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The Retail Apocalypse Accelerates: Collapsing Holiday Sales Are A Signal That A Recession Is Coming

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Retail Apocalypse - Photo by Justin CozartRetail sales during the four day Thanksgiving weekend were down a whopping 11 percent from last year.  This is a “make or break” time of the year for many retailers, and if things don’t turn around during the coming weeks we could see a tsunami of store closings in January and February.  As you read this article, there is already more than a billion square feet of retail space sitting empty in the United States.  Many have described the ongoing collapse of the retail industry as an “apocalypse”, and this apocalypse appears to be accelerating.  Yes, the shift to online retailers is a significant factor, but as you will see below even online retailers struggled over the holiday weekend.  The sad truth of the matter is that U.S. consumers are tapped out and are drowning in debt at this point, so they simply do not have as much money to spend as they once did.

According to the National Retail Federation, 5.2 percent fewer Americans shopped online or at retail stores over the past weekend.  Those that did shop spent an average of 6.4 percent less money than consumers did last year.

So if less people shopped, and they spent less money on average, that means that total retail sales must have been way down.

And indeed they were.  As the New York Times has reported, total retail sales were down an astounding 11 percent…

Sales, both in stores and online, from Thanksgiving through the weekend were estimated to have dropped 11 percent, to $50.9 billion, from $57.4 billion last year, according to preliminary survey results released Sunday by the National Retail Federation. Sales fell despite many stores’ opening earlier than ever on Thanksgiving Day.

And though many retailers offered the same aggressive discounts online as they did in their stores, the web failed to attract more shoppers or spending over the four-day holiday weekend than it did last year, the group said. The average person who shopped over the weekend spent $159.55 at online retailers, down 10.2 percent from last year.

No wonder there was less violence on Black Friday this year.

Traffic at retailers was way down.

Of course some analysts are trying to put a positive spin on all of this.  For example, the CEO of the National Retail Federation says that this could actually be a sign that the economy is improving

As the WSJ reports, NRF’s CEO Matt Shay attributed the drop to a combination of factors, including the fact that retailers moved promotions earlier this year in attempt to get people out sooner and avoid what happened last year when people didn’t finish their shopping because of bad weather.

Also did we mention the NRF is perpetually cheery and always desperate to put a metric ton of lipstick on a pig? Well, hold on to your hats folks:

He also attributed the declines to better online offerings and an improving economy where “people don’t feel the same psychological need to rush out and get the great deal that weekend, particularly if they expected to be more deals,” he said.

And of course the sprint vs marathon comparisons, such as this one: “The holiday season and the weekend are a marathon not a sprint,” NRF Chief Executive Officer Matthew Shay said on a conference call. Odd how that metaphor is never used when the (seasonally-adjusted) sprint beats the marathoners.

So there you have it: a 11% collapse in retail spending has just been spun as super bullish for the US economy, whereby US consumers aren’t spending because the economy is simply too strong, and the only reason they don’t spend is because they will spend much more later. Or something.

The retail industry is absolutely brutal at this point.  It is flooded with very large competitors that are chasing fewer and fewer disposable dollars.

In order to thrive, retailers need financially healthy consumers.  But over time, U.S. consumers have been getting deeper and deeper into debt.  The chart posted below shows that consumer credit in the United States has doubled since the year 2000…

Consumer Credit 2014

Meanwhile, the long-term trend for real median household income since the year 2000 has been down…

Real Median Household Income 2014

In order for Americans to spend money, they have to make money first.

Unfortunately, the quality of our jobs continues to plummet.

As I have written about previously, 50 percent of all American workers currently make less than $28,031 a year at their jobs.  And here are some more numbers from a report that the Social Security Administration recently released…

-39 percent of American workers made less than $20,000 last year

-52 percent of American workers made less than $30,000 last year

-63 percent of American workers made less than $40,000 last year

-72 percent of American workers made less than $50,000 last year

So in order for a typical American family to bring in $50,000 a year or more both parents usually have to work.

