGarden

      Have you been in a Radio Shack lately? I have. Remember the ghost of Christmas past?

  • Rubicon

    A brand new grocery store, Fresh Grocers, in my area is 9 months behind on its rent. It owes $775, 000. Store hours went from a 24 hours to a 7 am – 10 pm. Recently, they stopped stocking some of the shelves. I have never witnessed anything like it. It seemed like a perfect location with a built in customer base because there are no other grocery stores within 5 miles of it and it has a gym attached to it. It’s really sad to see it go. The area will lose jobs and a source of good produce.

    • k

      Maybe it bought expensive real estate….that must be affecting its profits.

  • TR

    Please repeat after me.
    No Jobs,No Consumers. No Consumers, No Businesses. No Businesses, No Jobs.

    • k

      Well said!!

    • cleve_blakemore

      It’s just that simple. People nowadays have trouble drawing conclusions that would’ve caused our forebears to hold children back a grade for displaying such ignorance.

      No middle class, no middle class economy. That’s all there is to it.

    • mama

      The Jobs and the Consumers are now elsewhere 🙁

  • chilller

    Kmart closed at least 16 stores in February.
    An article today says the Japanese economy is sinking again even after they raised taxes hoping it would spur consumer buying…say WHAT?!?…no wonder they are in trouble…basic math eludes them…

    • k

      It was not meant to spur consumer buying.

      It was a consumption tax. The name of tax itself was that.

  • JailBanksters

    Sure the retail might be having a downturn but….
    On the bright side, Banks are having a great time and the GDP is going to the moon. Proving you don’t have to have High Manufacturing, Low Unemployment to have a high GDP.

  • rentslave

    Harness racing is not retail,but wagering per race has been down six per cent this year,probably an indication of more money being spent on snow blowers,shovels,and rock salt.

  • UNEMPLOYMENT IS A MYTH: There has never been any such thing as unemployment in the history of the earth that is not man created, and therefore it can always be eliminated by man. There is always a finite number people of people and an infinite number of jobs to fill. Labor is limited, but the work to be done is always unlimited. Money is also unlimited for it is just a medium of exchange and can be increased at will.

    The problem is, special interests of all sorts, for selfish reasons, conspire to act in such a way that they put barriers in the way between workers and the work to be done, and to facilitate this they manipulate the supply and distribution of money in order to create unemployment, which hurts everyone but enriches and empowers these powerful persons and interests. This is all contrary to the national interest and too the interests of God and mankind generally.

    The Fix is to take power from these dog in the manger types of persons and interests and return the power to God, the People, and the Nation.

    George Washington, the father of our Country said, “There is no interest but the National Interest.

    We take back the power that these hateful persons and interests have taken from us, by organizing at the Precinct level all across the nation, and by multiplying our families and children in service to God and Country. We win with Pregnancies and Precincts working in tandem to increase our power. It start here and it starts now. Search “FounderChurch”

    • Priszilla

      Yes, you just need to feed those people who plant trees, so that the soil doesn’t get blown away, or washed away by the rain.

      If you pay them, there will be people who plant those trees, and create those hedgerows, and farmers who cut down the hedgerows to get an increase of production for a year, and then an increase of pests, because pest eaters don’t nest in the hedge anymore.

      And then the farmer needs to spend all the savings and extra income on pesticides. And still the soil gets blown away. All over the country. And the rivers silt up, and there will be more flooding downstream killing all that surplus for those farmers.

      In UK, the farmers were exempt from flood prevention measures to make an extra buck, and now they are all under water, screaming for taxpayers money to bail them out.

      • You are right on what you talk about here, but you could profit by reading all FC posts with an open mind, and Search “FounderChurch” and read everything by FC.. Then let me know what you think of it all.. You can’t cherry pick HEALTH.

        ALL Health is a package. You can’t favor this healthy thing, then choke up on something else that is also healthy, Otherwise you defeat yourself, and lose all credibility. Many want to pick and choose what healthy thing they favor, but that doesn’t work.

        • Priszilla

          Well, let’s see, what would I, as a gay man, think of FounderChurch?

  • JustanOguy

    There is not one national chain listed that I can’t live without.

    Heck… looking at the list I only see maybe 3 that I’ve spent a $ in in the past 5 years, only 2 that I’ve spent a $ in for the past year.

    Not so much because of monetary reasons, it’s more because of choice.

  • A lot of this is from a quickening but gradual shift toward online commerce. More people are shopping from home and only going to the store once in a while, maybe hitting some discount stores such as Big Lots, Dollar Tree and Goodwill when doing so.

  • tom

    The consumer is tapped out. All I hear from the politicians and other “talking heads” is that consumers need money in their pockets/wallets/etc so they can SPEND. I don’t hear them saying anything regarding SAVING. People aren’t saving towards retirement or even for a rainy day. That is future spending down the line. Without that how do we as a nation move forward? We can’t if it’ all spent

    • El Pollo de Oro

      Another thing that will cause many Americans to either delay retirement or not retire at all are the low interest rates. IRAs have been taking a serious pounding thanks to interest rates being at an all-time low.

      Audit the Federal Reserve!

      • Gay Veteran

        abolish the Federal Reserve!

      • JustMyOpinion

        How long until they just take the IRAs and 401Ks?

        • El Pollo de Oro

          JustMyOpinion: When the too-big-to-fails run into big trouble again (which inevitably, they will), that’s when we’re likely to see a bail-in a la Cyprus. And IRAs are one of the things the banksters are likely to go after. When that happens, all hell is going to break loose.

  • voice in the wilderness

    Economic collapse is only the leading edge of God’s plan to wreck this wrecked system of human rule.The collapse of the whole house of cards was foretold a long time ago in the book of. revelation.It cannot be stopped for His Kingdom in the hands of Christ Jesus will completely overthrow all human government and establish a world where economic prosperity will explode and obedient mankind will thrive beyond it’s wildest dreams.
    Don’t put your trust in human rulers as Psalms 146:3 admonishes us but happy is the man who puts his trust in ,Jehovah. Anyone with a brain should see that men in power are running the bus over the cliff and they are now putting their foot on the accelerator to the floor!

