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Major U.S. Retailers Are Closing More Than 6,000 Stores

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Closed - Public DomainIf the U.S. economy really is improving, then why are big U.S. retailers permanently shutting down thousands of stores?  The “retail apocalypse” that I have written about so frequently appears to be accelerating.  As you will see below, major U.S. retailers have announced that they are closing more than 6,000 locations, but economic conditions in this country are still fairly stable.  So if this is happening already, what are things going to look like once the next recession strikes?  For a long time, I have been pointing to 2015 as a major “turning point” for the U.S. economy, and I still feel that way.  And since I started The Economic Collapse Blog at the end of 2009, I have never seen as many indications that we are headed into another major economic downturn as I do right now.  If retailers are closing this many stores already, what are our malls and shopping centers going to look like a few years from now?

The list below comes from information compiled by About.com, but I have only included major retailers that have announced plans to close at least 10 stores.  Most of these closures will take place this year, but in some instances the closures are scheduled to be phased in over a number of years.  As you can see, the number of stores that are being permanently shut down is absolutely staggering…

180 Abercrombie & Fitch (by 2015)

75 Aeropostale (through January 2015)

150 American Eagle Outfitters (through 2017)

223 Barnes & Noble (through 2023)

265 Body Central / Body Shop

66 Bottom Dollar Food

25 Build-A-Bear (through 2015)

32 C. Wonder

21 Cache

120 Chico’s (through 2017)

200 Children’s Place (through 2017)

17 Christopher & Banks

70 Coach (fiscal 2015)

70 Coco’s /Carrows

300 Deb Shops

92 Delia’s

340 Dollar Tree/Family Dollar

39 Einstein Bros. Bagels

50 Express (through 2015)

31 Frederick’s of Hollywood

50 Fresh & Easy Grocey Stores

14 Friendly’s

65 Future Shop (Best Buy Canada)

54 Golf Galaxy (by 2016)

50 Guess (through 2015)

26 Gymboree

40 JCPenney

127 Jones New York Outlet

10 Just Baked

28 Kate Spade Saturday & Jack Spade

14 Macy’s

400 Office Depot/Office Max (by 2016)

63 Pep Boys (“in the coming years”)

100 Pier One (by 2017)

20 Pick ’n Save (by 2017)

1,784 Radio Shack

13 Ruby Tuesday

77 Sears

10 SpartanNash Grocery Stores

55 Staples (2015)

133 Target, Canada (bankruptcy)

31 Tiger Direct

200 Walgreens (by 2017)

10 West Marine

338 Wet Seal

80 Wolverine World Wide (2015 – Stride Rite & Keds)

So why is this happening?

Without a doubt, Internet retailing is taking a huge toll on brick and mortar stores, and this is a trend that is not going to end any time soon.

But as Thad Beversdorf has pointed out, we have also seen a stunning decline in true discretionary consumer spending over the past six months…

What we find is that over the past 6 months we had a tremendous drop in true discretionary consumer spending. Within the overall downtrend we do see a bit of a rally in February but quite ominously that rally failed and the bottom absolutely fell out. Again the importance is it confirms the fundamental theory that consumer spending is showing the initial signs of a severe pull back. A worrying signal to be certain as we would expect this pull back to begin impacting other areas of consumer spending. The reason is that American consumers typically do not voluntarily pull back like that on spending but do so because they have run out of credit. And if credit is running thin it will surely be felt in all spending.

The truth is that middle class U.S. consumers are tapped out.  Most families are just scraping by financially from month to month.  For most Americans, there simply is not a whole lot of extra money left over to go shopping with these days.

In fact, at this point approximately one out of every four Americans spend at least half of their incomes just on rent

More than one in four Americans are spending at least half of their family income on rent – leaving little money left to purchase groceries, buy clothing or put gas in the car, new figures have revealed.

A staggering 11.25 million households consume 50 percent or more of their income on housing and utilities, according to an analysis of Census data by nonprofit firm, Enterprise Community Partners.

And 1.8 million of these households spend at least 70 percent of their paychecks on rent.

The surging cost of rental housing has affected a rising number of families since the Great Recession hit in 2007. Officials define housing costs in excess of 30 percent of income as burdensome.

For decades, the U.S. economy was powered by a free spending middle class that had plenty of discretionary income to throw around.  But now that the middle class is being systematically destroyed, that paradigm is changing.  Americans families simply do not have the same resources that they once did, and that spells big trouble for retailers.

As you read this article, the United States still has more retail space per person than any other nation on the planet.  But as stores close by the thousands, “space available” signs are going to be popping up everywhere.  This is especially going to be true in poor and lower middle class neighborhoods.  Especially after what we just witnessed in Baltimore, many retailers are not going to hesitate to shut down underperforming locations in impoverished areas.

And remember, the next major economic crisis has not even arrived yet.  Once it does, the business environment in this country is going to change dramatically, and a few years from now America is going to look far different than it does right now.

 

  • alan

    We over built America starting about 1980 and forward. It was all debt fuel spending spree and now it has caught up with us. Its like everyone went nuts trying to make money or loaning it out.
    However this ends, it will be a black eye for America.

    • sharon oliveria

      America is under God’s Judgment, because they turned their Back’s on God, “Said there Is No! God”, wanted Him out of school prayers, wanted the Cross removed & Pic of Jesus in the Christian College OB would not speak until they were removed, they were removed from Some church’s that were not true of Faith, The Gays became the Glory to the Nation and not God, while they keep killing the baby’s, Yes they turned their back on God’s Once blessed America , they put in a gay Pres. & the WH became a Hollow Hall’s of pitiful sin, what would turn God back to the Country its People, I don’t know if God Has said,”You have reaped what you sowed , Only by asking Repentance turning from your wicked sin, Humble yourself before the Lord & pray,God said He would hear from Heaven & heal your Land,” Have we pasted that Hour? only by praying for Power on High , do you want A change in the Country? The Change first must come from you!

      • tacoma

        God judgement? Which god? Your god? But there are so many gods. Hey even I can invent a god that can pass judgement on my behalf. Even judge your god. Your god judges my god and before you know it, Middle East holy stupidity comes to America.

      • Gay Veteran

        self-righteous Pharisee, don’t you have a street corner to pray loudly at?

      • Tom Truther

        God doesn’t need to destroy us we destroy ourselves

  • http://www.mindbodygreen.com Kim

    I think some people are realizing too that most of these stores listed sell Chinese-made junk and people are just tired of buying poorly made and over-priced junk and things we don’t need.

    • alan9074

      I cannot believe how often I look for made in U.S. products and all I can buy off the shelf is Chinese made crap. We used to make all this stuff right here, T.V.’s, blenders, toasters, stereos, speakers, motherboards, microchips, toys, etc, etc, etc, all made in China now.

      • Orange Jean

        I have had the same problem.

    • bumblebee8

      Actually, the cheaply made goods are not because they come from china, it is because the US stores that order them do not want well made goods. No one is forcing stores to accept poorly made items, but are ordering those poorly made items to decrease cost and increase profit. These companies do not have to accept or buy these items, but are getting exactly what they ordered. So if people want to be outraged about the quality of goods sold, at least know who to blame. It is the businesses not china. Don’t be fooled thinking poor american businesses are getting cheated, but are instead the cause of it all.

      • http://www.mindbodygreen.com Kim

        Yes of course the Chinese manufacturers would never think of sending sub standard or even dangerous goods to us over here. /s

        But your point is noted. You get what u pay for. And people are finally realizing that. They can shove their over priced junk and go out of business for all I care. I just feel bad for those that are going to be unemployed as a consequence.

        • Priszilla

          Chinese in general make what you order. As they work like computers you need to specify exactly what you want, and check meticulously that the order was fulfilled.
          Volkswagen found that made in china is 30% more expensive than made in Germany. But still saves money if the tariff is counted in.

        • K

          Kim, you are quite right. Deadly dog food, childrens jewelry with lead in it. The list goes on and on. And now even worse, Chinese raw materials. Dietary supplements made here, but from Chinese raw materials. Materials that are seldom exactly what they say they are. Sometimes the purity is off, other times it is outright fraud. China where they put up anti-suicide nets, to keep workers from jumping to their deaths. Yes retailers play a role in this. But when you order saw palmetto in bulk, and you get chopped up house plants. I think China is a little to blame.

          • http://www.mindbodygreen.com Kim

            Don’t forget the knock off crap they try to pass off on folks. Most people know it’s knock off junk but not everyone until after the buy it.

            I once bought a pair of sterling g silver earrings off amazon for $35. They weren’t sterling. They were copper with a sterling overlay.

            People are wising up to this fraud and these endless marketing schemes. And of course, we’ve hit peak consumerism. I’m not sorry to these big box stores go and we gat back to a normal, less complex way of life.

          • ajderd

            Beautifully put. Mindless consumerism is disgusting.

          • Traveler

            U are a chauvinist. That’s it and that’s all. I lived 12 years there. Got sick once, in an expensive western restaurant. Your companies pay nothing. The Chinese oblige.

          • K

            Thank-you for the laugh. I have been called many things, but chauvinist is new. So in China if you do not pay enough. Instead of refusing the order. You say they have the right to kill your pets, expose children to lead, and mislabel whatever they please. Wow jaywalking must be a death sentence.

        • Siloo Kapadia

          Very simple: DON’T BUY FROM CHINA. We can all try to avoid it. After all, why would we want to buy from a country that has global ambitions of world domination!

          • Traveler

            Buy a brain and look what your dump has been doing for eons.

          • Priszilla

            How is the world domination ambition of a country that has military bases around the world – Guam, Diego Garcia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Ukraine (?), and has a fleet of aircraft carriers and submarines in every ocean, and is involved in wars all over the world?

            You know whom I’m talking about.

          • tacoma

            About 200 million American, and twice that Europeans, do not take your advise.

            As to world domination, it is America that has taken over world domination since WW2. Why do you think so many countries and people of the world hate the U.S. government.

          • BabylonUSA

            Really?

        • Traveler

          Go to China and see the quality of their stuff there. In USA, all is old and decrepit.

      • Priszilla

        Yes. Exactly. It is the retailer that dictates the price to chinese factories and there fore defines what kind of material and workmanship can be used. And China had doubled minimum wage in the last 5 years.

        • http://www.mindbodygreen.com Kim

          And of course the Chinese manufactures are gonna cut corners and make deceptive reports – maybe conveniently leave out the fact(s) that certain chemicals that are banned here and formaldehyde was used processing the fancy lumber used for flooring purposes. Et cetera.

          • Nemnor

            Kim, you are probably correct about the practice of some Chines manufactures. And this is no surprise, as China, though ruled by a (so called) “socialist/communist” government, is also very much a part of the DECADENT (and decaying) world-wide Capitalist system.

          • Hart Shepherd

            Yeah, bite the hand that feeds you. The only real drawback to capitalism is that it has worked too well, enabling people who would have starved to death without it to breed, so that their useless offspring could go on the internet and bitch and moan about how unfair it all is.

          • Priszilla

            If you do not specify : do not use this component, do not use that component, and check execution, then you give ambiguous orders. So the manufacturers choose the lowest costs to make the highest profit.
            That’s pure capitalism.

            In China only money counts.

            There are lots of TIC companies working in China, testing materials and products made in Chinese factories, and inspecting shipments.

            Some retailer think they don’t need that and dispense of these costs.

            They think they can make more money by talking to Chinese manufacturers directly.

            Make toy elephants? Yeah? No problem.

            What you get is something pink, with long hair and 3 legs made of rubbish and marked boi olyfant, waiting in customs for you to pick up, and pay the fine for disposal because it’s toxic.

            And the manufacturer closed shop after cashing the check. “Pure Profit co” is now defunct, and the former owner opened a new one: “Golden Money Ltd.” LOL

            And again to make it sink in:

            In China, only money counts.

          • Nemnor

            Priszilla, I really had a good laugh with the above post of yours!! LOL

          • Priszilla

            Of course you have to verify the information given to you.

            Ask your kids: Did you do your homework?
            YES.
            If you don’t verify you’ll be in for a shock at year’s end.

      • David_R59

        I have seen two versions of the same item on the self side by side. One made in China; the other made in the US or, perhaps, Germany. The Chinese item is maybe a dollar less and the customers reach for that cheaper item. The retailer discontinues the better-made item and, effectively, the customer made the choice as to which item will be stocked.
        It’s usually the consumers fault that this is happening.

        • Nemnor

          bumblebee8 and David_R59, BOTH the businesses AND the customers are at fault.

          However, the MAIN root of the issue is world-wide Capitalism itself that is decadent and decaying. As the system continues to decline, in general, you will get more and more “cheaply” made products (though some products might be made to appear better than a year or two ago).

          There are some exceptions, however. IF you are rich – say, someone making a $million or more a year in take-home income – and you are buying a VERY EXPENSIVE item (say like a high-end Car or a $multi-million yacht), then your expensive item is likely to be indeed better/superior to what it was a few years ago.

          Now even an ordinary $25, 000 car would likely have “better” technology than that of a few years ago, but usually the car is less solidly built, and PLANNED obsolescence is “built in”, so that the car could hardly last a s long as the similar car made several years ago.

          Consequently, this TREND with generally cheaper products (sometimes even for relatively more money) is mainly due to DECADENT Capitalism – which is in a state of general OVER-PRODUCTION, This IS the basic reason the system entered an ON-GOING crisis since late-60s/early-70s (i.e. the end of the “reconstruction boom” following WW-II) and is now at a “dead end”, and is NOT able to generate long-term recovery by economic means alone.

          ONLY with a fundamental change away from Capitalism, is there a chance of preventing the USA (and the World) from (eventually) sinking into total economic collapse/chaos, and also avoiding WW-III.

          • GSOB

            Sin is the problem. What is your solution for that?