Sometimes they both have to work more than one job.

And with the cost of living constantly rising, family budgets are being squeezed more than ever.  That is why families have less money to spend at retail stores these days.  For even more on the current financial condition of American families, please see my previous article entitled “Are You Better Off This Thanksgiving Than You Were Last Thanksgiving?

It is time for retailers in America to face the fact that economic conditions have fundamentally changed.  U.S. consumers simply are not in as good shape as they used to be.

In addition, online retailers are going to continue to steal sales from traditional retail locations.  This means that more stores are going to close and more retail space is going to be abandoned.

As I mentioned above, more than a billion square feet of retail space is aleady sitting vacant in the United States.  And retail consultant Howard Davidowitz is projecting that up to half of all shopping malls in the U.S. may shut down within the next couple of decades

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

In the years ahead, it is going to become normal to see boarded up strip malls and abandoned shopping centers all over the country.

The golden age of retail is over, and now most retailers will have to work incredibly hard to survive the apocalypse that is unfolding right before our eyes.

  • kfilly

    Stock up on any last minute preps you might need and get right with God!

    • ZipR22

      Look around, then try to say there is a recovery

      Layoff List: Dailyjobcuts com

      Keep up the good work Mike

      • Darth Maul

        @ ZipR22

        Thanks for the link. Interesting web page.

  • Darth Maul

    Regarding the fact that Bankers and Millionaires are still regarded as the greatest heroes and the most patriotic americans – WHY is that?

    Why doesn’t the public do ANYTHING about these people who steal our money, take away our homes and move the factories to China?

    WHY is the public so quiet? So apathetic?

    • alan

      Worried about missing that house payment.

      • Hot Rain

        The house on ‘rented’ land…

      • Robert C.

        Worried about missing that hotel payment.

    • The voice

      Because for the past 30-40 years they have been genetically modified numbed and dumbed down to the point that all that matters is when to get their next pack of cigarettes or beer and watch sports or reality shows

      • Leave it to Beaver

        or bong hit.

      • john

        and Netflix!

    • Bill

      It’s the nature of sheep (before the slaughter).

    • truegrit

      Because they’re stupid

    • ΔИθᴎЎϻɸᵿƧ

      Our factories moved offshore because politicians made it possible with NAFTA.

      Labor is any business’s largest expense. If you’re a business owner, and can get labor cheaper than anywhere in the U.S., you’ll move your business outside the U.S. It isn’t anything personal. It’s just business.

      Basically, any transfer of wealth from poor/middle class to rich is made possible by politicians. That’s why most of the former middle class (like me) is now poor, while the rich population continues to grow.

      • XSANDIEGOCA

        Don’t forget the $3K bonus for hiring an illegal courtesy of Obama Care.

      • Mary Kotomski

        We can also thank the Federal and state governments for all of the regulations that are making it increasingly expensive to run a business.

    • apeiron

      What would you suggest Darth Maul?

    • rentslave

      Because they control the popular media.Plus,they won’t let invest our money in sporting outcomes unless we move to Nevada.

  • liberalsequalshit

    liberalsequalshit

  • alan

    The malls will be replaced by more African style open air markets. The cost is low for used sheet metal and cardboard.
    It will close at dark so no need for electricity.
    You have to think third world now, that’s where we are headed.

    • Mike Smithy

      I am waiting for the Ferguson shopping experience to come to a mall near me where the merchandise just flies off the shelf. “If its free, I’ll take three”.

      • Orac4Prez

        Yeah, and if you park outside the door, you wont have trouble finding where you left your car – it will probably be glowing when you return!

    • Hot Rain

      Our local flea market is under siege. It is now a Mexican style, no hablo English, ghetto vending mess full of thieves and thugs.
      Let’s see, first I lose my hospital contract to wage cutting Filipinos, now I lose my business to third world trash.
      Yeah, I see where we’re headed..