    • Gerroz Gsj

      Seriously. Go to church with that crap and let rational people discuss

    • Take The Red Pill

      Arab proverb — “Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel.”

      (BTW, I’m not muslim.)

      • FirstGarden

        “May a thousand camels lay at your feet, Sayeed.”

        – Arab blessing

  • Ben

    Shutting down coal-fired generating facilities. Won’t allow the Keystone XL pipeline to go forward. Harassing the citizens with “gun control.” Encouraging everyone (even putting up billboards in Spanish) to get their food stamps and Obama phone. Does that sound like a government that wants to put its people back to work?

    Bottom line: We have a very corrupt and evil government.

    • JustMyOpinion

      I have read quite a few employment forums where people have noted that they were denied employment because they are not bilingual. Schools in the USA did not teach students to be bilingual. So, now middle-aged and older people are expected to become bilingual if they want a job to support themselves. Iagree that the actions point to not wanting to put any American back to work. For decades I have heard immigrants say that even poor Americans had too much and had it too good. So, I guess the objective has been to make Americans live as others do in other countries.

      • piccadillybabe

        When people on the state dole have more than people that work, you know something is just not right.

    • sharonsj

      Coal-fired generators add to our toxic pollution; if they don’t want to upgrade they shut themselves down. The Keystone pipeline will not make us energy independent (the owners said the refined oil will be sold to China and India) and it will only create a few thousand temporary jobs. More people are on food stamps because they can’t find work. There is no such thing as a free Obama phone. You are one of the reasons Americans have no idea what’s really going on.

  • gerry d welder

    Now add this:
    What is Boehner and his, SOON TO BE BOOTED, RINOs (and ALL the democrats) going to do with all the jobless, very angry and broke US citizens that have been replaced by illegal invaders?

    The companies on the list below are already letting go US workers, check the ‘Daily Job Cuts’ website.

    ‘Immigration’ is about Obamacare:

    If you’re a US citizen woman, student or a working black, or gay or white or Asian or Latino ‘US CITIZEN’, any US citizen, you’d better read this:

    Who are the CEO’s that want illegal invaders to take US citizen’s jobs, look for yourself below.

    Google: Obamacare Loophole Provides Incentive For Employers To Hire Illegal Aliens Over US Citizens.

    Google: Companies lay off thousands, lobby for millions more immigrant workers.

    This is why big corporations and Zuckerfacebook are lobbying so hard for ‘immigration’.

    The letter is available online and the names of the companies, their traitorous corporate CEO’s are lobbying for ‘illegal invasion to take your job’:


    Google: Cheesecake Factory, Hallmark, Disney, and Others Now Pushing … Sep 12, 2013


    Look what your company’s CEO intends to do to your job.

    Contact them, boycott them WHEN YOU CAN, share this list.

    Show this list to your buyers and purchasing dept.

    Show this list to your co-workers going out for lunch.

    Put this list on your bulletin board at school and work.

    … The participating companies mentioned in this article, must be put on notice for their treasonous intentions.

    Illegal ‘immigration’ is also about Obamacare.

    Elections 2014, throw out the progressives; RINOs and ‘all’ democrats:

    Si, se puede? Un ciudadano de EE.UU.? NADA para ti

    • JustMyOpinion

      Legal and illegal immigration have nothing to do with race or heritage. Immigration has everything to do with supply and demand. All immigration should be suspended until no American is unemployed or underemployed. Didn’t the Swiss just vote to suspend immigration? We have more workers than we do jobs and that is why working conditions, wages, and benefits have gotten so bad. The more workers that come to the USA, the worse the working conditions will get. Afterall, if one worker complains about the hours or treatment, there are 500,000 more people waiting to fill that job. Almost 1/3 of the USA sits unemployed, yet the USA keeps bringing in more workers while businesses reduce the number of jobs with layoffs and closures. Does that make sense? Why would the USA keep bringing workers in when there is not enough work for the people already in the USA?

      • gerry d welder

        Here’s part of the the bigger picture:

        “The far-reaching fate for a captive new human society is not being planned in Washington, D.C., but in New York City.

        That fate is no longer somewhere off in the distant future but is being made ready to eclipse all of human society—by the end of 2015.

        The sovereignty of all nations will be swallowed whole in the United Nations ‘Post-2015 Development Agenda’, and that’s only the nightmarish beginning of the coming new life on Planet Earth.”

        Google: UN’s ‘Post-2015 Development Agenda’


        Meanwhile, all nations who care about their people should stop funding the UN. It is impossible to take over the world without money.

    • Take The Red Pill

      “…What is Boehner and his, SOON TO BE BOOTED, RINOs (and ALL the democrats) going to do with all the jobless, very angry and broke US citizens that have been replaced by illegal invaders?”

      Why do you think that the federal government has been buying so much ammunition for the last few years, that there is a shortage?
      And that Democrats are steadily trying to erode or eliminate our Second Amendment rights, all in the name of ‘security’?

      Remember — tyrants not only will find ways to justify their tyranny, they also prefer UNARMED subjects over armed citizens.

      • FirstGarden

        When the tax coffers are low, all hell breaks loose.

  • gerry d welder

    Here is the track record of a few of the companies who signed the letter.

    29,000 laid off 2012 by Hewlett-Packard
    12,000 laid off over 3 years by Cisco Systems
    3,000 to be laid off this year by United Technologies
    5,400 to be laid off this year by American Express
    5,700 laid off in 2012 by Procter & Gamble
    2,250 laid off in 2012 by T-Mobile
    What letter?

    • FirstGarden

      “It’s a hard rain gonna fall.”
      – Dylan

  • HWK Schonhaar

    I’ve seen several “down turns” over the years but never where major retailers had to close hundreds of stores. I’m up here in Canada and we were supposedly spared the worst of the recession of 2007/08. However, Target (who came up here last year) is losing billions! Best Buy and the Source are in trouble. The dollar stores are just fine, however!

    • JustMyOpinion

      Dollar Stores are building new stores and hiring in several places in the USA. Dollar Stores are all many Americans can afford anymore.

      • Priszilla

        Dollar stores can only sell what they buy for nothing from bankrupt retailers. It won’t last for long. Nobody can produce for that money. And Chinese won’t work for that money anymore.