          • Nemnor

            GSOB, well… it depends on what one defines as “sin”. If sin is what the Koran, or the Bible, or the Buddhist Manuscript define as sin, then this is “religious” based and would likely not be a “universally” accepted definition of sin – since all of the major religions have significant differences. (right?)

            However, “Sin” might be (briefly) defined as anything you do against your conscience. However, a more “objective” or “all inclusive” (“universal’) definition of sin might go like this – A Sin is anything you do unto OTHERS that you would NOT “rationally” (and “reasonably”) have them do unto YOU.

            So, for example – lets us say YOU are getting very rich (even super rich) by exploiting the labor/efforts of OTHERS, while the others continue to live from paycheck to paycheck (and even when you can reasonably pay a better wage), then IF you can NOT “rationally” (“reasonably’) accept that YOU, instead, should be in “the shoe” of the OTHERS, and have someone else be the person exploiting your labor/efforts and getting (super) rich, while YOU continue to live paycheck to paycheck, then you are committing a SIN when you continue to exploit the labor/efforts or other at the level at which you do.

            From the foregoing (rough example), you are committing a SIN, because YOU are doing unto OTHERS what you would not “rationally” (“reasonably”) have others do unto YOU. And it does NOT matter that the OTHERS “voluntarily” ask you for a “job”, OR that they would be worse of IF you did not give them a “job” for the (“unreasonably”) low-wage you are giving them. (right?)

          • Nemnor

            You can also commit a SIN against yourself or against “nature” (the environment), IF what you are doing is indeed bring direct or indirect harm to you and/or to others and/or to nature (the environment). (right?)

            So IF you are running a business and you are KNOWINGLY dumping a poisonous substance into a lake or river (to avoid the extra cost of otherwise handling the poisonous substance and increase your profits), that practice would eventually cause unacceptable harm to the environment, then you are committing a SIN. And, that is regardless to the fact that you are incidentally supplying a product that people “need”. And especially so in light of the fact that your primary reason for doing business is to make profits, and not so much to meet the needs of people (people you probably do not care much about anyway). (right?)

          • Nemnor

            GSOB, your said –

            I have given what i believe is an “objective” and “universally” acceptable definition of “sin”.

            Now, the following is my “solution”…

            As you should already know, we live in a socioeconomic system that is based on the exploitation of many by man and country by country. That world-wide system, in it’s varying forms today, is (essentially) Capitalism – which is now DECADENT and at a “dead end”, and will continue to decline towards total collapse/chaos.

            A “complete” solution, for the USA and the World, begins with everyone recognizing that NO single person has all the answers.

            However, I trust that the “collective intelligence” of the Human Race, IF given a GENUINE democratic environment, would find real solutions to virtually any problem.

            Hence, the solution also begins with recognizing that the electoral process in the USA (and virtually everywhere in the world) is NOT genuine democracy.

            Finally, the whole World must come to the awareness that Capitalism is indeed at the stage of decadence, and is ultimately an UNSUSTAINABLE economic system. That a system which is based on the EXPLOITATION of man by man and country by country, and the control of the economy by an elite class (i.e. “the 1%”), can NEVER bring true peace and address the ABUNDANT needs of every “rational” individual.

            Once the world becomes truly aware that Capitalism is decadent and unsustainable, it is only a matter of time, and the “collective intelligence” of the Human race will find the solutions to the major issues facing us.

            The real danger facing the world is that, world-wide Capitalism is more likely to bring about WW-III (eventually), before sufficient people become aware that – world-wide Capitalism itself – is the MAIN root problem facing the world.

          • Nemnor

            GSOB, I meant type – you said – “…Sin is the problem. What is your solution for that?…”

            I have given what I believe is an “objective” and “universally” acceptable definition of “sin”.

            (Now, see my “solution” in a related post)

          • Jack Frost

            Why did the manufacturers suddenly stop building vehicles made out of steel? Because they needed to be lighter in order to meet federally mandated requirements for fuel economy. So blame the Feds and their fingers in EVERY aspect of business, from silly rules and regulations to Solyndra type crony capitalism. People who hate the economic system do so mainly because they lack any marketable skills or abilities. They were placed out of work by more efficient and compliant burger flipper/order takers! Live in Russia and fight over the one less rotten potato before condemning what is here. But unionizing all the businesses, after saddling them with obamacare, should be foregone in favor of nationalizing everything. Then when your assigned mentor orders you to do what you are capable of doing, you probably won’t like that either!

          • Nemnor

            Jack Frost, but the VERY EXPENSIVE items made today (be it high end car or a yacht) are generally SUPERIOR/BETTER in virtually every way, than the similar expensive item made several years ago.

            So government regulations, while they may indeed have some influence on the quality (or the “cheapness”) of the products made for the general (and poorer) masses, does NOT influence the durability of the products as much as the PLANNED obsolescence “built into” some of the products and as much as the “pressure to cut cost” in the face of forever increasing competition – which is INTRINSIC to Capitalism.

            Also, what is this (unrelated) statement from you about “.. Live in Russia and fight over the one less rotten potato before condemning what is here…”.??? And what about you stating – “… when your assigned mentor orders you to do what you are capable of doing…”??? All these (unrelated) statements from you sounds like you are relating to some type of Fascism or impoverished/underdeveloped state – all which are DEFINITELY varying forms of modern-day DECADENT Capitalism, and totally NOT related to the sustainable alternative system I am advocating.

            I am recognizing and exposing (but which you call “condemning”) world-wide Capitalism (of which Russia was ALWAYS a part of, and even during the former Soviet Union – which was indeed a from of Capitalism – i.e. State Capitalism). I have NO allegiance to ANY particular state/country, or to ANY particular ideology (except, probably my own? lol).

            My approach is “simple” and without reservation and without the need to defend anyone or anything. It is very clear to me (and should be clear to you) that world-wide Capitalism, even in it’s varying forms today, is DECADENT (for some time now), is UNSUSTAINABLE, is at a “dead end” and is NOT capable of generating long-term recovery by economic means alone. That to save the USA and the World from sinking into total collapse/chaos and/or to prevent WW-III, we need a fundamental change away from Capitalism to a sustainable alternative system that addresses the ABUNDANT needs of the “rational” individual.

            Finally, the real danger facing the World is that – it is more likely that world-wide Capitalism bring about WW-III, before sufficient people become aware that Capitalism (as an economic system that is based on the exploitation of man by man and country by country, and with a elite “1%” controlling the economy) is the MAIN root cause of the major issues facing the World.

          • Gay Veteran

            so we should have kept the heavy cars?
            brilliant

        • Teresa Geib Bacon

          it always comes down to the dollar doesn’t it. We have a dollar store in town which I use a lot, but more importantly Seniors can walk there if needed and afford it. I so hope ours doesn’t close for their sake They are busy I would think they wouldn’t be one that’s in danger I guess.

        • Priszilla

          When I was young I also grabbed the Chinese made stuff. I had to replace my luggage every year because it was broken or cut.

          Then I got me a French-made luggage. Which is rugged and quite heavy, but now about 20 years old.

        • tacoma

          This is called capitalism, something America worship.

      • sharon oliveria

        About the All Mighty Dollar when we thought of oping a shop, we wanted only the best, at the best cost to the buyer. They don’t have pride in what they put in for the buyer, Junk doesn’t bring them back but wonderment of what they have found in your shop for such a great price!

        • Mun MunCapp

          Go to Warren Buffett he has all of our money. He A money eater.

      • evoval

        Yeah, know who to blame. Democrats, Clinton and NAFTA!

        • Gay Veteran

          AMEN. and Obama is pushing for yet more “free trade” pacts

          • Richard O. Mann

            We all flock to Wal Mart for the best low prices. We have been wanting low prices for years now. Most people no longer have the money to spend on good stuff. I’m currently working a job making 9 bucks an hour. I’m 61 years old and have tried to find better paying work, but it just does not exist for some one in my age group. I was one of those who lost his high paying job when the internet bubble burst and have not been able to find anything that pays that well since then. If the stores which sell low priced imported junk are having problems staying in business because of lack of customer traffic, what chance does the higher priced places have? Unless they cater to the rich and famous of course.

          • laura m.

            And for 7 years, interest rates on savings have been near zero, which has drastically cut retiree spending, travelling and other activities. Many have had to downsize, sell the house and live more frugal. I know some over 70 still working full time because spouse has medical bills, etc.

          • lyla cavanaugh

            Also property taxes are through the roof now. Even in CA. If U buy a small middle class house for $500,000 you pay $7,500 per yr. property tax. It grows into ten thousand in just a few years.

          • none

            I think that everyone is forgetting the great new stores that are booming!
            Goodwill, and small start ups are killing it!
            People are driving up into Detroit, and taking out windows and wood work for free!
            Also stripping out household goods and clothes that have been abandoned!

          • lyla cavanaugh

            I do not see many shopping at Goodwill. I give all my old stuff away for free down at the beach to the homeless. We have tons of them.

          • Tracy La Rue

            Well you must not be from Houston area. Goodwill stores do kill it here. I buy a lot of my work clothes there because I’m not going to pay $60 for pants and shirts at all these stores that are closing. And there are always people shopping when I go into any of the stores around me. During weekdays you can go to these mall stores, etc and they are just dead.

          • sharon oliveria

            Yep! thats really the Life Huh, $ store was cute little store to shop at on your way to the big store but for some people when it becomes their saving grace, A one stop Shop for everything, cause that’s as far as you can go on any one item is the $ 1.00 it gets bad. But thank God its there for people

          • Bob

            Exactly. We need Fair trade, not Free trade.

        • Siloo Kapadia

          But wait! The real fun will start with TPP!

          • Da_Neutral_Observer

            It’s amazing that even politicians who have marketed themselves as “independent” are supporting TPP. It just goes to show that you can’t trust Democrats OR Republicans. They both share a hidden agenda. Time to vote them all out!

          • laura m.

            Don’t participate in a corrupted system known as voting. A waste of time since all are NWO puppets. Politician puppet scum bums are only in it for the money, ego and power. They will be killed off by the elite when they no longer are useful. History proves this.

          • Kareem Ahmad Moye

            I thought I was the only that knew that!!

          • pditty

            right on !! congress is bought and paid for !!

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          • pditty

            you are correct Siloo, whether its bush, obama, any party, TPP is getting pushed through congress and remember when certain senators who were against it, said that it was so secretive that they couldn’t talk about it to their constituents. WTF?? everything voted on has to be made public, but until people stop reading about what kim kardashian is wearing, and start focusing on what our government is proposing, like replacing our truckers with mexican truckers, with less training then things will get worse before they get better. thank you for talking about the TPP.

        • tacoma

          NAFTA is a U.S. driven trade deal primarily with Mexico, so that U.S. corporations can outsource and use cheap Mexican labor. Mexico agreed because at that time Mexico just experienced a currency crash due to crushing debt load, much of it own to Wall Street banks. The choice given to them by Clinton was simple: do the deal or Wall Street banks will crash the entire Mexican economy.

          NAFTA also include Canada but that’s only paperwork. Canada never wanted NAFTA because it already has a bilateral trade deal with the U.S. working for 5 years.

        • tayronachan

          Yup, all that prosperity they were talking about was only for those behind the podium. Ross Perot warned us. Did we listen? Noooo.

      • cee

        I buy and resell many products made in China. I recently started having quality problems from one of my suppliers. Guess what? I changed suppliers.

      • ejhr

        definitely agree here. The Chinese can build or make whatever they can, but if the orders are for cheap and shoddy, well that’s what they’ll make!
        It’s not rocket science. So Kim is right, but the blame lies at home in the spendathon we call the economy!

      • boyo

        It used to be called “planned or engineered obsolescence.”
        Only so many revolutions designed into a bearing so at about 20/40/60k miles on a car, you’ll be forking over cash.

        Now that debt is treated as wealth and a continued currency that’s inflated away at increasing speeds, they need to produce crap and worse crap next time to keep getting the cash.

        Buckle up.

      • pditty

        where are airplane parts made? if they were made in china, you would see planes falling out of the skies. the reason is that when you pay a worker .50 cents an hour, how are you getting a highly skilled worker to do a good job? do you know where apple makes its parts? Japan, Germany, and south koreas. guess why? because that is where the high skilled educated work force is, china only assembles the final product, remember the saying you get what you pay for, and this country has paid for the insane policy of allowing walmart, and others to ship good paying jobs overseas, while we replace those with cheap paying service jobs. look at our poverty rate in the last decade and compare that with the 1970’s where the US was booming like crazy. McClatchy News,wash post reported that adjusted for inflation,in today’s wages ,the minimum wage in 1974 was 16.71

      • lyla cavanaugh

        People who voluntarily shop at Walmart are a huge cause. Losers!

        • Jill

          As opposed to those that are forced to shop there against their will?

      • Tatiana Covington

        And cause the replacement time to be short, speeding up sales.

    • Catman

      A lot of redundancy in what many of these stores sell too. Take Office Max, Office Depot, and Staples. Same products, most items available online. Online sales has as much or more to do with this trend than anything, IMO. Most stores mentioned now serve as showrooms for shoppers. I agree with Greg that things are winding down and we are staring at a major economic decline soon.

    • GSOB

      More than half those business closing I have never even heard of.

    • tacoma

      You have the classic American mindset, infused with self-righteous superiority over the years, that in fact have reduced your mind to primitiveness suitable for a good laugh.

      It is U.S. made stuff that’s ‘junk’. American companies and workers simply cannot make things anymore. This is why most stuffs of the world are now made in China. And most of the stuff made in China for exports are on behalf of foreign companies, who have invested heavily in China for design and production. This is now a 30 year old story, and almost $4 trillion have been invested in China by foreigners – Japan, Europe, the Americas.