      • Orange Jean

        You wouldn’t happen to be in Raleigh, NC would you? There has been a flea market there for years that is exactly what you described. I went there once, it gave me the creeps!

        • Hot Rain

          Hey Jean. I am between Orange Beach (Al) and Pensacola, Fl. The only large flea was in Pcola. The owners saw an influx of foreign money, so they painted the place and raised the rates. This did nothing more than drive away other vendors due to the changing customer base.

          • Orange Jean

            Thanks for the info… I have family in Florida (Tally), the whole family moved there when I turned 18 and left home but I only stayed there a few months. One of my brothers is reconsidering the idea of moving back to FL somewhere when he is ready to retire … after living in NH for a good many years. Any suggestions on safer areas to consider?

            I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised about NC; I understand the M13 gang has made strong headway there. I also had a scary incident happen in Warsaw, NC (tiny town between Raleigh and eastern NC beaches) when I stopped for gas. I am a white female, at the time I had a 4-Runner (not new but in good shape). I had a group of young men in low riders, typical gangster cars surround my vehicle in a threatening way… as in they tried to block me so I couldn’t leave the gas station (broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon). They finally moved, but then I also noticed when leaving to get back to the freeway there was a cafe called “Atzlan Cafe” so I guess likely they may have been Mexican gangs. Very much the atmosphere you’d expect more out of South Central LA.

          • Southern West Virginia is very safe. No worries about fall out as we’re nestled between two mountain ranges, and the rats leaving the city will never make it here.

      • Priszilla

        Don’t blame the filipinos for the wage cutting. Blame the employer!

        • Hot Rain

          FYI: Undercutting wages to get a automatic Visa and job is the goal of most Filipina and Mexican Nurses. A lot succeed and end up replacing Americans, work 10 years, go home and start a business.
          Hospitals look to cut cost, period. The patients suffer through indifference and negligent care.
          Why do I blame them personally? It is a well known fact that Filipinos hate Americans. I have witnessed this. They are rude, obnoxious, know-it-alls with an air of superiority. It’s all about the money.
          Until you are replaced by third world trash keep your nose out of something you apparently know little about.

          • Priszilla

            Cutting costs. Really?
            It is far more efficient to cut dividends and the salary of the top earners and directors.
            But it isn’t done.
            Hospitals are run to make money. Period.

          • Mike Smithy

            I have had the opportunity to live in the Philippines from 1990-1991 and routinely traveled there on business from 2007-2010. For the most part, I found them to be very nice people. I came across very few that have animosity to Americans. Are you sure that you don’t have Filipinos confused with the French?

          • Cynical_Guy42

            Seriously? Filipinos love Americans. Many of them get married to Americans (both black and white). Although, a lot of them marry Chinese and Japanese too…
            As for the rudeness, humanity just plain sucks, regardless of race.

          • Priszilla

            Filipinos don’t make the laws in America.
            Why blame them for taking opportunities when offered?
            Filipinos don’t decide about their wages.
            They would prefer the highest income possible.

        • peace angel

          A whole handful of families also control the US for the past 200 years and Americans have been having babies like rabbits for decades and NO ONE has attempted to “replace” our corrupt aristocratic government??

          • Priszilla

            Exactly.
            70% do not even vote.
            The low class is shooting each other.
            Whenever someone suggests a higher tax on the rich, those with no money jump to their defense.
            Every people has the government it deserves.

        • Mary Kotomski

          Please leave our faith alone. We value all life and therefore, do not practice birth control and abortion. By the way, I’m a white American and not from the Philipines.

          • Priszilla

            If you value all life, how about the living?
            How can a nation where so many people “value all life” wage so many wars?
            How can a faith that “values all life” send out its priests to bless weapons?
            How can there be 30,000 gun casualties every year?

            Anyway, now that there is no birth control in the Philippines, you have to deal with the fact that their largest export are nurses and carers, construction workers and singers, dancers and ship mates.
            The USA has about the same size as China. There is a lot of space for 500 million Chinese immigrants.
            And possibly 500 million Indian immigrants.