        People need to consolidate their household and get rid of all interest payments, and don’t waste any more money on “financial investments” like black jack, poker or derivatives.

        If you still live with mom and dad, save your money. Don’t spend it on booze or drugs or cigarettes. Do the household for your parents, learn cooking, write down all expenses in a household ledger. And review your spending every month.

        Use your time in the bus or train to learn a new language, listen to podcasts (which can be downloaded free of charge).

        At home, grow something. Like plants. Seeds from fruits and veggies. Experiment. Use the plants as gifts for friends and family.

        We gave away some trees that became too big for the balcony, mango, avocado, citrus. Cherry seeds need three months cold. Put them into the fridge, if you don’t have a proper winter in your area, but don’t let them dry out.

  • Karen

    As K said its debit, young people too are in huge debit. I know young folks around here 25 years old in huge debit, a mortgage Leander told my daughter many young people have debit problems when they apply for a mortgage. I look around where I live and wonder how people can afford all these nice cars, debit. Before I retired I had a very good paying job and could not afford what I see people drive, I to got myself out of debit, it is well worth it to be free of credit cards and car payments.

  • Joe Kleinkamp

    After years of binging on cheap imported goods people’s closets, garages, attics, basements, garden sheds and spare rooms are crammed so full of stuff that there is no more room to put additional purchases.

    • BlueCheeseSquirrel

      At least we’ll have lots of stuff to barter with our neighbors after the monetary system breaks down.

  • retired 22

    Why don’t you add in the millions of new public sector jobs created by the Obama Regime since 2009.For the most part useless jobs which add little or nothing to the real economy.These new government jobs kept the employment numbers up when the productive private sector went down.All of these high paid government jobs turned the Washington DC area into a prosperous little country of it’s own within the larger national economy.A national economy,outside of Washington, which has been in full decline for at least 7 years!
    There are statistic that estimate as high as 25 million people are employed by Federal,State,& local governments across America,as well as, other local authorities of one sort or another (Water,Power,Highways & on,on & on!)
    As bad as our economic picture looks now,what will it look like if 25%/35% of these government workers lose their jobs when the general economy takes goes down for the count?

    • JustMyOpinion

      There is a mall in Cincinnati that has 1 store open in it. Everything is closed except that one store. I see more and more hungry and homeless people. It seems like these malls could at least be used to give the homeless a place to stay. Perhaps the homeless and other Americans could be trained for new careers in these empty malls. It seems like a better solution than just having an entire huge property sitting vacant.

      • Priszilla

        What kind of career, for example?

        I like the idea of a “Forest Garden”.

        I have seen something like that in Bali, Indonesia. They had trees and veggies and roots on the same plot. No monoculture. The coconut palm was the tallest tree on their plot. Underneath some smaller trees and bushes, and on the ground veggies and roots. In between of them all, chicken and dogs and kids.

        I met three friends there. One was Hindu, the other Muslim, the third Christian. But all of them, first thing in the morning, they gave offerings to their local Bali Island gods.
        When it was raining and I seemed lost, a man invited me into his home and offered me tea and cookies. We talked and he told me he was the local muslim teacher.

        I am very fond of the Balinese.

        • JustMyOpinion

          Any career. Most humans just need job training.

        • BlueCheeseSquirrel

          You should check out Permaculture, Food Forests, and Biodynamics. Research Sepp Holzer, Geoff Lawton, and Mosanobu Fukuoka. There is a great documentary called, “One Man, One Cow, One Planet”

    • madams12

      Say what??? you are incorrect….Obama has let ‘attrition’ and massive retirements in various agencies dominate…there hasn’t been any massive Federal hiring program…in years. It isn’t the puny clerk jobs as GS3,4,5 etc that has enriched the DC/Virginia area…thank you very much…rather its been the vast numbers of unregulated PRIVATE CONTRACTORS getting fat off tax money since…..2002 forward…chiefly on military industrial complex. Its the NSA, for example that went from a small townhouse to a vast urban complex with a $11Billion budget over a few decades.

  • Jodi

    The mall near by me here in Utah has two closed department stores one has been closed for nearly 10 years and the other two years. They are on opposite ends of the mall and near the areas where those two department stores existed the stores near by have closed down too. It’s dark, dingy and depressing on the two opposite sides of the mall. I keep hoping that at least one of those stores will be filled but I believe it will never happen. There just isn’t enough people to support these types of stores anymore. Sad.

    • madams12

      why would anyone “prefer” shopping at a MALL…gas, time, effort, when comparative shopping online saves us from the tedium…besides who has time to meander around a huge concrete mall…all that retail glitz sucking air/conditioning or heating when you could shop from the comfort of your own home internet?


    As a employee of Staples, number three is a little misleading, yes stores are being closed, this due to 2013 we have been “reinvention”, top line revenue is still positive. Online sales have increased as mor people purchase online. The number of SKUs on line have increased from 100k to 500k this year. The. North American Delivery business is larger than Retail and has had growth in Lines of business (furniture/facilities/print-promo/ and IT. In fact contract furniture had a 10% growth year over year in 2013.

    In 25 years Staples has never had a down growth year. Closing unprofitable stores due to a changing business model is not a indication of a withdrawal due to economics. True we have not meet ROI targets of 10% for Wall Street, but we did have a 4+% top line growth this year.

  • brandnicol25

    We wouldn’t have this problem if we would open one store in a town…..Walmart has 2 stores in one town. Payless, Mcdonalds, Burgerkings, Hotels, everyone is guilty they think oh its a hit we can’t keep up with demand we need to build another one, not realizing everything is new and when it gets old it will stop. This is the companies own fault I use to shop at Payless haven’t been their in 10 plus years. Anyone remember tcby yogurt. Loved it isn’t around my area and hasn’t been for years. Now yogurt is coming back and their is Orange Leaf and some other ones. We just wear are selves out. Economy probably isn’t getting better fast but why do you need multiple stores in the same town. You are competing with yourself.

  • Citizen Quasar

    We are in a depression.