      Chinese ‘junk’? How about these: all of your large screen TVs, all of your laptop and desktop PCs, all of your smartphones including Apple products, all of your cameras and most lens, all of your home appliances, all of your audio electronics, all of your clothing and shoes, … China also make millions of cars and trucks, but don’t export them. Volvo is owned by a Chinese auto makers, who now makes Volvo for the Euro market. Do you call Volvo junk?

      Chinese companies (not foreign owned) have entered the high-end audiophile market, producing some of the world best amplifiers and loudspeakers. The home market for these exotic and expensive audio gear is so big, bigger than Europe and America combined, that they don’t export them. But go to a showroom in China and you will be astounded by the sheer design, beauty and sophistication of these 100% made in China high tech wonders.

      • Nemnor

        tacoma, the “good/”positive” things you can find about Chines products (especially some items made for the Chinese market), is because State/Collective/Directed Capitalism in China so happen to be on the “rise” – and ironically so, even while the world-wide Capitalist system is decadent and decaying.

        As has ALWAYS been the case throughout the 500-years history of Capitalism, a FEW leading countries would be on the top (and one or two even on the “rise” and making astonishing advances), while MANY other countries will remain generally underdeveloped (or some that were “leading” then would to fall – like the UK, for example) and remain subservient to the FEW leading countries.

        Now get this – what many people fail to realize is that the Capitalist system can NOT have every country (or even many countries) truly being on the rise and making astonishing advancements. This is simply NOT possible in Capitalism.

        Capitalism can function ONLY with a FEW leading countries at the top and existing at the great disadvantage to MANY other countries.. Once you reach a situation where “every” country is willing and ABLE to seek a better/bigger share of the the LIMITED world’s market and the LIMITED world’s resource, that is when OVER-PRODUCTION becomes painfully apparent and Capitalism goes into a “tail-spin” of ON-GOING crisis world-wide.

        Over-production (and with that, the tendency towards diminishing profits) is what brought world-wide Capitalism into an on-going crisis since late-60s/early-70s – which was the end of the “reconstruction boom” following WW-II, and at a time when most of the leading Capitalist countries began to catch up” the the USA and began to compete with the USA for a better/bigger share of the LIMITED world’s market and LIMITED world’s resource.

        The foregoing is the reason the USA (as the “leading” capitalist country) is “compelled” to make war and cause instability all over the world, so that much of the world will be “held back” (they hope) in relative underdevelopment and be less able to compete with the USA.

        Now, because Capitalism, by NATURE, is ultimately UNSUSTAINABLE (because World’s market and resource are LIMITED), even China (like every other Capitalist country) will, eventually, ALSO decline towards total collapse/chaos. The ONLY permanent solution is if the world have a fundamental change away from Capitalism, to a sustainable alternative system that addresses the ABUNDANT needs of the “rational” individual (and not just of “the 1%”).

        • 35wormhole

          so you do want communism

          • Nemnor

            35wormhole, I want a SUSTAINABLE alternative system that addresses the ABUNDANT needs of the “rational” individual (not just of “the 1%). I am not sure what that alternative system should be called (or labeled as).

            However, this is the ONLY way we will have true peace and the chance for true love (and lasting corporation) among the Human Race. Anything else will always FAIL (eventually).

            Now, IF I say what I want IS Communism, OR, if I say it is NOT Communism, then I will only be speculating, as we NEVER had (and probably could NOT have had) genuine Communism anywhere in the world, from which we can draw reference. Additionally, ANY fundamental and GENUINE change away from Capitalism must NECESSARILY go through a transitory experimental and discovery stage, before one can KNOW what works and what would not work.

            However, I have faith in the “collective intelligence” of the Human Race – IF given a GENUINE democratic environment to find solutions for any problem that may arise.

            Capitalism, by it’s INTRINSIC nature can only provide true abundance for a (relatively shrinking) minority (i.e. “the 1%”) and with an expanding EXPLOITED mass of people seeing their living standard DECLINE decade after decade, and with more and more people sinking into abject poverty.

            Eventually, the world will come to realize that Capitalism is indeed decadent and unsustainable, and that is when the world will be ready for that fundamental change away from Capitalism to a sustainable alternative system that must address the ABUNDANT needs of the “rational” individual.

            However, the real danger the World is facing is that – it is more likely that Capitalism bring about WW-III, before sufficient people become aware that Capitalism is the MAIN root cause of the major issues facing the world.

        • Priszilla

          “because State/Collective/Directed Capitalism in China so happen to be on the “rise””

          This is rubbish. State ownership is on the decline in China.

          The only thing that the Chinese state does is to shut down anyone who detracts from business – religion, morality, fighting, “democracy” – endless talking and bickering about nothing.

          Shut up, go to university, work, invent, whatever, but don’t start slowing us down.
          And well, don’t make children. The goal is a population of 900 million by 2100, 300 million by 2200.
          University students seen holding hands on campus were fired.
          People cooking dumplings and selling them in rush hour to commuters are rarely bothered by state or tax office. Free enterprise.

          China’s message to foreigners: Do not get engaged in politics, ideology or religion, Make your money and go home.

          • Nemnor

            Priszilla, well… notice that I described Chinese economy as a (form of) “state”, “collective” and “directed” (“controlled”) Capitalism.

            It IS true that, today, the “state” and “collective” character of the Chinese economy is somewhat on the decline, while the Chinese government is doing more of the “directed” (“controlled”) part. However, the “state” and “collective” character IS STILL VERY MUCH PART OF THE CHINESE ECONOMY – which IS on the “rise” (relative to other leading Capitalist countries). So the “state” and “collective” industries/businesses DOES contribute (as a whole) to the “rising” Chinese economy.

            Also, keep in mind that the Chinese Government appears to be “firmly” in control of their country, and if appearance is true to reality, then at anytime, they may increase or decrease the “state” or “collective” character of their economy – according to what they see (or think) is working “best” for China.

            Finally, it seems to me (if I am not mistaken) that the ultimate objective of the Chinese Government is to “beat” the USA and other leading Capitalist countries “at their own game” – i.e. develop a form of Capitalism that would eventually dominate the World and DISPLACE the USA and other leading Capitalist countries. Hence, if this means doing less of the “state”/”collective” Capitalism and do more of the (“PROPERLY”) “directed” or “controlled” form of Capitalism, then that is what China will do (to the demise of the USA and other leading Capitalist countries).

          • tacoma

            Modern China has invented a new economic system for itself. It has worked wonderfully, but it likely not work (or work as well) for any other country.

            As so let it be. China knows itself better than any foreigners. It has proved that it can be innovative and successful. Foremost of which is inventing its unique brand of mixed political/economic system. It also proved that American style of political and economic system is not the be-all-end-all. Russia today is also based on the Chinese model, with its own adaptation. Brazil and Argentina have moved towards the Chinese direction. The European too have invented its own mix solutions since the end of WW2, and it too have worked quite well. The biggest and most successful adopter of the European model is none other than Canada. That Canada has steadfastly refused to adopt the American political and economic models speaks volume.

          • Priszilla

            Yes, China always claims they are the inventor of everything. But Capitalism was not invented by China, even if they claim they did it already 5000 years ago.
            What’s different between China and USA is the political system, not the economic system.
            China has a one-party system, USA a two-party system.
            And some terms are different. If you challenge the government in China you are threatening state security, if you do so in America, you are a terrorist.

    • laura m.

      Me and others I know shop on the internet and call in orders (use pay pal on ebay) using visa or MC with free shipping and no sales tax. More so last several years to incl some food items and vitamins. I shop at Academy sports and outdoors w/ decent prices on sports items, quality clothing and shoes. Ross and TJMAXX stores for household stuff incl cookware. Belk dept stores (S.E. area based in Charlotte, nc)has good sales. Folks, don’t pay full retail for most items. watch sales @ H. Depot and Lowes, also Sam’s for groceries. Agree, lots of stuff made in /China and other countries, (I say: what the H is wrong w. this country ? let’s make stuff here and put people back to work in blue collar jobs that left here in the 80’s and 90’s off shore. Politician loser scum bums have sold us out because they are nwo puppets drawing pay.

    • Joe Kleinkamp

      Think about that Kim. It’s not 1995 anymore and the Chinese are now producing things at a world class level of quality. Look at the iPad and iPhone for example. Yes, they used to make cheap junk and nickel – dime trinkets useful only as consolation prizes for carnival games losers. But now they, along with the Mexicans, Koreans and a long list of third world powers, are collectively eating our manufacturing lunch. These countries all know exactly how to benefit from the windfall that U.S. trade agreements have been for them.

    • SunnyFlaSnotress

      There’s lots of good Chinese stuff on EBay. I don’t need retailers charging me more for it.

    • SunnyFlaSnotress

      Actually, it’s more the opposite. I never noticed most of those stores selling Chinese goods. That’s why Walmart boomed while they busted.

    • Morgan Harris

      every stores sells made in china amerocunts good bye

    • Siloo Kapadia

      That is definitely one of the reasons but not the main reason – being that as the article points out, many if not most American are flat-ass broke.

    • Traveler

      Read the comment below. China has the most amazing airports, train stations, high speed train systems, roads system, malls, restaurants, new cities etc et …. Go there. See for yourself and realize how decrepit USA is. Pathetic .

  • GSOB

    The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it. – Thomas Jefferson

    • Irritated

      Do you have any of your own thoughts? Or do you just regurgitate those of others?

      • El mico

        Top answer.

      • GSOB

        It should be the labour and study of those who are married, to make each other as easy and happy as possible

        • sharon oliveria

          For God sent His Only begotten Son to Earth as a Means that you can be forgiven , & saved you can’t be saved by any other ways, Repent Now before its too Late 666 coming by way of RFID-Chip, you can’t buy or sell with out that number, The Mark of The Beast, if you take it your DNA will be linked to that of The Beast Of Rev, Satan, you won’t be able to change your mind once taken, nor will you want to, you will then belong to Satan, Hell will be your future, forever apart from Father, Son & Holy Spirit, & any Family Loved ones that Excepted Jesus

        • Gay Veteran

          I see the bible quoting parrot is back

      • sharon oliveria

        Some times the Voices of wise men yesterday can speak louder!!!!!!!!

  • K

    Not much question what these figures show.The ones that bother me the most, is closing grocery stores. In some small towns the only grocery store left, is a walmart. Now imagine they start to close walmarts, like many of us think, is right around the corner. In a good economy, another grocery store would come in. But in a truly bad economy, no one will be expanding. There is going to be a lot of small towns, in a world of hurt, if this continues.

    • David_R59

      Watch for more people digging up their back yards to plant vegetables.
      In the near future it may not be a choice; it’ll be a necessity.

      • GSOB

        And apple trees

      • sharon oliveria

        David would be wonderful for all, our concern is for GMO seed, you can get them without, & Chem-Trail’s falling on what you will put in your mouth, try indoor plants.Veg’s

        • Hart Shepherd

          The seeds themselves are not the problem so much as why they were modified in the first place. It is the Roundup that will kill you.

          • sharon oliveria

            Yes your so right about dangers of Round-Up & their like kind, but the GMO’S still remain danger, have you taken a look at the picture of the Franken-Corn or inside the corn a fish like thing that came Via GMO produced foods

    • sharon oliveria

      There’s coming a day when you, of your own steam would not dare step a Foot in Wall Mart–Be advised

    • SunnyFlaSnotress

      You can actually order groceries online.. the bad part is that doesn’t usually include perishables, Walmart delivers free on orders over $50.

      • K

        You are right nothing fresh. I live high enough in the mountains. That every winter I have stocked up on canned goods, dried goods, and even some freeze dried goods. It works out for 3 or 4 months. I do not think I would not want to try it year round. Also this stuff is not inexpensive.

        • SunnyFlaSnotress

          Some stuff is very good.. 10 pack tuna, instant rice, powdered milk.. some of the good staples.

  • Antonio Ossa

    TIME HAS COME TO PAY THE PIPER!

    • XSANDIEGOCA

      With what is the question?

    • GSOB

      The essence of the sin against which the Lord is coming is self-sufficiency.
      Most people won’t listen to anybody.
      Most won’t accept correction from anybody, not even God.
      Most think they do not need God.
      So they don’t trust Him nor even draw near to Him.

      • sharon oliveria

        Your Very Right, thing’s have turned the corner this Country will never return to”Good Old Days Of Yesteryear in the Sun Shine”, The Hour is late, & Summer well spent, & still they are unsaved. Seek the Lord while He is Near,for an hour comes when there will be no! light & no one can work, Seek Jesus while He is near, He’s calling your name & however Mad it makes you, You know it!

      • Antonio Ossa

        WHEN “GOD” DECIDES TO STOP THE SUFFERING AND INJUSTICE IN THE WORLD, THEN WE’LL TALK!

  • Zenithon

    My music store was by no means major, in fact quite the opposite, a minor local store. We had the last music store in town, with Amazon on the internet along with Guitar Center and other big retailers to contend with in the neighboring town. We closed it up a few days ago. Ten years in business, hardly eking out any profit and finally had enough. Sales started diving last December. We did ok in our closing sales and really feel like this was a positive move. I don’t know if our recent sales are indicative of retail sales across the economy. I hope not.

    • Catman

      Great post. Yeah, the local businesses that sell products available online or in much larger stores are in a tough spot. That’s one reason I prefer to shop locally even if sometimes a bit more expensive than online, though that is not always the case. However, some products are just not available locally so I resort to shopping online. I live in a fairly large city, Tuscaloosa, and couldn’t find Dover Arrow shirts anywhere in town. This is a very common dress shirt- or I guess I should say used to be. Finally found one on e-bay of all places! I wish you well in the days ahead.