      • Lexxs

        Don’t forget that the USA was land stolen during an invasion and genocide and built with slavery. Plenty of bad karma.

        • William Pierce

          The cultural-Marxist, White America hater (or mushy-brained liberal simpleton has spoken). LOL If I had time I’d rip that misleading and tired and very false statement of yours to shreds.

        • chefshitpiece

          And plenty of innovations that improved quality of life for BILLIONS of people…many of whom may never have been born without innovations made in USA. Please factor that into your equation

      • NO OBOLA

        Thank Obola and his liberal commies.This is just the start and it won’t be pretty. The planned demise of this country has been started years ago.
        It’s time to prepare for WHEN the SHTF. Do not depend on the Government to care for you. Forget it.
        You Americans just have no clue! There will be a cost for ignorance and apathy. Guess who pays for it?

      • Eric Quintero

        NAFTA was signed by a WHITE guy. Way to blame everyone else for your problems. Whiny Beotch.

  • The voice

    “A Recession Is Coming”???????

    It has been here since 2008

  • wolfy

    I noticed shops were hiring like crazy, whilst sales were way down. Something is not right!

  • Americanism

    I refuse to believe this kind of propaganda. My government has lead my country to greatness. My leaders have made all my decisions for me, so I can concentrate on my life. My president has given all my money to people I don’t even know. Now this article expects me to think less of my leaders. Where is all the love we should be sharing with each other. Hold on a minute my bong just went out……

    • Hot Rain

      LOL…thanks, I needed that

    • obama

      you smoke weed arent ya? go on, i dont mind. but we need to tax that 😀

    • LOL

      Muuuuuuuuuuuuricaaaaaaa!!!1!1

    • KODA

      R U stupid or just DUMB ?

      • William Pierce

        Lighten up. He or she is just being facetious!

    • Cynical_Guy42

      I think this post is a joke. Either that or you’re trolling, or the deception is strong with this one.

    • JAMOACHA

      Excellent way of getting the point across.
      —–Thank you!!!

    • geo wells

      In a PC culture sarcasm might be the only way to teach

      • chefshitpiece

        No…you must never think that. You will not teach anyone. You will survive…and they will die. You are not responsible for them. You know of whom I speak…don’t you Frodo…

        • geo wells

          Sarcasm is like sparrows picking at eagles. It deters and keeps the baby sparrows alive. Hypocrisy and double standards need to be constantly pointed out. Diversity is a codeword for White genocide.

  • Bill

    Are sales collapsing or shifting (to cyber sales) ?

    • Mike Smithy

      It’s likely both. Collapsing and shifting simultaneously.

  • larrythelogger

    So, low prices as a result of deflation is bad and is the reason for poor retail sales according to Nobelaureate Paul Krugman because according to that genius, people wait until prices drop before they buy stuff (and supposedly that’s why inflation is good for the economy) but WHEN the prices drop for black Friday sales, people are doing so well that they don’t need to buy when the prices drop and will probably buy stuff when the prices go up.

    Yeah, so according to Krugman, people will freeze to death before they buy a coat because they’ll wait until coat prices drop instead of buying one while it’s cold, and people will run out of gas and not fill up their cars because they’ll wait until the price of gas goes down, and people will stink instead of washing their clothes because even if they need a washing machine, people will not buy one because deflation is forcing them at gunpoint to wait until washing machine prices come down.

    BUT at the exact same time, the rocket scientists at the National Retail Foundation claim the economy is doing so well, that low prices, even the lowest prices of the year, don’t cause people to buy stuff because they’re making so much jack here in Xanadu, er, I mean the USA. And that’s why poor retail sales are a great indicator of a strong economy.

    I’ll bet home prices always go up and never go down too. Where’s my Nobel prize?