    • FirstGarden


  • DJohn1

    i predict that when people get their tax returns this year it will all come falling down. The normal tax return is gone.
    The Congress in its infinite stupidity did not renew the tax breaks of the Bush administration.
    For the entire time that Obama has been in office he has been refusing to give Social Security a decent raise to go with the inflation of prices we are dealing with. People still vote for him so why should he?
    That is two strikes against the government.
    Obamacare is the third. It will take more money out of pocket for the average person and it will cause people to think twice before spending anything except necessities. Strike three and you are out(literally) at the next election opportunity.
    I expect a lot of fraud in the next election by members of the Congress up for re-election.

    Bring on the circus.

    • Gay Veteran

      Bush’s tax cuts and his war of aggression against Iraq help bankrupt this nation. And Obama is no better.

  • grumpyhillbilly

    Isn’t it ironic that Walmart enriched itself by importing cheap products from China to sell to the Americans they eventually unemployed?

    • madams12

      Wasn’t import/export issue and increasing business with China which started under Nixon/Kissinger part of the “plan” to shift the PRC to a capitalist economic system…greed got the best of them since they never gave a darn for American workers rights, unions, fair wages, equal employment opportunities….in fact folks like the KOCH brothers spent waaay too much time blaming all those sorts of BENEFITS on ‘commies’….and then Clinton’s ‘genius’ NAFTA just kicked it all over the cliff..only progressives were warning what would come of transferring work OUT of the country….it was as predictable as the sun coming up in the east tomorrow.

    • Priszilla

      That’s capitalism. They couldn’t have done it any other way.

      Just like Napoleon underestimated the size of Russia, the West underestimated China.

      China is producing things for 1,300 million Chinese. So they can add something more for 300 million Americans and 500 million Europeans. Only need to double their production. With growth of 8% per year, you double production every 10 years.

      In the last 20 years they created about 5-8 million jobs every year.

      And they cut population growth by very rigid measures. Preventing the birth of 300-500 million babies.

      At the same time they continued to make babies in America, but exported all the jobs. Now there are potential consumers but no income earners.

      Savings and loans will find their way into the pockets of walmart’s owners, and from there to the Cayman Islands.

      At the same time they complain that immigrants send money home to their family and not spending it at walmart.

  • Robert Govan

    All the fracking billions will keep the game going for a while longer……

    • madams12

      Until….we run out of WATER….out west we’ve been experiencing harsh droughts for years yet the Guvmint keeps pushing “tracking” which uses enormous quantities of limited groundwater….with summer heat expect more forest fires, which put more carbon into the atmosphere…which adds to the already overloaded system aloft. WHY do they insist on more Fracking?….and then tell EU (Europe) that they can impose sanctions on Russia to cut their own supplies of gas/oil substituted with “ours”…? what are they smoking in DC??

  • Kim

    It’s just too wet to shop here in the northwest. Soon, it’ll be too sunny to shop.

  • smart idiot

    I know as well as the next guy it’s all degenerating and collapsing in on it’s own stupidity, especially with degenerates calling all the shots now, but store closures aren’t an effective way to show a declining economy these days. People do there shopping online more and more. I do. I know a guy that buys everything through amazon, even his toilet paper. He can’t buy food obviously, but notice how none of the store closures are food stores. Target has chosen to run skeleton crews which lowers morale and quality of service. The big shots are getting large enough bonuses. The Target near me just did a major overhaul to the whole inside that I’m sure cost a fortune, but hey, they can afford to if they get rid of some of the useless eaters.

  • JAH666

    Hello, All
    I don’t comment here much anymore, but I still read Michaels’ articles, mostly to see if more people are “getting it”. There’s a lot that we can all do to prepare, and frequenting this site is one of them. I know this is off-topic but it all ties in. A recent piece by Mark StCyr called: Why It Feels Different This Time, prompted me to comment. The message of the article is good, if poorly written, and has prompted some powerful comments on Zero Hedge (which is where I found it). The gist is simple, “Does seeing the truth of what is going on make a person feel that they are the only sane person left in the asylum?” We must tell ourselves EVERY DAY that we are not crazy, that plenty of others ‘get it’ and we can’t stop trying to awaken others, no matter how much it hurts them when they wake up and face that blinding realization.
    Good luck to you all…

    • JAH666

      Okay, here’s something on-topic:
      Sbarro filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy today, which just happens to be the company’s second in three years after it did the same in April 2011. The filing itself, which lists assets and liabilities between $100 and $500 million, is not surprising following on the heels of the announcement last month, when Sbarro said it would close 155 of 400 North American restaurants to cut costs. The reasons for the Chapter 11 cited too much debt, declining customer traffic, and the ongoing struggle with high food, labor and occupancy costs.

      • Rubicon

        Add Ashley Stewart(plus size women’s clothing retailer) to the list. They also filed chapter 11 bankruptcy today. They are closing 27 out of 168 stores as a part of the restructuring plan of the filing. Ashley Stewart has assets and liabilities each between $10 million and $50 million.

    • Robert Govan

      Why don’t you join us over here. We have the truth that can set us free. Even if it’s hard at first to see……

  • gregkliebigsr


  • R.A. Brown

    The U.S. will be a third world country within ten years.

    • FirstGarden

      Here is Southern California, it already is. Asians and Hispanics everywhere. Don’t get me wrong.. I like them. They’re just people like you and me. But there’s gigantic bottle of Whiteout down here, and it’s being applied, diligently and systematically, by the political machine.

  • americalsgt

    I read the comments here, and though I agree, why is it that there is no place to park in Casino parking lots? I agree Casinos and slot halls are a tax on stupidity, but that is where the money is going.

    • cinnamongirl

      some folks still act like they have money, even if it’s pretend.

      • FirstGarden

        There’s a certain ring of truth in what you said.

      • k

        Its been going on since millenia.

      • k

        Not the casino parking…but people acting that they have something even if they dont.

    • Ed

      It,s the human’s ability to hope. We have done it all our lives. Hope you’ll get that job, that lover, that Christmas gift, only to be disappointed time, and again. What hope can you have buying a $5.00 T-shirt?

  • Dave

    Is there any good news? Does anybody have a link to some good news they can share?

    • Priszilla

      No link. But I started a new job last week, after more than a year without one.