    • sharon oliveria

      Zen I Am sorry for your lose, like a family Huh, I supported our Town privately owned, Tower Record in our City, but their prices were so high & didn’t include the often held Jam session’s that were so enjoyable for we that make Music & the people that came to hear, Set in on ,& buy,some time’s the big ones do draw More to them because they offer more than Record’s Musical Equp. Mike’s Mixer’s Etc. I Am sorry Hope you find another adventure that will bring you Joy as well as Cash Blessing’s

  • GetReal4U2

    $18,112,975,000,000

    • GetReal4U2

      It’s the “amount” of the federal debt held by the public…

      • Guest

        The federal debt has two components: debt held by the public and intragovernmental debt holdings. The debt held by the public is currently about $13 trillion. The rest is intragovernmental debt holdings, i.e. debt held in government “trust funds.”

        There is currently a debt limit impasse, and the total federal debt has been frozen at $18.153 trillion for a while now. The Treasury has suspended investments to certain “trust funds” in order to avoid breaching the statutory debt limit. Once the statutory debt limit is raised, and it will be raised, expect the total federal debt to jump significantly.

        • GSOB

          We need a bigger calculator.
          It’s gonna double.

    • GSOB

      Now
      $18, 210, 089, 000,000
      a difference of
      $97,114,000,000 in just
      11 hours….
      Phenomenal

  • tacoma

    But of course what cannot be sustained won’t. The question is when. How about now?

    After selling so many trillions Treasury bonds, a few big buyers have finally stopped buying. Like China; like U.K. And after printing so much fiat bucks for the world running on the greenback reserve currency, suddenly a whole lot of countries are no longer using the mighty buck for anything. So the Fed cannot print any more green bucks to pump things up artificially. No more financial pumping to fake things, reality come home to reveal an economy and overall finances in dire condition. Vastly over built consumer economy collapses.

    What’s next? People (except the 1% of course) keeps what they have for many more years. Buy a whole lot less and cancel the goodies. Which gives people lots of time to think about the splendid time they enjoyed on borrowed money from 1990 – 2010. But it was an insanely good time. Literally.

    • Catman

      Don’t underestimate the Fed just yet. When the markets begin to dip all a Fed governor has to do is speak some soothing words and the markets rebound instantly. I’ve watched it for years. All the Fed has to do is continue to facilitate a very low interest environment for corporations to borrow cheap for stock repurchases and dividend payouts. Investors will continue to support these companies until they cannot make any money from doing so. The Fed is not done by a long shot.

      • retired22

        Catman,
        What the Fed & the Casino Gamblers in the financial markets do gets further & further from the financial realities facing the general public.It has gotten to the point where it means nothing to people trying to find money to shop at Walmart,Target or Home Depot!
        The financial sector can play games with numbers but eventually it means nothing to the real consumer economy!

        What the financial sector is doing is pocketing the new credit coming in from the Fed.,they are cannibalizing the companies they are involved with.Very little of the new funds are going to improve the company itself!

      • sharon oliveria

        Other Countries are being brought in to play on this, if one go’s they will make it through the next country fall its bad, But when Mexico defaults its over & out for USA

  • Priszilla

    How much retail space do you need per person?

    • GSOB

      Just the WWW

  • Priszilla

    Yes. Exactly. It is the retailer that dictates the price to chinese factories and there fore defines what kindvof material and workmanship can be used. And China had doubled minimum wage in the last 5 years.

  • SunnyFlaSnotress

    Even when I shop at Walmart, I usually shop online now.
    Spend over $50 & they ship it to your door free. Beats driving, lugging things around, standing online etc.

  • DJohn1

    Most of the retail outlets closed are just not cutting it. They are over priced. Eventually over priced means closing the doors.
    Right now a cat food company is over pricing themselves out of business. They just went from 79 cents a can to $1.08 cents a can at WalMart. The small cans are averaging 50 cents a can vs. 46 cents a can.
    The market place is the great equalizer. They will go out of business at that price.

    • Thrall4life

      There are many more factors involved than just price alone. I would rather pay a few cents more for a great shopping experience then to save a few cents and deal with Wal Mart’s nasty cluttered up stores!

      • sharon oliveria

        I went into a lower priced shoe store while waiting for my daughter at the pet store. I could NOT! believe what I was seeing, these shoes were so! cheap, I couldn’t tell you what they were made of, almost looked like wooden shoes, & were out right ugly !

    • AzDi

      One of the problems today that the government never addresses is food prices. You mention cat food….. same for dog food and if you have a large dog, (or two) that really adds up. But just the prices of food are so high today, people are having to spend their money that way rather than things they don’t need.

      When government continues to lie about inflation, jobs, unemployment, among so much more…… the people know they need to purchase only necessities.

      • Orange Jean

        Food prices have been going up big time in the past month in my area. Not so noticable one item at a time, but when you add it all up… a big issue.

    • David_R59

      There may come a time in the near future when cats and dogs will not be fed; but will be eaten.
      I asked a Chinese fellow (from Hong Kong) about eating cats. He said they’re not too bad. But the taste depends on what their diet was.

      • sharon oliveria

        Oh! Dear God! I Remember the Story, But True story ,of the Man that had to go through the Kitchen in the back to talk to the owner, there was hanging skinned cats!!! in this Chinese Eatery ! The man left sick never to return !

      • DJohn1

        Koreans had dogs hanging iin the marketplace at the local butcher.
        So it isn’t that uncommon in the orient for animals we consider as pets and almost human to be slaughtered under harsh living conditions.

  • grumpyhillbilly

    The Walgreens and Dollar stores is kinda surprising. The big old department stores have been dying a slow death for decades. They weren’t quite yuppie enough, but definitely too expensive for blue collars. The business supply stores are the biggest sign of the current times.

    • GSOB

      Derivatives folding is my global indicator.

      When American Furniture Warehouse starts tanking….

      I wonder, what else then will I use as my thumb in the wind economic indicator at the national level?

      • sharon oliveria

        Yes! I shop at higher end Furniture stores where they Have furniture from Europe, very hard to find only by these few, I was really shocked to see these going especially the Families that have been in Business down through the Generation, it leaves you heart sick to see these that have been around before you were born, its just different to see Mom & Pop the Family General stores go, its like, “Wait a Minute don’t Go”.

    • sharon oliveria

      Hey! I go there first before going to Main grocery store for name brand for $ 1 but when I went to Big store found they were on special for 59 Cents that was really big! sale. Big Bulk seem to be good choice if you can use it all without going bad, we have “enjoyed the New store, Smart & Final they have Everything under the sun. and for so much less

  • Kevin

    I’m 47 yrs old. I can remember when I was a kid in grade school, you would go shopping for clothes twice a year-for fall and spring when they had the back to school and spring sales. It’s amazing to me now, you go into a mall (hate going, would rather shop online) and you are literally bombarded with sale signs. My favorite part of this scheme is when they throw a sale on top of a sale on an already marked down price which is marked up an un-believable amount to begin with.
    I’ve mentioned here several times I current work on the wholesale side of the lawn and garden industry. I will give you an example of ridiculous mark-ups.
    We considered at one time bringing in summertime items to gain sales during the off peak period of late spring/summer. We found an importer who specialized in arm floaties, pool floats, blow-up toys, etc.
    One item that stuck out in my mind was kiddie swimming goggles. We had to buy them by the container load (no problem, we’re national and big) in order to get freight prepaid from China. The goggles were just like the ones you see in WM, K-Mart, Target, Ace Hardware, etc.
    Our price was $.25 cents each, we sell them for $.75-$.99 cents wholesale, the retailer then marks them up to $1.99-$2.29. The whole time I’m thinking, how the hell do they make money off a $.25 cent item with packaging, material, labor (I know, it’s China), freight costs, etc.?
    I could tell you a million stories about wholesale and retail mark-ups, but this is Michael’s site, and it would take away from his great articles!

    • sharon oliveria

      Yes! You know how the game is played in Mark Up’s & downs, there’s suppose to be a tag on where it will show how many mark down’s taken & show the either 2-3 still coming, if you want to wait until last mark down, but like something in clothing & you don’t want to lose something special to your liking, you go with it then, & if something you can wait out Maybe it will be there,you wait. Price up’s are always unbelievable !

    • Orange Jean

      You may not realize it but they always did that thing with the sales. My 2nd full time job was with Jordan Marsh (across the street from Macy’s in Boston, back in the day)… back in 1968. They did the same sale thing you see now… which is why I almost never buy anything when it first comes out. Wait 2 weeks, it’s almost always on sale by them.

  • How Not To Play The Game

    …….China got the manufacturing jobs…………………..and the environmental disaster that goes along with being the planet’s largest manufacturer of the world’s most worthless crap.

  • Jill

    Discretionary spending decline, market oversaturation, and prices that are not commiserate with value will provide a sad but necessary culling of the retail herd

  • catrina short

    let us evaluate the real reasons—obamacare mandates on companies that are barely able to support their own employees, illegals getting money that would normally go to consumers in the United States, hospitals and clinics closing forcing health needs to be reached through physicians who will not get much for their visit, more mandates by the gov’t agencies wishing to force some out of business and the list goes on—as well as mortgages getting out of hand from financial institutes selling the note to higher yield making it never feasible for a property to be owned by people—so who is to blame—I would say our gov’t wants this country under while all the elites and bankers run for the bunkers

    • GSOB

      I say that your descriptions are pithy.
      My hypothesis, a transformation into a global currency is taking place,…. just not recognizable because its place in history is coming.

      We are the world….
      We are the children….
      We are the ones who make a brighter day….

      • sharon oliveria

        One World Order, Govt & Religion, Money no! more 666 RFID-CHIP or you can’t buy or sell, don’t take Mark of The Beast Will be Satan Number, don’t be lost to Satan for the rest of your Life, say No even if it means death, for your stand with Jesus you will receive Life ever more in Heaven with Jesus

    • sharon oliveria

      Cartina, Short you are well informed, Let’s go a step on, this has been a well planned plot & plan by The Elite Corp’s who run Govt, & have for Yrs. Susan Plyne (Covered By All New’s Pipeline covered the story) Susan P co-host of a Boston Radio show was ask to sit in on OB’s Rally for Muslim “Country Within a Country”, 6 member’s of Government there. She couldn’t believe her ears, there she heard all was to be given to this Secret number of Muslim only known by OB & His inter Circle of Brotherhood & those that are there for Pleasure & wishes of OB, this Rally to give everything out there a more to Muslims as He’s Flying 1,000 more in all the time, give them Heath-Care, Soc Sec, welfare, food stamps, their own cars & Homes payed for, College Education Free, Those home lost to owner’s that were scamed to raise there House payment sometimes$ 1,000 dollars more until, as planned they would lose them, they kept so!!! many of these Home, while the Hearts of the owner’s broken all their money on down payment & put into, lost, while they still cry from broken hearts & dream’s, OB turned their Homes over to Muslim’s free & payed for, He gave EXC-Orders pay to be give for family of 4 –$ 38,000 suppose to be tax return, when they never worked was even here. This “Country Within A Country” is to be total take over of Muslims, Mex & South America was just a Trojan Horse to get Millions of Muslim’s In. Now isn’t that A slap in our face Treason there is no other word for it, this was His plan to tare down & destroy USA & give to Muslims

      • Gay Veteran

        you need to quit wetting your pants over them Islamofacists

      • T.

        Surely, You understand that OB is but a puppet under orders from Those who placed him there. So, Who is pulling his strings?
        The 5th Column – Who have been in our country for over 200 years and Control EVERYTHING. They are behind jade helm 15 and will assume Total Domination over the American people later this year – Even though Americans do not know it and trust Them implicitly – to their (American peoples) death.

        • sharon oliveria

          Of Course just like all the Pres before Him except JFK, the Big Corps , KHAZARIAN’S , The Elites one % er’s , I think they are Fast to make their move because too! many awaken to their control. Yet as you said so many don’t have a clue, have not even heard of Jade-Helm 15 many in professional field’s have not to hear of Jade-Helm (Dr’s Etc) If they came to the door & said a storm coming The Govt & Military are here to help you ,they would go without a Single Pause. Really gets me you try to inform someone that hasn’t heard about JH-15 they want to argue with you when theydon’t even know what their talking about. All we know when all is said & done, We have a Mighty God, He will be with us until the End, His word says so, so we are to be Ready at all time’s thats the last thing is the Last Battle Between Good & Evil Jesus & Satan, but we know Jesus Win’s has the Victory

          • T.

            Amen. Not only looking to Jesus but doing as much as we can to tell others about Jesus before – The night cometh and no man can work. John 9:4. I am personally very heavily involved in world missions. Have you ever heard of Gospel For Asia? This is one of the Greatest ministries I have ever seen or heard of – Been involved with them for 21 1/2 years. Google them and – GET INVOLVED – The night cometh when no man can work. Blessings.

          • GSOB

            For all creation is waiting patiently and hopefully for that future day when God will resurrect his children.
            For on that day thorns and thistles, sin, death, and decay — the things that overcame the world against its will at God’s command — will all disappear, and the world around us will share in the glorious freedom from sin which God’s children enjoy.

            For we know that even the things of nature, like animals and plants, suffer in sickness and death as they await this great event.
            And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as His children, including the new bodies he has promised us — bodies that will never be sick again and will never die.

          • sharon oliveria

            Yes! Only in Jesus will we find true peace & freedom & Heaven we look forward to

  • David_R59

    A more interesting list would be of retailers that are increasing sales and exactly what is selling well.
    Sales of organic foods are certainly increasing all over N. America as people are becoming more aware of what GMOs are doing to their health. When 600-700 McDonald’s locations close over the next couple of years and at the same time sales of organic food increases, this can only be seen as a good thing.
    The middle class is slowly waking up to what’s best for them.
    Namely that toxic food is not good for you or your family, and that DEBT (most of which is toxic) is also bad for you and your family.