    • Truegrit

      I think I’ll wait till the price of insulin goes down before I buy my next bottle

  • Truegrit

    This is what happens when EVERY retailer buys products from China that used to be made Here.

  • A.S.

    I thought a previous article stated that each American will spend on average 2000 dollars this holiday season (600 billion was the number quoted, divided by US pop of about 320 million, so that comes out to about 2000 per person, not family). So now it is actually less?

    • BoDidley

      Hey, I hate to burst the doomers bubbles here but there is no collapse coming. They are building like crazy where I live.Stores are full,restaurants full,car dealers lots selling new cars at record levels. Stop listening to these gloom/doom losers who have this cult mentality about collapse. I realize it’s easy to get caught up in this stuff,but they don’t know what the crap they’re talking about.

      • apeiron

        It’s the same where I live BoDidley…but I have no idea where the money’s coming from. I live near a smallish university town, so it’s mostly ‘imported’ investment…a lot of alumni buying condos for their kids &/or game weekends.

      • chris

        Where YOU live. Your miniscule experience of the economy is not the same as someone else. Your town may well be doing fine but if you read the other posts it’s not looking good in a lot of places. It is also incredibly easy to get carried away with government propaganda about how well everything is going.

  • liberalmenareeffeminategarbage

    there will be no collapse. you are all having a bad dream

    • Joel

      facts, numbers, observations to support your argument?

  • Imaplaneiac

    On Black Saturday, I went to Atlanta, GA. to buy my customary favorite magazines ( at Barnes & Noble ). I went to two of their stores; both located near mega-malls. One store is in Buckhead; which is well-populated by 1%-ers. It was mid-day to early afternoon; normally a peak shopping period. I experienced the lightest auto traffic I’ve ever encountered on major roads and freeways leading to these two malls – on this same day! In past years, I encountered GRIDLOCK on these VERY SAME roads / freeways! Both stores I went into had few shoppers. Besides being financially tapped-out, perhaps the threat of Ferguson, Missouri ( aka Misery ) related riots deterred shoppers?

    • Hot Rain

      Yeah, the whole getting beat to death with hammers because your WHITE by BlACKS AND MEXICANS, don’t do much for the holiday shopping experience…

      • Name

        I have eight body guards that weigh 230 grains each, and they are all .45 cal. too. They follow me anywhere I want to go.

  • DMyers

    A lot of factors are at work in this scenario, and some of them are not related to the recession or even the shrinking disposable dollar. One, is a general desensitization to Black Friday promotions. These are getting old. Once you’ve been to one or two, you figure out that they’re not really ever as great as you were expecting.

    Retail, as we have known it since, say, the fifties, has run its course. Started with downtown stores, then strip malls and then the crowning accomplishment, the enclosed, air conditioned shopping mall. No where else to go with the theme, short of building Mall of America replicas far and wide, and since we haven’t yet seen anyone else give that a try, that’s apparently a no go as well. The “shopping experience” is in a state of change here in America. My guess is that this will be mostly a matter of doing it a lot less.

    People are overwhelmed with stuff, if not outright junk. Enough is enough, already. No where to put the new stuff, unless you throw some old stuff away. But the old stuff ain’t that old. Just got it last year. If I throw that out, I’ll probably never be able to afford to replace it. Simply put, people are facing real, spacial limits when it comes to acquisitions.

    • apeiron

      Probably the most accurate comment on this topic. Storage of ‘shoppers’ excess is a profitable venture these days.

  • VigilanteCaregiver

    After getting your food stores, tools, medical supplies, water, etc., there’s one final preparation that must be made: you need a community to survive and eventually thrive.

    Not just like minded folks, I also mean your unprepared neighbors. How many folks around you are medical staff? How many are mechanics and craftsmen? How many are gardeners? and how many are hunters and ret. military? Trust me: you need them.