  • Steven Churchill

    The fat pig politicians from Obama on down are getting very rich.

  • TioDon

    I predicted the demise of K Mart 30 years ago (and I’m in the business)….how has any K Mart stayed open? They’re filthy, the employees are complete imbeciles, the parking lotd are pot holed, their merchandise is pathetic, old and they don’t know the meaning of “merchandising”…..Please put them out of their misery…..yeah, Sears, good idea buying them….

    • FirstGarden

      Whatever do you mean?
      K-Mart is the nicest thrift store anywhere in town. 🙂

      • TioDon

        ok, ok, the one in Dhaka, Bangladesh is not so bad….

        • FirstGarden

          Ha ha ha.

    • Captain Beefheart

      The Kmart in my town is clean with friendly employees. Wal Mart? Looks likew all the customers and employees are inbred and dumb as a rock and the stores are filthy.

  • Brian Griffin

    Middle class? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahhhhahhahhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! That’s funny as hell!

    • xander cross

      There is no such thing as a middle class.

  • william mony

    The lies of recovery being told by the msm and the Obama administration is getting to the point where reality trumps their constant deception. Unfortunately for most Americans it will be too late.

  • CaptainUSA

    Buying Products Made in the USA will correct the Correct economy. People are not buying Communist made Chinese stuff used to spy by the NSA, might be the reason?

  • Priszilla

    Went to three (clothing)retailers today.

    Couldn’t find undershirts, a shirt or pair of shoes I liked.
    The first half of the shop of all three shops were women’s clothing. Then came kids’ clothing, and in the last corner, some shelves for men.

  • none

    GOOD NEWS Micheal:
    I think people have been taking the advice of prepers!
    The are stocking up basics, and paying off all debt.
    Hording gold, and staying away from banks?

  • Priszilla

    When I come home from work, the shops in High Street are closed. At the weekend the bus service to downtown is horrible.

    When I need something, there is practically only online. I can pick up the parcel at the post office on Saturday.

  • FirstGarden

    I envision America sitting in huge circles around campfires at beaches and RV parks all across the nation, holding hands and singing Kumbaya or somethin’.

  • FirstGarden

    This article is especially sensitive to me because I worked in retail for 28 years. Normally, a given market will support 3-4 major players. Then you have a lot of small players going after niche markets or living off the overflow.
    This is in normal times.
    How they survive today is a wonder all by itself.

  • Priszilla

    Maybe your population doesn’t grow fast enough?

    Maybe you should make more children, and shoot and execute less people?

    Then there’d be more customers?
    (Or just more people with no money.)

  • Red Neckerson

    Offer mooch a good all expense paid vacation and she would jump at the chance.

  • FirstGarden

    Hey, I just had a thought. If we could somehow give ALL the politicians a huge haircut across the board on pay and compensation, far fewer would bother to run. Maybe then we’d get some real dedicated folk in office.

    In other words, limit the amount of compensation they can get in salary, runaway benefits, padded retirements, kickbacks, bribes, and bedtime with lobbyists..
    Uhhhhh, never mind. I was dreaming…

    • BlueCheeseSquirrel

      You’re on the right track. If everyone would vote against the incumbent in every election for every office, then maybe the politicreatures would start to understand that the people are fed up with their crap.

  • Houtex77

    I ran into a Staple’s delivery person in the elevator of the building that I work in. I asked her what was going on with Staple’s closing stores. She said that their on-line business was booming. She had had about 70 deliveries so far today, but when she returns to the store, there’s so one in them. That’s sad because the Staples on Richmond Ave. in Houston is massive. I guess all good things will come to an end eventually.

  • joeymegatron

    Don’t worry–the genius economists at MSNBC assure us 2014 will be a booming year for the economy!

    • strangerthanfiction

      Wasn’t is Rachel Mad-dog who said that?

  • Priszilla

    Well, just laugh, college is a joke.

  • AlexxelA

    The future stores will be a computer on the wall in a room with music playing in the background. Stock will be sent too your house or 3D printed at home. No need for sales people, cashiers or buildings. Buy a car on line and it just shows up at your door step. Need shoes? press print! Dinner can all so be 3D printed! Just a matter of protein, fat and engineered spices!

    • Priszilla

      And why would you need a car?

  • oldtoady

    I suspect that the demographics are changing and deaths will out pace births for decades.

  • underaged

    I get the sense that most folks commenting on this blog confuse the rest of the world with their bathroom mirrors. They look out into that vast social universe and expect to see only themselves looking back. They think that everyone has the same experiences and expectations as their own. They consider their own knowledge of human interaction to be equal to the total of what’s important to know about human interaction. This kind of thinking only leads to confusion, pessimism and depression because the world is not, and never will be, just a reflection of you.

    • getreal5

      i think the psych term is called “projecting” and then ‘normalcy bias” takes over because the reality is horrific. It is as if we are about to experience a zombie apocalypse and realizing we are already about 80% the way to losing life as we knew it.

  • Terry Perham

    Many large retailers close stores that are unproductive and open new stores in other areas. Only the closings make news.

  • Gay Veteran

    did they impeach Bush?

    • CharlesH

      Tsk tsk, that’s okay. I understand.

      • Gay Veteran

        no seriously, if they didn’t impeach Bush then they won’t impeach Obama.
        And BOTH deserve it.

        • CharlesH

          I understand what you’re saying. A lot of our presidents have deserved to be impeached – but, unfortunately, it is what it is. I, personally, believe that the current resident is doing everything within his power to undermine and destroy this country from within. Hopefully the Republicans will have control of both Houses after the mid-term elections in November and they “see the light” and impeach the current occupant. It’s just my humble opinion.

          • Gay Veteran

            Republicans and Democrats are 2 sides of the same coin

    • afchief

      For what? Not pushing gay marriage?

      • Gay Veteran

        try war of aggression, murder, torture, etc.

        • afchief

          Again, for what? Bush had UN and Congress approval for the war. What murder? Water boarding did not break any law. Again tell me what Bush did that deserved impeachment.