    • GSOB

      Ecclesiastes 3

      There is a right time for everything:

      A time to be born;
      A time to die;
      A time to plant;
      A time to harvest;
      A time to kill;
      A time to heal;
      A time to destroy;
      A time to rebuild;
      A time to cry;
      A time to laugh;
      A time to grieve;
      A time to dance;
      A time for scattering stones;
      A time for gathering stones;
      A time to hug;
      A time not to hug;
      A time to find;
      A time to lose;
      A time for keeping;
      A time for throwing away;
      A time to tear;
      A time to repair;
      A time to be quiet;
      A time to speak up;
      A time for loving;
      A time for hating;
      A time for war;
      A time for peace.

      What does one really get from hard work?
      I have thought about this in connection with all the various kinds of work God has given to mankind.

      Everything is appropriate in its own time.
      But though God has planted eternity in the hearts of men, even so, many cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

      • sharon oliveria

        Your Right, Only will be known when we are Known in heaven when He will tell all the Secret’s of The Universe, there we will Judge Angel’s . Now on Earth our young Men & women have lost great lesions , by working with Mom & Dad on the Land, How many young men & women would be able to have the Knowledge & Fit shape, to do as they did In Red-Dawn (1) The Movie, when they knew how to ride Horses, to handle & shoot a shoot gun, even B B Gun, to go into the Mountain’s & survive cold night’s, hunt for food, find water,& then double back try to save their Family’s taken to Fema Camp’s, are they young men &women of Courage, of faith with a driving force that know to do is right & the Only way,for their faith & love in God they would try to save their families & town. A Movie yes, but people that know there are such as these Young out there, that they could do these things cause Dad taught them at early age to hunt, fish, trap To shoot to protect the family if danger came Calling. We are entering this time when even the adults need to be trained & ready for Fema Camp’s are here, Jade-Helm is even at the door, get prepared for we know not what is coming, just that God will be with us until the very end, those that known Him never to late get repented or back to God get prepared in Jesus Name

    • sharon oliveria

      I will add again, would be Wonderful, & oh! so rewarding to see those little guys grow just for you & your tender Loving watering & care, God’s Created all to enjoy, grow & eat. But I would like to tell you that unless you special order seed’s from someone known & respected will you get GMO-Free, I can’t tell you how important that is for you & Family, also think hard get creative Plan indoor Veggie Plants, for Chem-Trail’s have stepped up their game to Poison our mind’s, our Bodies, & they will fall on your garden’s unless you have a special top over that even the rain can’t fall on, God! Help us even Poison from the rain from Rad-from Japan-Plant is finding its way into our air space & Ocean shores. We need many praying people & prayer’s for God to clean the air & Oceans He is a Mighty God, there is Power In the Name of Jesus, we live in serous times time to turn to what they did in old days( Old Testament) for Blessings from God

    • Annette Smith

      I am looking for a new place for my son and I. One of the mandatory things I want is a garden. Has always been my love to grow things and share. Very fond memories of all the gardening I got to do.

    • Nemnor

      David_R59, you said – “…When 600-700 McDonald’s locations close over the next couple of years and at the same time sales of organic food increases, this can only be seen as a good thing…”.

      While this (good) “counter” trend you stated is indeed a fact, this tends to “blind’ most people to the fact that, while some “positive” counter trends are happening all over world-wide Capitalism, the system is nevertheless on a GENERAL continuous DECLINE.

      And one can KNOW that there is a general continuous decline (despite any number of “positive” counter trends), by observing the continuous RISE in the “cost of living”, while the buying power of the mass of people (Workers) generally remains the same (or is even going down).

      One can also KNOW that the system is generally on the decline, by observing that the last two or three economic “recoveries” were weak (at best), very brief (lasted for only a few years) and JOBLESS (i.e. unemployment and underemployment REMAINED high, even while you are told there is a “recovery”).

      We can go on and on, with facts that can make one KNOW that the system is on a continuous decline. Like… increasing homelessness, more and more people sinking below the “poverty line”, and more and more people living in abject poverty all over the globe, increasing violence in the cities, 30000 to 35000 people (mostly children) dying EVERY DAY from hunger, malnutrition and preventable diseases, constant wars and/or civil unrest in various parts of the globe (some of these instigated/funded by the CIA and US Government), etc, etc..

  • John Stewart

    This is all fitting with End Times Prophecy where it will soon take a day’s wages to buy a loaf of bread. Time to Get Right With God….

    • sharon oliveria

      Remember the Song in the 70-80’s by Larry Norman, “I WISH WE ALL BEEN READY”. Where He say’s “A bag of Gold would buy a piece of Bread, Rumors of War the people got stomped on the Ground, The Children Cried the people died, Wish we all been ready, there’s no time to change your mind the Father’s come, you’ve been left behind, Wish you all been Ready, the Father spoke the Demon’s died, wish you had all been Ready (goes something like that) Can be found on U-Tube give a listen sound’s just like today, Are You Ready Jesus is Coming

      • GSOB

        Ruthless Perfection – Kim Hill

  • BigDonOne

    Lot easier to buy stuff on-line….

    • sharon oliveria

      Jesus Is on-Line at all times, He always Answer’s, He’s up all night, & He doesn’t cost anything, His Gift is free to Forever shall call on His name with a True Whole Heart, He will no way turn you away after you repent & ask Him into your Heart, Hes waiting to answer your Call

      • steve

        Jesus hears his sheep,the believing Elect,those that are in Christ….God does not hear the prayers of the lost

        • T.

          Jesus does hear the cry of the lost when they say, “Save me Lord”.

  • erik-da-red

    i dunno – i am a bit confused here. Average amurcans have no spare money ..but all the NBA/NFL/NHL/MLB arenas & stadiums are all full. Where can i get free tickets?

    • Nemnor

      It is similar to when the Rome Empire became DECADENT and about to fall. People used to flock to the Roman arenas to get their “fix” (i.e. their entertainment) – even as Rome was (eminently) going to fall..

      • GSOB

        We all will fall. Seek the things which are above and not things which are of the earth.

        • sharon oliveria

          Yes for America as was Rome will burn when The Elite Flee to their Under Ground Bunker’s, they will be save while Rome above Burn’s, Know this day whom you will serve Jesus or The Devil, Heaven headed or Will Hell be your Forever-Home You!, Only You! can make that choice, today Now is!! the Hour of Your Salvation, except Him while He is Near!

          • T.

            That should be “accept” Him – not “except” Him. You are welcome.

          • sharon oliveria

            Thank You Kind One T, I am forever doing that,& I know better, one those Things you do with out knowing it, Thank YOU!

          • T.

            Understand. They sound alike and you are a prolific writer – So, easy to make that mistake. BTW – I do like the way you lift up the Lord Jesus. Blessings.

          • sharon oliveria

            Thank you T with out Him we would have no hope for tomorrow’s, In Him we put our trust , I don’t know what those that don’t know Jesus do with what is happening in The Country & World things are wrapping up at lighting speed. Blessing’s in Jesus

          • Nemnor

            However, given a GENUINE democratic environment, I have the faith that the “collective intelligence” of the Human Race WILL find real solution to the major socioeconomic issues facing us.

            In the current world-wide Capitalist system (which is based on the exploitation of man by man and country by country), it is NOT possible for genuine democracy to flourish, as everything is designed (set up) to benefit the elite (“the 1%”), and often at the great disadvantage of the mass of the people.

            The solution is a fundamental change away from Capitalism, to a sustainable alternative system that addresses the ABUNDANT needs of the “rational” individual.

    • GSOB

      From advertisers

    • sharon oliveria

      This & Cable TV, Game show’s Cell Phones Have all gone crazy! They can yell their heads off in a ball game or for dancing with the Stars, but they can’t give Jesus a Praise & a Prayer, when these Tec things taken your very minds from you in their updating plan’s, will you remember there is a God? a Jesus to cry out to save you 666 RFID-CHIP coming you won’t be able to buy or sell unless you have the Number of The Beast Of Rev (Bible) Satan, would it all be worth it, hell your everlasting Home, your Forever-Home for then you will be Satan’s Little Pet, to Torment in Hell the rest of your life, Repent except Jesus or return to Him now while there’s time, because Jesus IS! Coming!

      • Steve

        The RFID is NOT the mark of the Beast.The Mark of the beast will be literal (a tattoo) and is taken in allegiance and worship to the beast and will go upon the forehead (rev 20:4) or in the right hand.A tattoo goes IN the skin,but it will be SEEN! A chip goes under the skin and cannot be seen.The chip was invented as a SLAVE tag,the Mark of the beast will be something different (a tattoo/mark for all to see and taken in allegiance to the beast.

        • erik-da-red

          THe mark of the beast will be commercial in nature because it dictates BUY/SELL activities. It will be your life blood. The chip goes under the skin & cannot be seen- but it can be read/scan.. a religious tattoo will not have the kind of dragnet needed to enforce it unlike an everyday device which we need to survive – like an ATM or credit device.

  • hotstiks

    It is the lack of discretionary spending that is killing retail. I know the owner of my local (rural) 2 True Value stores. He runs the main store, and his daughter the satellite store. She has laid off two employees, and works 11 hours herself to keep that store viable. Even internet sellers are reporting declining sales. Except, of course, the ammunition and precious metals sellers.

  • jakartaman

    Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tolk
    Is it 9/13/15 yet?

    • Guest 2 Guest

      Absolutely nothing will happen on that date. I’ll remind you of that then.

      • Jerry C

        Remind me as well since I’ve been watching for it since 2001. The 09/29/2008 stock market crash of 777 points and ten days later on Yom Kippur by 678.91 ( add a 0 and God is counting toward future judgement on 09/13/15…6,7,8,9,10) by 7%, etc… I could write an entire book just on the 2008 crash, so I look forward to your apology too.

  • DJohn1

    The important factor that is killing everyone is the Obamacare insurance rates have gone sky high making it impossible for a lot of businesses to survive and still have employees.

  • CensoredSpeech

    Everyone seems to overlook the obvious, the spend serious money you have to have a serious job that pays more than subsistence wages!

    DO YOU CORPORATE MORONS GET IT YET? If you don’t pay your employees more than subsistence wages your job with your high paying salary also goes away You are responsible for your own demise though I doubt any will every admit to it!

    • jakartaman

      Excuse Me – I think you are the moron.
      Its not salaries – Its debt and greed by Most Americans and yes even minorities who have been feed, housed, given health insurance, and free phones and affirmative action.
      My dad told me that there are no free lunches – obviously he was wrong!!! We have been living beyond our means for decades – the piper is calling – DEBT!!! in all the advanced countries – does Greek ring any bells!!

      • sharon oliveria

        Control, Control And more control, there are no free lunch, or Dinner’s, OB will see to it the Crumb’s will be the order of the day, water shortage controlled through Chem-Trail & HAARP effects no food produced in the Food Basket’s of the World. They control your Water, Food & Medical Care , as Hitler said. “We have them Then. we started 1st by giving them Free stuff & Food, to draw them all In snap-Got Ya”. OB following same Blue Print. There is a Kill button on those cell phone’s. Wake! way up don’t just smell the coffee, DRINK IT! & get on up do! something before you are No! More!

      • T.

        He’s not a moron. The U.S.Government (Largest Corporation) and the other corporations in America operate by the same play book and under the Control of the same Ones who Control EVERYTHING in this nation. The Federal Reserve can create out of thin air (computer digit $) to fund or give away to Anything or Anybody that These devils so desire. The $ today is Not the $ of your dad’s day and the EVIL that TOTALLY runs Everything in our beloved country is Not the same as in your dad’s day. Welcome to AmeriKa.

        • jakartaman

          I am 70 and have seen the good times and now the bad times. I agree that our liberal progressive government is the current major issue. But the gorilla in the room is debt or fake prosperity. – It can not keep going like this and it will not. The world economies are going to collapse due to debt. We will need a whole new re-start. The process of the collapse and re-dart is going to be very very painful and violent

          • T.

            I agree 100%. The BANKSTERS that rule the world with their FIAT and Super Computers – Run Everything. Yes. It is not only going to be painful – Try Deadly – For untold millions.

          • Gay Veteran

            we have a fascist government

        • Chr

          There is a great video on youtube called “Money Masters” go view it and you will learn a great deal more. I am not saying you don’t know this stuff already but it has a great amount of details people may not be aware of. I am not going to paste the link you can find it if you search.

          • Flippah

            Watch Octogon Masters of Darkness on you tube.

      • CensoredSpeech

        Don’t you know opinions are like a**holes. Everybody has one and most of them stink.
        Corporate policy is a major part of that greed! Welfare is a separate but equally disastrous part of the problem!

  • Christoph Weise

    Stagnating real wages, prices driven up by inflation, 22% unemployment (U6), USD 53.000 average personal debt per living citizen and almost 50 million people living on food-stamps are the perfect recipe for retail closures. Something is wrong in America. Something requires change. I mean real change. Not the Obama stuff.

    • sharon oliveria

      Chris Yes I know what your saying, but My concern is it will!!! Change, But God! Help us, The Wicked Witch of the East (OB) has open the door, I don’t see any Ruby Slipper’s coming our way, Just another worse Witch carrying China & Russia on her Back (Hilary) If the Banks crash a NEW Money System on The SCENE can’t buy or sell with out RFID-CHIP 666 don’t take will mean doom who ever takes!

      • Nemnor

        sharon oliveria, by focusing on individuals or particular government leaders – who may indeed be making an already bad situation worse, one might not become aware that the MAIN issue facing the USA (and the World) is – the world-wide Capitalist system itself – which is now decadent, is UNSUSTAINABLE, is at a “dead end” and is NOT able to generate long-term recovery by economic means alone.

        One becomes part of the problem (and will NEVER be part of the solution) as long as one is not aware that, what is needed is, rather than just a change of government, we must have FUNDAMENTAL change away from Capitalism to a sustainable alternative system that addresses the ABUNDANT needs of the “rational” individual (and not just of “the 1%’).