    • Hot Rain

      The last thing you should EVER do is let people know what your doing. This is the fastest way to get yourself killed. Friends and neighbors will kill you to feed their starving families.
      In an economic collapse scenario, you will have 3 days until anarchy as most people can survive in their home for that long. If you live in the city, now is the time to move at least 20 miles out. And if you have told anyone about prepping, you are now a target.

      • VigilanteCaregiver

        This is something that deserves a proper investigation into.

        Many survivalist and prepper writers have expressed the same viewpoint. It’s a valid concern and a useful method. My issue comes in that this is presenting an incomplete scenario.

        The preppers and survivalists tend to focus on steps 1 – 10 of dealing with a crisis situation, but don’t go further to steps 11 – 10,000. Smaller populations do not thrive; this is a proven truth of life. Larger communities allow more specialization (I personally have an issue with that, but it’s proven true – I can’t manufacture everything I want to; fatigue and time catch up with a guy eventually). And these writers don’t mention what happens to you and your family after a crisis for long-term rebuilding. Incest is not prudent or scientifically viable to repopulate. What about disease; can you administer it yourself? Food production, construction, metallurgy, mining, sanitation and water reclamation, entertainment… can a individual or family of four accomplish this in daylight hours? No.

        So the question comes to how does one ally with neighbors? Well, to be honest, might not be possible anymore. Iniquity, narcissism, distrust, class and political divides have taken hold of many people. So, you must find those willing to align with you first, then those who are peaceful at least, and those who have and will probably cause problems when it hits.

  • MIchael in Chicago

    It is fairly common to mark up the prices prior to the “Black Friday sales” and I think a few people are waking up to that. As Peter Schiff recently pointed out lower gas prices have not helped the 99% much. They are not spending more as a result of the rapid decline of oil. I would think there is an uptick in traffic to places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army since Obama has been in office. For the first time I ever I recently went into my local Goodwill store to buy clothes.

    • Hot Rain

      There is something very sexy about smart men who shop at thrift stores..

  • MIchael in Chicago

    As far as shopping at the brick and mortar stores on Black Friday or Thursday night and never found it appealing. Cook County Illinois is currently experiencing a wide spread outbreak of H1N1, strep throat and the common cold. Seems like being around hundreds or thousands of people to save $20 on whatever only to miss a week or two of work does not add up.

  • ΔИθᴎЎϻɸᵿƧ

    Recession? Officially, the “Great Recession” ended in June 2009. Welcome to Great Depression, the Sequel, now five years strong and in the making. Only this time, there isn’t any gold or anything else backing up the U.S. dollar.

    Once the dollar loses world reserve currency status, all offshore dollars will come flooding back here, and we’ll be the next hyperinflation nation. Lock ‘n’ load, boys. The final collapse is well on the way.

  • VegasBob

    I spent the weekend before Thanksgiving in Las Vegas where I lived from 1998 to 2006. I was absolutely stunned to see the number of abandoned construction projects and closed retail stores just in the vicinity of the Las Vegas Strip.

    Las Vegas must really be hurting. The major Strip hotel I stayed at charged my credit card $2 a week later, after having given me a bill at checkout that was marked ‘paid-in-full.’ Of course, they know that nobody is going to waste time disputing a phony $2 credit card charge.

    For the last 5-1/2 years, I have continuously maintained that this so-called “economic recovery” is nothing but a gigantic hoax.

    After seeing the economic devastation in Las Vegas and reading reports about the Thanksgiving weekend retail sales collapse, I am more convinced than ever that it is only a matter of time until we experience a massive economic collapse, as great in force as the Great Depression of the 1930s.

    • Hot Rain

      Well, Caesars is now bankrupt. Mesquite lost its biggest casino and 7k jobs. That’s a lot for a tiny ghost town. I am not surprised about what you say. Vegas was always dangerous, I would not go there now (lived there for 20 yrs) Down here in the GOM region, everything has gone belly up. Casinos in Biloxi are going under, it is very dangerous there. Pensacola businesses are gone, crime is rampant. People are just busting into houses in broad daylight to rob them. Mobile, Al..keep driving don’t stop.
      Unless we keep talking about these issues, people will never know the true state of our collapsing country. Anybody seeing this stuff where they live?