          • Gay Veteran

            hey Einstein, after WWII we executed some Japanese for waterboarding American troops. Waterboarding is TORTURE which is against U.S. domestic law and international treaty (which we adopted and is thus U.S. law).
            with psychopaths like you no wonder this country is going down the toilet

          • afchief

            NO, it was NOT against the law during the Bush administration. Even special Ops troops used it during their training. More stupid liberal logic!!!

          • Gay Veteran

            gee, guys you know waterboard you while training. Well that’s just like doing it to a prisoner. MORON.

            did you know that Reagan signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture?

            only a psychopath would defend what we did

          • Gay Veteran

            people like you clearly show the moral collapse of this country.

          • afchief

            Moral collapse?!?!?! Are you telling me homosexuality is moral? It is a sickness!!!! Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.

          • Gay Veteran

            hey Einstein, what is TRULY sick is that you STILL defend our war of aggression against Iraq which resulted in the deaths of over a MILLION people.

            now stop parroting bible verses and THINK about that

          • afchief

            War of aggression?!?!? You mean it was aggression to remove a man who killed hundreds of thousands of his people? Who gassed the Kurds with mustard gas? Who was paying $25,000 to any Muslim that would kill a Jew? What an idiot!!!

          • Gay Veteran

            hey psychopath, how many DOZENS of Iraqis are NOW being killed EVERY day?

            you are murderous SICK “person”

          • afchief

            How many babies are being killed everyday by abortion. No use in conversing with people who like to pack fudge. It shows they have NO brains!!!

          • Gay Veteran

            hey junior, you have the blood of Iraqi children on YOUR hands.

            no peace in this world with psychopaths like you around

          • Gay Veteran

            anti-abortion nut cases like YOU care more for a fetus than living breathing people

          • Gay Veteran

            and yet we did nothing to stop the genocide in Rwanda. wonder why?
            NO OIL

          • Gay Veteran

            our war of aggression against Iraq was a war crime, doesn’t matter if Congress approved it.

          • afchief

            Liberal logic = Stupidity

          • Gay Veteran

            you need to get a clue, this is not “liberal” or “conservative”

  • Gay Veteran

    those fracking wells have high rates of depletion

  • Priszilla

    Nice try kiddo, but economy doesn’t work that way.

    You might try open source: everybody contributes what he can and gets what he needs.

    Oh wait, that was communism.

    So open source won’t work either.

    • Moneyless Society

      Actually, many people already do work that way, and many more are beginning to already. The mind evolves and there is significant evidence that our next evolution is a moneyless society where nobody is left out, period. There are several organizations developing communities that will no longer need money once they are well-established, and work will be optional. More time to do what you like. Once people see the quality of life in these communities, some of which will purposefully be oriented as teacher/demonstration communities, it will be quite difficult for them to not want to participate themselves.

      • JustMyOpinion

        I recently read a book written by a woman that said she was weeks away from asking her husband for a divorce after a 20 year marriage. They had a trip planned abroad. While visiting the other country, their marriage was healed and they stayed together. They ended up relocating to the other country and now live happily together. The book said that the majority of their problems were due to the demands of life in the USA. Americans are expected to work all day, and work several jobs too (studies have shown that the USA works more than any other industrialized country). Then, after work, Americans are expected to earn degree after degree to prove their value, and to establish themselves in the “worthy and desirable” class. So, there is no time left for a marriage or children. Yet, we ask ourselves why so many Americans are miserable. We ask ourselves why the divorce rate is so high in the USA. Yet, few seem to want to admit that spending all of our time at work and school leaves no time for family.

        Did you know that Rockefeller took a 10 WEEK course to become a bookkeeper? So, how did we go from needing 10 weeks of training for a good career to needing 4+ years of college to get a career that actually pays the bills? Also, why don’t all jobs pay a living wage like they used to in the USA?

        • butisittrue

          What is the name of this book?

        • butisittrue

          What is the name of this book? Who is the author?

        • Priszilla

          Sometimes you just need to stop and ask yourself what are you working for?

          Would you be better off with a smaller house, but more time to do things?

          Do you really need that car or could you walk to work?

          My new job pays 20% less than the last one, but now I can walk to work, no need to wait for the bus and then pay for it. No need for that car, the insurance, the tax, the MOT, repairs, fuel, parking tickets, fear of vandalism or theft.

          And on the way home I pop into the grocer and do the shopping without wasting time looking for that free parking spot.

          Even though I am walking, I am now earlier home than before. Then, I often had to wait for an hour for the bus. Now I walk 40 minutes.

        • Lester

          Hope you enjoy your life in some 3rd world craphole. I think I like it here in the US better. You don’t need 4 years of college to get a good job. There are thousands of blue collar jobs going begging for lack of people with common sense and a little training. Many morons have bought into the notion that hard work is beneath their dignity.

      • Priszilla

        I tell you what will happen – the government will raise tax on such communities.

        Calculating the benefits you get from such communities, translating that into “money worth” and then charging you tax.

        If you don’t pay, you go to prison, where you work as a slave for some corporation to work your “debt” off.

        And youre children are raised by “proper patriots”.

  • Alleged Comment

    You forgot one thing big Mac.

    For every reaction there is an opposite reaction. For every retailer that went down another indicated increased sales.

    Say like Walmart vs Costco.
    Starbucks vs McDonalds.
    Sears vs Home Depot, etc.

    • onceproudamerican

      But they are not hiring more people to make up for all of the jobs lost and the lost rental income of the shopping centers. Not only that but the vast majority of the jobs lost will not come back. Net-Net a sizable negative impact on the US economy as well as those of the specific localities involved.

  • Guest

    In the year 1850 our ancestors did not know about a mcdonalds or a sears or blockbuster–they farmed their own land, and if they needed supplies they went to a general store–privately owned–and bought supplies from a person they knew by name. Now in today’s america if a sears or wal-mart of j.c. penny goes under everyone sees this as a tragedy. It is in a sense because the stores serve as a sign of the economic hardships we’re facing–yet on the other hand the closing of the stores should wake people up and make them realize that self sufficiency should return along with common sense.
    The Native Americans did not need modern clothing stores and grocery stores and had medicines for their illness until the white man brought over new diseases. The Native Americans did not need t.v., i-pods, smart phones, internet, dams, nuclear power plants, and they lived long, healthy lives. Now, look at america today.GMO’s, processed foods, chem-trails, poison vaccinations–our children can’t even play outside anymore.
    America is the way it is because ‘we the people’ have allowed it. It’s no one’s fault but our own. I take responsibility. Our forefathers fought tyranny–we allow it.