        • sharon oliveria

          Yes I agree

  • Teresa Geib Bacon

    the clothing I have purchased at those stores isn’t Chinese

    • Christian Man

      No it’s Vietnamese.

      • Teresa Geib Bacon

        not even there, India and Thailand and very well made

  • Tom Truther

    meh, also these stores are completely becoming obsolete due to the clothing desires of millenials

  • tom

    Excuse me! Huffington post says the economy has never been better.

    I think the Q1 numbers made it official. The weak recovery is over.

  • Oinger Thing

    Marc Dinger is losing his job at the horns

  • Oinger Thing

    Lets get rid of Warren Buffett and George Soros now. They are sucking up everything like A vacume. Warren Buffett you are A goofy looking man with A very goofy looking face. I hope you loose everything in this coming crash.

  • we_have_one_that_can_see

    people still not getting it,..my neighbor told me she was going to buy a new car last year,..i told her that she should hold on to the old car as long as possible because we are heading into a deep recession , she laugh at me,. And brought the new car,.. I stop seeing her coming, and going,..i found out today that she got laid off from her job,..i wonder if she still thinks my advice was funny

    • Orange Jean

      I think that’s a bit like taking an umbrella to a picnic.

      I had very similar thing happen 30 years ago. I had a good job, I finally decided to replace my old sewing machine with a new one. 1 week later I got laid off. At least I had the sewing machine, which I paid for in cash.

  • http://www.brooklynculturejammers.com/ Mr Bad Example

    This shoe has been a long time dropping, but retail therapy and recreational shopping is so last decade. In 2008, the US had some 23 SF of commercial retail per capita, while the next country (Sweden) had about 3 SF, and we’ve never contracted enough to meet the new normal. And somebody–anybody–who wants the White House in 2016 better explain what we’re going to do to replace all those jobs. And not just in retail, but in commercial real estate construction and associated businesses.

    • Orange Jean

      You make a very good observation about real estate. Why is it that so many communities prohibit the building of smaller houses?

      One of my brothers, a single guy… spent over 30 years looking for a small house. He finally gave up that idea and went with his Luddite fantasy house, built in the 1700s where he can play “Daniel Boone” to his heart’s content. OK, so last year he bought an antique scythe to “mow” his lawn/fields.

      • http://www.brooklynculturejammers.com/ Mr Bad Example

        Homes are being built for people who are on a second or third home–not for people entering the market. Suburban communities have been zoning against multi-family dwellings and rental units for decades, ever since the rise of the Levittowns of America. communities anxious to ‘protect’ ‘property values’ also mandate minimum square footage, driveway, etc. You don’t want the ‘wrong people’ in town. It’s also why it’s nearly impossible to get multi-family and assisted-living facilities built in many suburbs.

  • Greyhorse

    The destruction of the USA has been planned for more years than I am old. The reason is to build a NWO the old world order must go away. We, the USA as we know it, must decline and our dollar must dissipate. So bring in Obama to bring us from the “Old to the “New”… thats called change in Obama terms.

    • CCT MSGT RET

      …….. Before the year 2020 the USA will be a communist or socialist state. Riots will begin in the major cities and move to the suburbs. Multi-national military forces will be brought in to the USA to put down the rebellion [uprising]. Martial Law will be put into effect and the US Constitution will be suspended indefinitely …

      Hurlburt Field, Florida
      US Special Operaions Briefing
      1974-75

  • whydowanttoknow

    Am I the only person in America who finds it odd that a man, with one store in Arkansas, can build an empire of department stores in record time? Sears, JC Penny, Sachs and Macy’s have been around for hundreds of years and could not do what this rube has accomplished in 25 years. It doesn’t make sense unless he had the help of the US.GOV. Walmart and Sam’s Club comes in and dominates the area putting all competition out of business. This type of domination just doesn’t happen by chance. It is communism infiltration at it’s finest. When the PTB are finished there will be 1 or 2 places to buy food and clothing, cars and trucks and banking. When they end the use of cash money by the people the change will be complete.

    • Flippah

      666

    • rentslave

      I haven’t used any cash this year,but I see no numbers stenciled in my hand.If a business doesn’t take credit cards,I don’t go there.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    None of this is surprising to me one bit. We lived in USA for 20 years until 2011 and each year was worse than the one before it. Most people were paying with credit cards and even car “sales” were mostly leases as people couldn’t afford to buy a car outright.

    Now it is getting worse. We lived in NJ and even there so many families were struggling to make do.

    And as for that nonsense about the internet hitting the brick-and-mortar stores, it is just that – NONSENSE. Yes, some sales will go online but certainly not the amount that the internet is being blamed for.

    We moved from USA to Singapore. We travel extensively, mainly to Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, etc. The stores in all places are booming and in many instances we have to wait in line in order to pay for anything. The internet is alive and well in Asia as well – in fact more so than in USA. But many people still can afford to shop in stores.

    Nope. The real reason that shops in USA are closing is that people have no money. Even the internet stores have cyber sale after cyber sale.

    All propaganda to make people feel good.

    And while we are on the topic of propaganda, notice how many USA publications are closing their readers’ comments sections. Bloomberg as all-but ended all comments. WSJ has made it only for paid subscribers (and as such you cannot hide your identity). Why? As to many were writing the truth and the powers that be did not like it. This is yet another sure sign that not all is well in USA.

    I fear much worse is yet to come.

    • tacoma

      You speaks the truth on reality – you have experienced diverse part of the world and therefore can see through propaganda. The propaganda in America today exceeds the worst of the Soviet. Difference is the Russian people knew it full well, while Americans soak up the nonsense to feel good.

      As to “I fear much worse is yet to come.” there us always another side to a coin. Far worse with respect to what? The U.S. is merely being reckoned for decades of failed policy and recklessness. To me, this is good. The harsh lessons yet to come is well-deserved. Only then will sense return.

  • Orange Jean

    Quite a few of the stores on that list I believe are going bankrupt more because they stopped paying attention to what their (former) customers needed and wanted. For example the last three times I tried buying something from Radio Shack (things you would expect to be available there… at least I did) and this is what happened:

    1. I needed an extra long cable (or whatever they’re called) to plug my computer into the phone line (in my area dial-up is only thing available). I needed on 15′, Radio Shack didn’t have anything anywhere near that long so I went elsewhere and bought it where I found it.Can’t remember where.

    2. I needed an external modem for my computer when the old one got fried in a thunderstorm. Went to Radio Shack they don’t carry those anymore, although to be fair they gave me a name of a small computer repair and supply place that did… and I went to the other place and bought it there instead.

    3. Needed a replacement for my calculator. Since Radio Shack had at least given me helpful advice the last time I figured I’d buy it from them…. OK, they are now closed.

  • Orange Jean

    Excellent points… I figured it might be something like that. I find myself going to Target more and I feel that they cater to my needs. I am handicapped and need to use an electric scooter to get around any store pretty much… they have them (in multiples) and they keep them charged up. Therefore I will continue to shop there.

  • sangell

    I notice a lot of the stores closing are apparel and fashion oriented. Its what you’d expect from an aging population ( and one where fewer and fewer workers are middleclass office workers with a need to dress for success). OTOH I suspect Obamacare and employer insurance plans are chewing up a lot of discretionary income through copays and deductibles.

    • Orange Jean

      Agreed and also for some of use older people age brings disability and/or weight gain…. or at the very least your shape changes and the people who design clothing for young, thin people don’t necessarily design clothing that fits.

      For most women for example… with age the bust droops, tummy get wider, bottoms spread out due to sitting on your bum for 40+ years…. even if your weight doesn’t change. Some really thin women lose muscle in arms and butts flatten out so things designed for a younger person may also not fit them or look less attractive. I know less about the details on how men’s bodies change but I’m sure they do as well… only there are more stores for men that cater to big and tall.

      Personally I have a lot of difficulty putting on clothes due to limited range of motion from arthritis. Shopping also hurts (waiting in lines, waiting to get a fitting room when your back and knees hurt). The only place I’ve recently been able to find pants that fit is one particular type of knit pant at Land’s End. Even so, I have days when it is a struggle to pull them up all the way, and often my foot gets stuck when I first try putting them on.

      I no longer even try to wear a dress or skirt, since for medical reasons I have to wear seriously ugly compression stockings and weird looking “diabetic” type stretchy shoes that come in one color only – black. The clothes from Macy’s and Sears and JC Penny that used to fit are also so ugly…. you feel like a fuddy duddy old lady, and even if I AM a fuddy duddy… don’t like their ugly clothes. Another store that carries plus size (Lane Bryant) tends to make mostly clothes that are trying to look “sexy” but tend to look cheap; hooker outfits I don’t need. All the above means… I have far less interest in buying clothes than I ever did… even though at this point in my life I have a lot more money and could afford “nice” clothes… if I could find them!

      If fashion designers were to take those type of things into consideration and stores were to cater more to the aging population (and admit it… most young people will get the chance to get older also) they might do better than forever catering to those “Forever 21″ or whatever age they design for.

  • ABLE3

    Clearly, there is no one with money left to spend: the US is insolvent, the working class is dead on its feet, the blue color is near on its knees and the middle class is all but a memory —-Y–goes in and you get X take it again there is now another .20 million who can spend or more so you cut down the operations– no customers —but the Jail Racket is Growing By leaps and bounds

    • Orange Jean

      That is true to some extent but I don’t think it’s the only reason stores go out of business. A lot of what I see on that list are stores that also don’t take their customer’s needs and wants into consideration. If you do that, you can expect people who do have money left to spend… will shop elsewhere.

  • JailBanksters

    Business’s, don’t need employees, therefore they don’t need any stores. As long as, the Club FED is giving money away they can borrow money to pump and dump their brains out. It’s more profitable to run a Pump and Dump than to run a Legitimate Business. And people can still buy cheaper stuff directly from China, so who needs people in America to make stuff. Cheaper stuff, Higher wages that’s the ticket.

  • Arsenal_Fire

    Why is everyone so scared, 6000 stores are not producing, bottomline,
    it’s not like we are going to die, the fact is if it’s cheaper in China,
    they’ll make it there, if it’s cheaper here than they’ll make it here.
    Plus we aspire to do more with college, even that’s not a guarantee, so
    just have to adjust and need to change with the times.

  • Merf56

    I use my family’s a an example or why this consumer spending apocalypse is upon us. We are middle to upper middle class. We have good secure higher level jobs and we have advanced degrees. No college loans. Never had them. Our kids are graduating college shortly. One with a PhD and one with a BA. Both of them smart and hard working. Bright futures. We have paid for their educations at a flagship State University for their BS. No loans. Yet… And here is the important part…… We have DRASTICALLY cut our discretionary spending these last few years and have ZERO plans to increase it any time soon. Why? Because of the grave uncertainty at the job and income prospects for our children. We feel we need to be able to have the money on hand to assist them. So far my son has had almost zero job offers that offer a living wage with benefits. By that I mean to afford a tiny apartment, a reliable vehicle( not new or fancy equipped), a decent healthcare plan that will not bankrupt him due to his frequent but brief hospitalizations for an ongoing kidney problem,food etc. He is working two part time jobs( which together add up to 42 hours a week as well as is full time college student and saving nearly everything. Our daughter has a full time visiting professorship at a prestigious college while finishing her dissertation. She has accepted another at the same school for next year. There are few openings for a tenure( read reasonably secure employment) track position at any college or University these days. Hopefully she will get one at the college she is at now but only I’df the funding is there which they never know until the last minute. She is in speech pathology not basket weaving btw…. They have both worked since age 16 and have rarely asked for anything
    Why record all this boring stuff? Hopefully you have read this far. Because the point of it all is : If WE are not spending like mad NO ONE IS!! We have the money, the secure higher paying positions. But the pall of an uncertain future and the emergencies that could entail for our kids keeps our money in the bank. And it will until further notice. We have many friends and family in this condition and they are also not spending. We also have friends and family who are in far LESS secure positions who are fearful for both their kids AND themselves as well. They are spending far less that we even are.
    Until we can manage to break the stranglehold of the banking and finance industry as well as the MIC’s have on the U.S. And indeed the world economy…..we are just ever faster circling the drain….

    • Nemnor

      Merf56, the “situation” you described that your (middle class) Family is facing a more or less symptoms of the DECADENT Capitalist system in the USA and in the world.

      The system will continue to decline, so you will never get the “assurance” (“security”) you are looking for, so that you will continue to spend again.

      The ONLY solution for you and all of us (for the World) is a fundamental change away from Capitalism to a sustainable alternative system that addresses the ABUNDANT needs of the “rational” individual ( and not just of “the 1%” and/or of the “middle class”).

      • Merf56

        Duh.

    • tacoma

      I appreciate you writing your story. It is to me a story of your children paying for the debts of those who enjoyed epic good times from 1990 – 2010. While your children now entering the work force will not have a bright future nor enjoy wealth (statistically), they unfortunately will not be able to pay down the insane amount of debt (by governments and privately) so far accumulated. When even the world’s biggest central bank the Federal Reserve can no longer issue fiat money and have to zero out interest rate forever, you know the fake money game is up. Physical reality takes over and it says no wealth and no jobs.

  • Richard Church

    If you look at the latest GDP report last week the fastest growth component was healthcare. Over the last 2 quarters since the ACA mandated sign ups began it appears these mandates have contributed to a significant acceleration in spending on healthcare versus prior trend spending. It appears it could be as much as an additional $10B per quarter. This would obviously more than offset the so-called tax break consumers received from lower gas prices (which have now turned higher).

  • Whisper

    It was announced today growth increased near zero the last quarter. Job creations are distorted because some are PT jobs, and many of us hold 2 to 3 PT jobs, one may be a couple hours a week–. When stores close, so do the jobs, so does the economy of those areas. Less available money to spend, the less growth we have, which brings us back to my first sentence.