      • Orange Jean

        I currently live in Hampton Roads area of VA (working in Portsmouth). Most of the area is very high crime, particularly homicides. A LOT of racial tension in this area also, although there are still jobs because it’s headquarters for the Atlantic fleet of the US Navy.

        I was fortunate that I found a small house to live in about 6 miles outside of Smithfield … which is the largest town in very rural Isle of Wight county (a working agricultural area). Where I live is safe, partly because its almost a mini-Marine base and could be turned into an island if need be (it’s a peninsular with only two small strips of land that connect to the “mainland”), but it’s a long commute and almost everything I do away from home I am driving through bad areas.

    • rentslave

      I hope that Nevada goes into the ocean.The people there support their exemption for sports betting,keep people poor in the other 49 states.

  • tob

    Watching job postings for one of the largest malls in the world, West Edmonton Mall, and they are down 80% year over year. The major traffic is broke stores moving out and wannabes moving in.

  • john

    recovery set for 2017 when Sarko is back!

  • txmua

    I was shopping at the Southlake Town Center here in TX, it was a morgue over the weekend.

  • Priszilla

    1 bn sqf is about half the size of the District of Colombia.

  • apeiron

    I haven’t been inside a store for a Christmas present in more than six years. I do all my shopping online, saves time & money.

  • XSANDIEGOCA

    Retiring soon. On the bottom of my SS award letter was a helpful notice that I could apply for Food Stamps at the SS office. Hey, will take them up on it!. All they can do is say no!

    • Mark in Ohio

      Check out your local Food Pantries. Here in low-cost Ohio the typical couple on Social Security qualify as “low-income” eligible for USDA and State provided food at the pantries. Regardless, they don’t verify income for this benefit. Don’t think it’s some dis-tasteful gruel they hand out. Here is a list of some of the food our pantry handed out last week:
      USDA Choice New Your strip steaks
      St Louis style ribs
      Bushes Baked Beans
      Oreos
      Tyson chicken breast
      Key Lime pies
      And if you can get ahold of some of that government cheese you’ll discover it’s some of the best in the land—- it’s 100% whole milk cheese, not that stuff cut with soybean oil that they sell in the grocery stores.

      • XSANDIEGOCA

        Thanks for the Tip and Happy Holidays :)

  • Douglas M. Green

    Amazing how bad sales can possibly be spun into a sign the economy is improving. The propped up economy has lasted longer than I thought and could last years longer but be prepared because standard of living is going down and violence is going up.

    • Name

      Locked and loaded as we type 😉

  • Mark in Ohio

    One formally high-class packed mall in our area is now a ghost-town. At one end is a Kohls clothing store that is still open. At the other end is a Bass Pro Outdoor World sportsmen’s store. In between is a scary, poorly lit maze of closed shops roamed by rowdy gangs of teenagers. No mall security exists anymore. Kohls has some private guards. Bass Pro doesn’t need any —- their clientel are known to be packing.

  • Justmyhumbleopinion

    I probably would be more apt to buy more items from the stores this year because I truly do have a need to replace a few critical things but I have noted that all the goods are the same – low quality, cheap foreign made. Everyone is selling the same stuff made from the same factories. Thus, making no store notable. The US consumer says, “Why bother”. The cheap foreign made plastic bucket I bought recently got a broken handle within a year. I ended up scoring a used bucket from my late grandfather’s estate made of metal parts- still going strong. Do the stores even realize that the quality is a factor for declining sales? Or are the buyers so disconnected from reality that they mindlessly follow upper management? If the stores weren’t corporate owned and actually owned by a person or few persons with their mind on their consumer’s feedback, this would reduce somewhat. Old Mr. Sears is rolling over in his grave.