  • mleblanc138

    “Space Available” is quickly becoming America’s hottest new retail store.

  • faustinaagatha

    I live just out the DC beltway, an admittedly skewed population. However, the shopping centers have full parking lots. What do other readers see in their area?

    • getreal5

      It is skewed. You should try going out of your area, on a day trip. you’ll be shocked. Try west about 120 miles and then you’ll know.

      • faustinaagatha

        getreal; What part of the country are you from?

        • getreal5

          Pretty much everywhere.I travel a lot from Alaska down to Texas and i have family spread out through Alabama ,Georgia, Florida and Michigan.Some places are worse than others but in general its bad.

          • faustinaagatha

            Thanks for your reply. I do remember getting off the interstate and driving back roads in rural Ohio. The small towns did not seem to be doing well unless there was a college, etc nearby.

          • getreal5

            One college town i know of is TLU in Seguin,TX. the town is being hard hit in the restaurant businesses shutting down.Used to be for years they were all making good money but that’s what happens when discretionary income get reduced. The only winners in any economy are bars People drink out of misery, or celebration.

  • deciodantas

    Reading the True and Sincere comments I realized a shocking tendency fm the people that really say something. I read somewhere don t remember where but read the lost decades of Japan..and the sentiment there in Japan was Why consumer why society of consuption? In Japan in the 80 s there some yuppies that placed in the pockets americans or europeans, it was a massive society of consume now the sentiment there is I don t need a 50 some LCD TV Screem , i m happy with a small device. So nobody is consuming there and this is a domino effect and are entering at the 3rd decade. Transnational companies outsorced the jobs, government lends money w/o interest, government tries hard to make inflation, no possible…
    And reading the comments here by americans I see a tendency of no consuption, the biggest difference fm that japanese society is that they have tremendous surplus of money, they have debt , but situation in the USA is worrying….

  • oooBooo

    In these 20 facts, a lot of mismanagement, obsolete business models, and poor product is covered. Businesses that rightfully should be suffering even in a good economy.

    • onceproudamerican

      True in many of the individual instances, but as a whole it means all we are hearing are lies about any ‘recovery’… All that empty retail spaces isn’t likely to be re-leased any time soon if Obamacare is allowed to exist and if the raise the minimum wage. Much of that retail space still has notes to be paid whether it is leased or not. .Neither political party has even any fantasies about policies that would encourage people/businesses to invest, and create jobs… You would have to be crazy to invest in the US with the government constantly meddling in ways that increase costs. Business is hard enough without having folks who have never been in business making rules as to how you must run your’s!

  • peace angel

    NOT ONLY WILL THIS AFFECT THE PEOPLE WHO WORK IN THESE STORES, BUT one in four people depend on retail stores and sales for their living, like truck drivers and clothing wholesalers, and clothing makers (in China) and many more people depend on each one of these stores for their income. America is the most consumptive nation on earth and we have three times too many malls,retail stores and wal-marts and now that the wal-marts have closed down mom and pop stores in the rural areas they ARE planning to close a bunch of them forcing lots of people to drive long ways to get milk. ALL roads lead to the big cities and the concentration camps.

  • TtT Engine

    Go to any mall at anytime. See how many people are at the payment registers actually buying anything. The Malls are filled with pedestrian traffic and people hanging out, eating and spending nickels and dimes. This is what happens when people’s disposable income is decimated by obese gargantuan government which confiscates our money and we go broke buying food, filling our gas tanks and paying rip-off insurance premiums. White Flint in MD has closed and many U.S. Malls are in bankruptcy. How safe are shopping malls ? Look at the killing in the parking lot of the Short Hills Mall. Maybe the family stores will make a comeback ? Christi Fidelis !

    • faustinaagatha

      I thought White Flint closed to be redeveloped?

  • wally

    I live in San Diego and you do not see anything of what Michael writes in his blog. The gas lamp (mostly bars and restaurants) is packed to the hilt every weekend and Thursdays to boot. Malls here are packed. I just got back from Vegas, yea gambling revenues are down on the strip like 1.5% but it is still packed. Went to the MGM last Friday and it was barely walking room, packed. All of the tables were packed. Mostly young adults.

    Hey look I believe things are bad in other places but I don’t see it here yet. I still have my mid level job. Friends are still getting jobs. Two friends just got $30+ an hour jobs within the last few months. Most people here think things are just fine.

    • k

      What kind of jobs are they getting? I am not questioning what you said, i am really curious.

      • wally

        One was with Novatel as a master planner and the other was with a company that is contracted to do work on Navy ship electronic systems.

        • signalfire1

          San Diego is dripping with DOD money.

  • JD

    Micheal,thanks for your blog. In where I live which has had more of the wealth effecct to sustain the economy it is now grim. Grim as in white people homeless(no offense here others)who in different times would be laborers, carpenters, ect. ect. The “imported” slave labor takes that away.
    Talked with a guy who completely lost everyhing. And was in 7/11 parking lot, just got out of a coma, dumped on the street.
    And amazed it didn’t suprise me.
    I am sure now we are Weimar.

    • faustinaagatha

      What part of the country do you live?

  • dabub

    We’re moving back to the dark ages! Only this time everyone has nuclear weapons! Good luck with that!

  • Michael DC Bowen

    We have a consumer economy funding a lot of crap retail of Americans in the ‘middle class’ who buy a lot of crap with their disposable income. All that’s going on here is that the disposable income is drying up and Americans are going to have to stop buying crap. All the crap stores are going out of business because Americans are stopping being crap consumers. This means that American garages won’t be piled up with crap and can actually be used to park two cars, because nobody’s going to be able to afford three.

    The mall is going away. So what? We will stop buying SUVs and minivans and filling them up with crap from the big crap filled malls. Instead, we’ll shop online and UPS and FedEx will have the large vehicles. It will all be more efficient anyway.