  • libertarian1234

    If the fed ever raises interest rates, inflation will be the order of the day reducing consumer spending even further, and the economy will go south, and the restless natives will embark upon a sea to shining sea of pitched bloody battles in every urban area in the country, fighting over food and water.

    They’ll get an even greater chance to riot, maim, assault kill and murder, but they won’t have nearly as much fun, especially since the red areas of the country surround the blue ones heavily, and the good ole’ boys who are armed to the teeth will be waiting in the trees when what is left of the hordes flee to the countryside to loot.

  • AnnaGraceS

    I saw this coming with the advent of the internet. I myself have used the internet to shop rather then using my car to go to the store to buy several things this past month because I am sick and shopping is very difficult for me to try to find a parking space, deal with the time to try to find what I want, then putting up the people when I don’t feel good and my body is screaming to get back to the comfort of my bed when I’m in a flare of my illness. Much easier for me to shop in the comfort of my home. I absolutely detest going to the mall. I just can’t do it anymore so I thank God for the internet shopping. It is a God sent for me.

  • Eric Blankenburg

    There are a lot of reasons that retailers are closing stores.

    – The tentative state of the U.S. economy

    – Competition from e-commerce — bricks and mortar book, music, and electronics stores have almost been completely displaced by e-commerce

    – Decades of poor management, e.g., Sears / K-Mart (it’s shocking that they are even still in business)

    – The bifurcation of the U.S. social structure away from the middle class and towards the lower-middle and upper-middle classes has also hurt many companies, like JCPenny.

    – Competition from other retailers like Costco and Wallmart, which offer discounted prices.

    It’s difficult to blame the churn in retail exclusively on the state of the economy. In fact, if the economy was better, even more of these stores might be closing to due to increased competition.

  • gfmucci

    It would be helpful to also know how many new stores those retailers are opening up, unless those are net decrease numbers. Also, it would be helpful to know how many new store names are opening stores. A segment of these store closing numbers is due to the normal and desirable filtering that capitalism provides, where the dregs in performance sink to the bottom and the cream performers rise to the top or start new brands and names that provide the products, presentation, pricing and services more consumers desire.

  • tacoma

    I won’t go this far. America makes a whole lot of things. Tops are agriculture, fishery and manufactured foods (best in the world), pharmaceuticals, advanced tools making machinery, exotic materials and world most advanced chips and software. The problem is it does not make enough stuff to create enough jobs for its own people with the salary they want. 340 million people all wanting a big house and fancy cars is impossible.

  • Rich Dobbs

    Retail is over built in USA. I suspect a lot of it was from cities giving tax breaks to try to get sales tax revenues away from nearby cities. This was happening at the same time that internet/package delivery is decreasing need for retail. With housing bubble, folks are initially spending money for Abercrombie & Fitch and other designer/name brands, instead of functionally similar Wranglers. But I presume that as people are tapped out, the demand isn’t there. However, landlords aren’t reducing rent sufficiently to be able to make it profitable for small business owners to fill the store fronts. And I bet zoning restrictions prevent people from converting store fronts into housing.

  • A Friend

    Why on earth is Target Canada listed as bankruptcy? Is this all stores in Canada? What happened? I mean, stores like Sears and Wet Seal, etc – I get those closures. But Target?

    Love this site, very thought provoking and lots of good comments!

    • tacoma

      Target expansion into Canada has been one epic mismanagement disaster worthy of business case study. The Canadian economy is strong, retail sector stronger than U.S. but competition is high. Many U.S. retailers doing business in Canada are very successful (Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes just to name a few majors). But Target has botched its expansion by screwing up just about everything. It became a laughing stock. The CEO was fired (also for allowing 45 million credit cards hacked). The new CEO do not want to take over the former boss royal mess. So after a poor Christmas season he declared Target Canada in bankruptcy and proceeded to wind down operations within a few months.

  • Dave B in AZ

    It’s never only one thing. Could be that China realizes that we’re never going to pay them the 15 trillion we owe them, so they’ve cut us off. No telling what or why without more details. Closing stores is the symptom, so then what is the root problem. Is closing retail stores a problem? or perhaps a solution.

    • tacoma

      While I am online let me quickly comment.

      China central bank bought its U.S. Treasury bonds willingly with perfect rational calculations. It does not expect repayment in bonds. It does expect bilateral trade to expand, and therefore get even more in repayment. China today holds only about $700 billion in Treasuries, not the $14 trillion. [Its not that stupid]. It is using a good part of it to finance all manners of infrastructure builds and creating its own banking system to make its currency a major world currency. As these come to fruition, most of its Treasuries will be spent. But it will get many times in ROI by investing its U.S. bonds, and by then its own currency can be used to replace the U.S. dollar.

      • Dave B in AZ

        So, China made an investment in fiat-bonds printed by the Fed, knowing the bonds would eventually be deflated through ever more printing, all in the expectation of market growth for Chinese products? Sounds abut right. and I mistakenly believed China was moving toward a consumer economy of its own.

  • mcrognale

    The reason not mentioned is the staggering hit to family budgets by Obozocare. Close friend of mine had his premiums jump from around $400 month to over $1500 and his covered conditions were reduced. All part of the plan folks.

  • piccadillybabe

    I also think we will less buyouts/partnerships of other companies. Even Comcast had second thoughts of buying out TWC probably because they figured they will not be better off buying TWC as it has been struggling with “cord cutters” for years as they have a failed business model. Also was surprised to see that Dollar Tree/Family Dollar will be closing 340 stores. Buying out Family Dollar was obviously not a good choice for DT as now they are having the same issues that Family Dollar had. People will shop where they can get the deals and where there is a slimmer profit margin for the store. Just found a grocer in my area that has some very reasonable prices along with good quality. Walmart and other chains will lose out when they have to pay their workers close to $40K a year (including benefits). Who cares if I have go bag my own groceries, a small price to pay when you can stretch your dollar to cover more expenses.

    • rentslave

      Comcast other problem is their terrible internet.Fiber optics is where it’s at.

  • IcyFrog

    Ever consider the fact people are doing more shopping online thanks to Amazon’s fast delivery system?

  • NCFREEDOM

    The closing of 55Staples retail operations is deceiving. We are in the final stages of acquiring Office Depot!

    Staples was profitable for the 26 year in a row in 2015! With top line sales comp growth over 2014

    Not all always seems to be what it.

    • barry oldwater

      From what I hear so was debs, it was bought out by a competitor.

  • Erik M

    “If the U.S. economy really is improving, then why are big U.S. retailers permanently shutting down thousands of stores? ”
    The two have nothing to do with each other. da.

    These drama-queen baby boomers. Could they peacefully retire and accept the fact they are old? No. They are so used to thinking the world revolves around them, everything has to be a major drama.

    Yes, the world is constantly changing.
    Are the things that baby boomers used to OLD, and will they be replaced? YES they are are.
    Get over yourselves.

    “It’s the end of THE (our) world! Panic ! Panic ! We must ALL buy gold ! Bigger is better! louder means superiority ! Pointless competitiveness! All hail the king of materialism!”
    Grow up!
    Did we hear this B.S. in 1992, 1975, 2000? No we didn’t. Back then it was pointless enthusiasm vs. the pointless fear of the present.
    Shame on the criminals spreading pointless fear. It is corruption and treasonous.

    • rentslave

      You’re right about not buying gold:If the Phillies are still going badly,gold prices will remain low.If they start a run of success,gold again goes the moon.I’ve followed this for 40 years now.

    • barry oldwater

      Apperently you can’t see the forest for the trees. Online is killing brick and mortar but the brick and mortar support more workers, when they get laid off, amd malls close, it taxes a strained community more, and now more people unemployed, warehouses that sell online are not picking up the number of people that are being let go don’t fool yourself and say they are. It is getting worse its a domino effect that snowballs in a negative way.

  • Tina

    Since the beginning of this year, I’ve noticed less consumer friendly rules. For example, at Kohl’s, if you had a coupon that expired, you could still use it. As of June 1st, their “new computer system” won’t allow expired coupons (how convenient). At Victoria’s Secret, the same thing—their “new” system won’t let you return without a receipt. They meticulously look it up, and it takes forever. It used to be a “sure thing” and “no questions asked” attitude. There was one other store I went to that I had the same problem. I just can’t remember the name. So, obviously, they are all hurting and trying to squeeze every last penny out of the consumer!

  • Rocketman

    I live in Vero Beach, Florida. Our local paper just recently had an article about the sad fortune of our local mall. Traffic is dismal at best. The mall also has a 20% vacancy rate. For a mall that size, 737,000 square feet, 10% is the acceptable vacancy rate. Our county is semi-rural. You have the wealthy enclaves on the barrier islands, struggling middle class in the middle, and farm land to the west. The mall was built on the premise that the population would increase by a certain percentage each year. It did not. In the last 3 months, we have lost four stores at the mall. That’s not counting the storefronts that have been vacant for over thirteen years. People just do not have the money.

    • A Friend

      Hey Rocketman, I too am from Vero but am no longer there. Small world and you speak the truth about the area. . Can you send me the article on the mall?

      • Rocketman

        #1

        Two local malls developed by the same company have had different fortunes.

        The 27-year-old Treasure Coast Square mall and the 18-year-old Indian River Mall have had the same developer and owner, Simon Property Group, previously DeBartolo Co.

        Both have movie theaters, are on busy roads and have the same anchors in Macy’s, Sears, Dillard’s and J.C. Penney.

        Yet they have been heading down very different paths.

        While the Jensen Beach mall is adding new stores and even a bar, the Indian River Mall, plagued by vacancies, is awaiting a May 12 foreclosure auction.

        “Treasure Coast Square is the nicer of the two. It has a better vibe and feels more airy,” Fort Pierce resident Taryn Smith said. “I get depressed when I go to the Vero mall because there are so many vacancies.”

        Jesse Tron, spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers, said many factors contribute to the success or failure of malls.

        “There are always going to be winners and losers no matter how good the economy is doing,” Tron said.

        TREASURE COAST SQUARE THRIVING

        The Treasure Coast’s first regional mall opened in October 1987 with Lord & Taylor and Jordan Marsh as its anchors.

        The mall has continued to evolve, adding stores such as Forever 21 and Pandora.

        “The area is growing and the mall is growing with it. It’s very exciting to see the changes at the mall,” Treasure Coast Square mall manager Darren Shepherd said. “We’re bringing trendier, higher-end brand names to the property.”

        May 1, a Sephora cosmetics store opened in the J.C. Penney, which is expected to drive women of all ages to the mall.

        “It’s a very popular brand and we’re very happy that we’ve been able to get them to come into the mall,” Shepherd said. “It gives people more reasons to come to J.C. Penney and come into the Treasure Coast Square to shop and we’re all about that.”

        Next to anchors, restaurants are probably the single biggest draw to the property, Shepherd said.

        The Brass Tap, an upscale craft beer and wine bar, is scheduled to open May 11 at the main mall entrance across from Ruby Tuesday’s.

        “Craft beers are very popular right now. It adds an element to the mall that we don’t currently have,” Shepherd said, adding the bar and restaurant will have patio seating and live entertainment. “It’s going to create a very festive atmosphere for the mall and we’re very excited to bring them in.”

        This is the second Simon mall location for Vik Patel, the franchise owner who comes from Tampa, who said Simon approached him about coming here.

        The Brass Tap features about 70 taps, but Patel said, food is a “driving force” and makes up between 40 to 50 percent of sales.

        “Looks like they’re really trying to upgrade Treasure Coast Square and really make it a destination where families can come and watch a movie, have meals, have a drink later on,” Patel said. “It felt like the perfect fit for us.”

        Jensen Beach resident Kelli Walton, who moved from Vero Beach in 2013, said she likes how the mall is adding new things and has been able to hold on to stores that closed years ago at the Indian River Mall, such as f.y.e.

        “It’s a full-service kind of mall. Treasure Coast Square is packed every weekend and even on weeknights,” Walton said. “They have so many interesting stores.”

        INDIAN RIVER’S BAD LUCK

        Indian River Mall opened in November 1996 with a countdown punctuated by fireworks, streamers and 1,000 local residents waiting for the doors to open.

        But unlike Treasure Coast Square, it hasn’t been able to retain or attract the trendier businesses to keep customers interested.

        Vero Beach resident Debi O’Brien was one of those excited about the mall opening but she soon became disenchanted with it.

        “This mall has really never changed from the day it opened. Now when you look at it, it’s very dated,” said O’Brien, who has lived in Indian River County for 31 years. “The mindset of that mall to me always seemed to be either they were pushing to 70 year olds or they were pushing to the teenagers.”

        A particularly bad year for the mall was 2008.

        That was the Dodger’s last spring training season in Vero Beach and a tough economic year for retailers who were shuttering stores nationwide.

        Dodgertown’s closing took a huge part of business out of Vero Beach, Walton said.

        The mall’s Gap, Disney Store and RJ Gator’s closed.

        Vacancies remain even more prevalent today with advertisements disguising some empty storefronts.

        O’Brien said she now only goes to the mall to Yankee Candle and travels to Viera for shopping and occasionally to Vero Beach Outlets.

        “I love Vero except for the shopping and the nightlife. If you want either of those things you have to go somewhere else,” she said.

        STILL VIABLE

        Usually when a mall is in trouble the anchors start bailing.

        This is what happened with the old Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, a mall that had the same anchors as Indian River Mall and was also a Simon mall.

        Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Sears have been closing stores nationwide but have not named Indian River Mall on their lists.

        “The fact that they’re not closing is a pretty good indication of what they think of the market and the potential,” said shopping center expert Tron.

        The anchors are probably waiting to see what happens with the rest of the property and the new owner, Tron said.

        While it’s not her favorite mall, Fort Pierce’s Taryn Smith hopes Indian River Mall stays open and is revamped with more restaurants.

        “That would be tragic if they can’t save it. I think the area would definitely suffer.”