    • Hot Rain

      At the risk of sounding stupid, and to answer your question, it’s the food..the dumbing down is the food you consume, which is nothing more than a chemical soup that has no nutrients to nourish mind and body.

      • danbax

        Not only that, but it also causes illness and disease.
        The healthcare industry will be around for a long time.

        If you want a job, get into healthcare

    • Orange Jean

      Consider looking in thrift stores and yard sales. A lot of times you can find old things that are much better quality than new. My brother’s follow my dad’s advice (he was a teenager during the last Great Depression)… and look for tools in those places. Oddly enough sometimes you can get cheap things in antique shops too…. depending on where you life. When I was in Southern CA I could find very nice furniture, high quality… cheaper in some antique stores than in the thrift stores (Goodwill was especially expensive I found… and quit going to them).

      Then there is the art of DUMPSTER DIVING (a favorite sport of mine in the old days… although with disabilities I’d have a hard time of it now)!

  • piccadillybabe

    During the last recession (2008-2009), a Home Depot closed it’s doors in my area next to a Target but reopened a new one 1.5 miles away next to a Dollar Tree. What is the logic in that?
    Now with their security being compromised by hackers, no one goes there with a credit card anymore. I don’t see how they stay in business. A lot of them are in the red on their balance sheets on a constant basis but they stay open. Prices are way up, inventory is down and those so-called bargains are not what they used to be.
    Staying warm and buying food is what is on most people’s minds these days.

    • Hot Rain

      The new customer base IS the Dollar Tree..

  • peace angel

    I read last year that ONE in FOUR Americans depends on the retail market for their livelihood. In 1970 half of Americans depended on agriculture for their livelihood. We have eaten ourselves alive with more spending than working.

    I just read that it was said at the G20 summit that Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JP Morgan on all on the verge of collapse.

    ALSO read that a new law was passed and brought up at the G20 summit OR we would not even know it but the law says that the FDIC no longer has to insure anyone’s bank accounts.

    • Hot Rain

      I thought the FDIC was bankrupt years ago. Anyway, I do see the major players getting out of these stocks. Now we need to watch who is heading for the exits on all fronts. Watch what Buffet is doing, and foreign investors. Tick-Tock…

  • This indeed is an inflection point. Great Post!

    Author “The Art of Debt Guerrilla Warfare, how to beat debt collectors when your back is against the wall.”

  • ST

    Sort of feels like the Christmas of 2007 all over again. Deja vu.

  • Orange Jean

    However… remember that Raleigh has a lot of people there simply because they work for the state.

    The NC budget is in very bad shape from what I understand … this coming from a couple I know who’ve worked for the state over 20 years each… both got laid off in the past 6 months. Husband has found a new job, but not the wife yet.

    Also I understand that Charlotte, once thriving due to the banking industry… has lost a LOT of jobs and has been seeing increased crime. And there are some major crime pockets (serious ones, related to meth mostly) in several counties in Western NC.

  • Infidel51

    They have sucked us dry. We can’t borrow any more and we can’t earn any more. The wheels will come off once and for all and they will steal our retirement accounts because that is all we have left. Then they will buy all of the foreclosed real estate at bargain prices and that will be all she wrote. No savings, no land, no jobs……no Americans.

    • Name

      That’s what all of the FEMA camps are for, the non-compliers.

  • Jack

    Online retailers do not “steal sales”, brick and mortar stores have consistently shown no ability to sell quality goods especially those made in America, American’s are not stupid we are on to their junk game. Although my wife and I together do not have a great income when we buy we buy quality goods online you do not have to replace like the Chinese style junk. Very few traditional stores have anything but imported and quickly produced domestic junk to offer.

    • Name

      Amen to that.

  • Name

    If you think that’s something just wait and see what it’s going to be like once the greedy brainiacs sends all the rest of our jobs overseas. Can you say nada zip zilch zero? Lock N Load folks.

  • geo wells

    But we have created a “diverse” society. Some say diversity kills such as this phrase: Diversity is a codeword for White genocide. Right?

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