    Same thing with crap junk food. Suddenly, when you have a choice between potatoes and Hot Pockets, you won’t spend crap money on crap food. Same thing with designer clothes, $200 sunglasses, and all those crap products that pretend to be tools, like Swiffer. WTF is a Swiffer but a disposable mop. What? It’s the old razorblade trick and ‘middle class’ Americans are thinking they are getting their kitchen floor “3x cleaner”! Yeah right. Broom. Mop. Duster. Buy once keep for 5 years. Simple. That’s the way the American economy will shrink. People will start to think twice about expensive non-necessary crap and not buy it. The wave of the future is smart, durable goods. No more kitchen remodeling. No more drive mowers. No more craft beer. No more $75 sandals. No more George Foreman grills. No more designer vacuum cleaners. No more disposable income for disposable consumer goods. NO MORE HIPSTERS!

  • cherylmeril

    Because of Amazon that gives free two day shipping with a $79/yr membership to Prime.

    • signalfire1

      And your stuff is delivered a day or two later by a good looking cheerful hunk!

  • JustMyOpinion

    Isn’t it amazing that there is a group of people that think they deserve the whole earth and every other human does not? Why do they think they are better? The only reason many of them sit where they sit is because the game is rigged and always has been.

  • JoeGoldner

    With Sbarros going bankrupt yesterday and both Staples and Radio Shack closing thousands of stores, proves once again the damages that the progressive policies have caused. Obamacare is the main reason and many more businesses will close their doors too in the future unless we start voting out all the democrats and change direction. Today is a good day to start doing just that by making sure Democratic candidate Alex Sink loses today in Florida CD 13 congressional race. VOTE DAVID JOLLY TODAY! SAVE AMERICA! SAVE YOUR JOB! SAVE YOUR CAREER! VOTE DAVID JOLLY TODAY!

  • JK474

    Don’t worry. That new immigration bill that the senate passed and that John Boehner wants to see passed in the house will double legal immigration. American corporations will never have to hire an American citizen again. That should fix things.

  • Sonbeams

    As Hu Jintao said to Barack Obama at the 2011 meeting of the G-20 countries in Cannes, France: “Your economy is living on fumes”.

  • xander cross

    So tell me, who owns these stores again? I give you an hint. They sent the jobs to china and have everything you buy “made in china”.

  • Mondobeyondo

    What on earth is going on?? The main factor, IMHO..

    More people are making their major purchases online. For many people, it’s more convenient to buy a TV or iDevice or Playstation or a pair of jeans on the Internet, and have it shipped to your front door by UPS or FedEx. This doesn’t work as well when you want lettuce or a bagel – it’s not like you can go on Amazon and order a gallon of milk – but even THAT is changing!

    The “legacy” retailers like Sears, KMart, and Radio Shack are becoming relics of a bygone age. They are not there yet, but are rapidly getting there. KMart should get into the buggy whip business. There’s a market for horseshoes, too. Get in touch with the folks at the Kentucky Derby. Maybe they can save you!

  • George Gant

    A four (4) year college degree, especially in Business, Finance and Marketing would have saved you from you from your disaster. LOL. Sorry about that.

  • Roy Mallmann

    I was hoping that Romney would have won add more jobs but the people voted to continue the problem. I thank God every day that I live in Texas as we are pretty well insulated from this. I feel bad for the ones that are not though.

  • Tom

    Most of these 20 ‘facts’ are useless. 1 bn square feet empty? Out of how many bn square feet of us retail? What is history of this metric? Is it trending up, down, sideways? The same basic question can be asked of most of the other points. Isolated data points are useless.

  • getreal5

    The wave of the future will be re-purposing those big malls to have apartments and employment by business within them. The company Rackspace of San Antonio is beginning to do just that with an old big defunct mall.

  • Max

    I didn’t see any information regarding population dynamics. What about the impact of that? Where does that fact that we have lost about 54 million children due to abortion figure in? Not trying to start a debate on morality, but seriously, there is a global decline in population as well…could that not be a factor?

  • Maneb

    Don’t happy. The FED will just create trillions more of US toilet paper aka “money”. Then all will be well.

  • maxx

    My business is solely dependent upon Kohls. It is down about 30% from one year ago, 60% from 2 years ago and down 80% from 5 years ago.

  • justin

    We know that Obama’s policy has really hurt this country. Never again can we ever allow a liberal to be in the office. I have witness too many people going on welfare. Obama will go down as the worst president in the history of US for sure.

  • Hammerstrike

    The Militancy will re-convert these stores into factories.

  • mensa141

    Funny the last two were demoncrats. Johnson has to be high on yoru list for the war on poverty (lost) as well as the Vietnam war (lost also). Jimmy
    Carter did so well as is our current person in office.

  • Ellen

    #19. Yeah, Walmart goes in to rural communities and closes down every independent business in the county. Then complains that they aren’t doing so good (imagine that? they are the only employer now, and don’t pay anyone a living wage…the math ain’t so hard to do) and closes that store, leaving a completely underserved rural area. It’s “just a business decision” for them. But their presence AND their closing has wrecked a particular devastation in many rural areas. Yet another reason to hate Walmart. People in rural areas should fight tooth and nail to NOT have Walmart open in their towns.

  • Wayne Kennedy

    Millions of people continue to stream in as jobs become fewer and outsourced to the countries they came from. In the short term the middle class gets higher rents low vacancies and hundreds of applicants for every “job”.

  • Evan Elliott

    In Salt Lake City st this time, a lot of stuff is going up but I don’t know how much longer it can hold out. In West Jordan where I live, there are 5 or 6 Walmarts within a 5-7 mile radius of my home. Isn’t that a bit ridiculous? We are seeing an orchestrated deconstruction of the U.S. Economy, no doubt about it but part of me dosen’t mind seeing a lot of these store go down.

    Corporations feed off of other corporations. Thats a well known fact for so many obvious reasons. What has really stood out for me over the last decade or so is just the literal homogenization of our country. So hard to turn the corner without finding those quintessential shopping centers that contain usually a walmart, a home depot, a mocdonalds or some other unhealthy food options and the usual other stores.

    There is no uniqueness to our communities. I grew up in Denver in the 1990s and I reside in Salt Lake City as an adult.

Finca Bayano

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