        ————————————————————–

        #2

        INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Revenue losses and a high vacancy rate drove the Indian River Mall into foreclosure.

        Real estate experts blame this semirural area’s slower-than-expected population growth and the mall’s inability to draw enough shoppers with healthy incomes.

        It’s also caught in the same downturn as many other smaller malls, as stagnant wages tighten people’s spending and more shoppers buy online or at street-front stores, analysts say.

        “Just not a lot of people at the Indian River Mall,” said Terry Torres, president of SLC Commercial’s Bird Realty in Vero Beach. “It’s obvious they (stores) are not generating a lot of foot traffic.”

        Simon Property Group, the mall’s owner, owes $71 million to Wells Fargo Bank and hopes to shed the mall in a May 12 online foreclosure sale. Simon defaulted on the loan in September, about two months before a balloon payment of an undisclosed amount came due.

        Simon representatives declined to comment.

        Although the mortgage covers both the mall and Simon’s adjacent Indian River Commons, that plaza is not in foreclosure. Simon probably will seek to refinance the more profitable Commons to keep control of it, analysts say.

        The mall’s four anchors — Dillard’s, Sears, J.C. Penney and Macy’s — also are unaffected because they own their spaces.

        The mall’s revenue dropped by almost $2 million in 2014, and its vacancy rate has hung at almost 20 percent since 2013, well below the 10 percent deemed acceptable for a mall this size, said Sean Barrie, an analyst with Trepp LLC, a New York market-research firm.

        Two years ago, the mall’s income could cover debt payments, but last year it fell about 20 percent short, Barrie said. All of this makes the mall nearly impossible to unload in a conventional sale, he said.

        News reports show Simon in the past five years has defaulted on a least a half-dozen large loans on malls that went into foreclosure, including the Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach. However, those are a tiny portion of the 225 retail centers the company owns worldwide.

        Simon is the country’s largest mall operator partly because it knows when to dispose of struggling properties such as Indian River, said Howard Davidowitz, a retail consultant based in New York.

        “As an asset manager … you’re getting rid of the bad and trying to do more with the good stuff,” Davidowitz said.

        GROWTH FALLS SHORT

        In a March report, Trepp pegged the mall’s value at $35.2 million, about half of what Simon owes the bank. The estimate is unofficial, though the firm’s researchers studied the same financial factors that real estate appraisers would, Barry said.

        Simon signaled the mall’s troubles by relegating it to “other properties” in its 2014 annual report — the category for sites it plans to dump.

        DeBartolo Co. built the mall in 1996 for $89 million when shopping centers were proliferating. Soon after, Simon bought DeBartolo and took over its sites, including the Indian River Mall and Treasure Coast Square in Jensen Beach.

        In 2004, Simon borrowed $75 million from Wells Fargo in the peak of the nation’s frenzied lending. The loan covered $53 million still owed on the original mortgage and gave Simon an additional $22 million, a foreclosure document indicates.

        Simon made monthly payments of $412,000 to cover the mall and Commons. A balloon payment came due Nov. 1.

        Since the Commons won’t be part of the foreclosure sale, Simon must shop for a lender and establish a new mortgage for the complex, Barrie said.

        The county grew in the decade after the mall opened, though not as much as developers hoped. The population is still only about 140,000.

        “Indian River County never grew enough to support that mall,” said Boyd Bradfield, president of NAI Southcoast, a Stuart commercial real estate company.

        The mall struggles during the leaner months after seasonal residents leave, he said, adding a vibrant mall can withstand the ebb much better.

        It fails to draw more affluent residents, especially from the barrier island, Torres said. It also faces competition from specialty shops, big-box stores and Vero Beach Outlets, he said.

        The mall’s revenues in 2014 fell to $7.6 million from about $9.5 million the year before, according to Trepp’s report.

        The Treasure Coast’s relatively small population creates a limited market, Bradfield said. For instance, the Orange Blossom Mall in Fort Pierce declined to a near shell during the late ‘90s boom and was converted to a business park.

        Bradfield said he’s not surprised the Commons — whose stores include a Lowe’s Home Improvement and Best Buy — is doing better than the mall.

        Leasing rates for plazas are lower than at enclosed malls, Bradfield said. Also, the Commons’ stores cater to homeowners, a more reliable clientele than the fickle younger shoppers the mall’s boutiques try to attract, he said.

        FEWER SHOPPERS, LESS INCOME

        The heyday of malls has passed, with many in decline because of online shopping, consumers flocking to downtowns and the middle class eroding, Davidowitz said.

        In the past six years, federal data shows, the number of Americans living in poverty has doubled to one in six, causing the average yearly wage to drop by $6,000, Davidowitz said. “When you look at the whole picture, the middle class is crushed.”

        Smaller malls such as Indian River, which have Sears and J.C. Penney as anchors, are especially vulnerable, he said, as both of those chains are waning.

        People on tighter budgets bargain-hunt at Walmart and other stand-alone chain stores, he added.

        On a recent Friday, the mall’s foot traffic was modest and two-third of the food court tables were empty. Vacant spaces marred almost every row of stores.

        Two friends who enjoy shopping and seeing movies there, say it’s much less crowded than it used to be.

        Maggie Carr, 80, agreed that people today don’t have as much money to spend on shopping.

        “The whole problem is bigger than this mall,” Carr said. “It’s the economy. There aren’t enough people making enough money.”

        Rita Amrich, 74, said she thinks the mall should add larger anchor stores to offer more variety and the most sales.

        “Women look for sales,” she said. “That brings them in.”

        Having the mall’s four anchors separate from the foreclosure should keep the mall intact and aid in revitalizing it, Torres said.

        Whoever buys the mall should spruce it up, Torres said. The new owner must fill the vacancies, including with higher-end stores that lure affluent shoppers, he said.

        “You’ve got to start drawing the type of stores into that mall that pay the higher rents and can generate some traffic,” Torres said.

        INDIAN RIVER MALL

        Built: 1996
        Owner: Simon Property Group
        *Square footage: 737,000
        Anchor stores: Dillard’s, Sears, J.C. Penney, Macy’s
        Debt owed: $71 million
        Foreclosure sale date: May 12
        *Includes anchor stores, which aren’t part of foreclosure sale.

  • Rocketman

    I live in Vero Beach, Florida. Our local paper just recently had an article about the sad fortune of our local mall. Traffic is dismal at best. The mall also has a 20% vacancy rate. For a mall that size, 737,000 square feet, 10% is the acceptable vacancy rate. Our county is semi-rural. You have the wealthy enclaves on the barrier islands, struggling middle class in the middle, and farm land to the west. The mall was built on the premise that the population would increase by a certain percentage each year. It did not. In the last 3 months, we have lost four stores at the mall. That’s not counting the storefronts that have been vacant for over thirteen years. People just do not have the money.

  • Mary Kay Hodges-Cates

    I think quality of products and extremely poor customer service has allot to do with it.
    Then look at how they treat their employees too.
    I have not shopped at many of them ever but the ones I have shopped at I stopped long ago because of those reasons.
    Three I worked for and know first hand how they treat employees and customers.

  • stephen GraceLoveObey.com

    I don’t shop at any of these stores – as for the flap about Chinese and their poorly made stuff, there was an interview from a company in China. When presented with the ‘China makes poor quality items’ the Chinese company rep said “If America wanted quality products, we would make them… but they don’t.” (or something to that effect).

    I think the down turn will separate the wheat from the chaff and get rid of the fat of america in regards to business.

  • pditty

    the last 30 yrs it wasnt discretionary spending, its called CHEAP CREDIT! wnen we shipped jobs overseas to china and other 3rd world nations, the jobs that took over were poor paying service jobs, so the only way consumers could make up for it, was by using their credit cards, or using their house as an ATM machine. for those who would like to argue competition of jobs going overseas, you want to compete with .50 cents an hour/ or maybe 1.50 hour?? even if a company is trying to reduce its costs, my question to you is that why they cant even pay the workers of that third world country a living wage, thus those workers are living in poverty!! that means if these corporations could get you to work for free, that is what they want, please dont tell me they cannot afford to pay third world workers, 2.00$ an hour? come on! they shouldnt be in business if that is all they can afford, but we know that is b.s.

  • underaged

    Michael, we should start calling you ‘moonman’ seeing how you only show one side of any discussion.

  • df NJ

    Customers flush with cash creates jobs not the CEOs. We are experiencing a deflationary death spiral with these closings. When the Chinese peg the Yuan 6 to 1 against the dollar this means a CEO gets 6 Chinese workers for every one American worker. Nobody can compete with 6 workers. Without a strong middle class buying goods and services the store closings will continue. As money is concentrated into fewer and fewer hands the value of currency will continue to drop. We’ve lost most of our factories. No factories means no customers. No customers means store closings. Store closings leads to higher unemployment which creates the next round of store closings. The only way the American economy will not collapse is by doubling the remaining worker’s salaries. But that is not going to happen.

  • Downton

    In addition to people realizing they don’t want to buy cheaply made, expensive junk they don’t need, when they do decide to shop, they do it online. It beats driving through traffic and idiot drivers to get it, standing in line to buy it, carrying it out to the car, driving through traffic and idiot drivers to take it home, carrying it in the house, etc. I just bought a $40 pair of shoes online that were on sale online for $16 plus tax and shipping was free for the first-time purchase at this online store.They were on sale online but not at the retail store. Go figure.

  • Antonio

    What we are experiencing is the force of demographics at work in the economy. It comes down to “People.” The baby boomers, the biggest wave to move through our economy, likened to a pig in the belly of a snake, are hitting the peak age of 46 where they start looking at retirement and begin paring down. Guess when the average boomer hit that magical peak age of 46? Yep, 2008! There is nothing th fed can do in its arsenal to fight the fact that 10,000 boomers a day are hitting 65 and focusing on retirement. Japan went through this in the late 80’s and they still haven’t recovered. All the spending that took place in the 80s and 90s as boomers raised families, entered the workforce, is coming to an end.

  • Michael J. McCabe

    But,but the recession ended in 2009.

  • mister_roboto

    I appreciate that you pointed out what a crushing burden paying the monthly rent has become for so many people these days.

  • runnindeer

    Many of these stores have been in financial trouble for some time. Others are simply not as cheep as stores on line or as others that sell merchandise as good or better for less.In many areas some stores are in area with others of that same or similar nature and the competition is too high for them to make a buck.

  • Da Mooch

    I think if you really look at the stores that are closing some of this is due to changes in trends, clothing stores for instance and consolidation (OfficeMax/OfficeDepot) and other mergers. Retail stores have come and gone for decades, but consumers are still spending. To say this is the beginning of the collapse of the economy is a doomsday view. Continue to write these articles and consumers might just start believing them. Write something positive about small to mid-sized businesses that are succeeding and thriving and let’s see what happens. WeatherTech in the western suburbs of Chicago is an example of a success story, high quality manufacturing in the US, using US employees and suppliers. The problem is that no one wants to take the risk, no risk, no reward. Time to revive the US economy and stop professing the sky is falling. It’s amazing what a little positive mojo can do in the world.

  • lyla cavanaugh

    Another thing is the baby boomers are now downsizing and not buying more junk. Trying to get rid of stuff now. Also, groceries are astronomical. Eating out is a fortune and books are double what they used to cost. No one wants to buy a thirty dollar book and then have to throw it out. It kills U.

  • sharon oliveria

    Yes! They Own USA’s Butt

  • Tatiana Covington

    People are becoming obsolete.

  • Donald Wilson

    In the not so distant future America will one day be a Third World Nation. The End……..

  • April G

    The Savers thrift store in our suburban neighborhood in Denver closed late last year. Obviously this is not a large prestige retailer. I did notice that their business model and sales strategy was not competitive with other thrifts in the area. But if consumers can’t keep a thrift store afloat then what does that say about our economy? Six months later the large store is still empty. Most of the strip retail centers in our area sit with half or more of their stores empty. And they have been for awhile, even when their anchor grocery stores or department stores seem to be doing well. Residential rents are through the roof here and grocery prices on some items have tripled. Explain that to me.

  • https://www.facebook.com/John4Revolution John Proteus

    CLOWARD AND PIVEN ARE WORKING THROUGH THEIR SURROGATE .. HUSSEIN OBAMA AND GANG… This is no accident. They are doing exactly what they promised they would. Take down the America we know and replace it with their version. Remember ” Fundamental Transformation of America” ??

    I am afraid the Conservatives have the political version of the Battered Wife Syndrome.. its the Battered Conservative Syndrome. You take a beating but never leave.

    Only seceding can fix this people. Nothing else can IF YOU WANT PEACE AND QUIET.

    “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” It will not happen so long as they ( The Cabal) are pursuing your Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

    R2S = Revolt to Secede!

  • Eman Xavier

    Those people who your fathers kidnapped in 1619 from Africa were and are the bloodline biblical Hebrews. If you wish for your economy to regain it’s strength, then get rid of those Khazars/Fake Jews out of Israel and return the true African Hebrews to their rightful home. If not, you will go the way of all empires that ever existed. EXTINCT !

  • Guest

    At my favorite mall last year I noticed about a dozen shops closing or moving. Six months ago I noticed that several shop locations were still empty. Today I noticed that there are still empty shops with big advertisements that say, “This retail space can be yours!”

    This mall has changed drastically over 30+ years, but until this year, I have never seen an empty shop there. Mind you this is not a falling apart mall in a ‘urban’ slum. It’s a well kept mall in an upper middle class area.

    The Walmart and Target in the mall seem to be busy, but everything else seems to be withering away.

  • Robert Clevenger

    I had money but under a republican regime I cut spending
    then under the bush crash I lost half my income
    I was already shopping less an not buying high price ticket
    items.. lot of the dollar store do not carry a lot of Chinese products
    lot of the products are now produced in in dia

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