The Beginning Of The End
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What Recovery? Sears And J.C. Penney Are DYING

Sears - Photo by Belus Capital AdvisorsTwo of the largest retailers in America are steamrolling toward bankruptcy.  Sears and J.C. Penney are both losing hundreds of millions of dollars each quarter, and both of them appear to be caught in the grip of a death spiral from which it will be impossible to escape.  Once upon a time, Sears was actually the largest retailer in the United States, and even today Sears and J.C. Penney are “anchor stores” in malls all over the country.  When I was growing up, my mother would take me to the mall when it was time to go clothes shopping, and there were usually just two options: Sears or J.C. Penney.  When I got older, I actually worked for Sears for a little while.  At the time, nobody would have ever imagined that Sears or J.C. Penney could go out of business someday.  But that is precisely what is happening.  They are both shutting down unprofitable stores and laying off employees in a desperate attempt to avoid bankruptcy, but everyone knows that they are just delaying the inevitable.  These two great retail giants are dying, and they certainly won’t be the last to fall.  This is just the beginning.

The Death Of Sears

Sales have declined at Sears for 27 quarters in a row, and the legendary retailer has been closing hundreds of stores and selling off property in a frantic attempt to turn things around.

Unfortunately for Sears, it is not working.  In fact, Sears has announced that it expects to lose “between $250 million to $360 million” for the quarter that will end on February 1st.

Things have gotten so bad that Sears is even making commercials that openly acknowledge how badly it is struggling.  For example, consider the following bit of dialogue from a recent Sears television commercial featuring two young women…

“Wait, the movie theater is on the other side,” the passenger says.

“But Sears always has parking!” the driver responds.

Sears always has parking???

Of course the unspoken admission is that Sears always has parking because nobody shops there anymore.

I have posted video of the commercial below…

A couple of months ago I walked into a Sears store in the middle of the week and it was like a ghost town.  A few associates were milling around here and there having private discussions among themselves, but other than that it was eerily quiet.

You can find 18 incredibly depressing photographs which do a great job of illustrating why Sears is steadily dying right here.  This was once one of America’s greatest companies, but soon it will be dead.

The Death Of J.C. Penney

J.C. Penny has been a dead man walking for a long time.  In some ways, it is in even worse shape than Sears.

If you can believe it, J.C. Penney actually lost 586 million dollars during the second quarter of 2013 alone.

How in the world do you lose 586 million dollars in three months?

Are they paying employees to flush giant piles of cash down the toilets?

This week J.C. Penney announced that it is eliminating 2,000 jobs and closing 33 stores.  The following is a list of the store closings that was released to the public…

Selma, Ala. — Selma Mall

Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. — Arrow Plaza

Colorado Springs — Chapel Hills Mall

Meriden, Conn. — Meriden Square

Leesburg, Fla. — Lake Square Mall

Port Richey, Fla. — Gulf View Square

Muscatine, Iowa — Muscatine Mall

Bloomingdale, Ill. — Stratford Square Mall

Forsyth, Ill. — Hickory Point Mall

Marion, Ind. — Five Points Mall

Warsaw, Ind. — Marketplace Shopping Center

Salisbury, Md. — The Centre at Salisbury

Marquette, Mich. — Westwood Plaza

Worthington, Minn. — Northland Mall

Gautier, Miss. — Singing River Mall

Natchez, Miss. — Natchez Mall

Butte, Mont. — Butte Plaza Shopping Center

Cut Bank, Mont.

Kinston, N.C. — Vernon Park Mall

Burlington, N.J. — Burlington Center

Phillipsburg, N.J. — Phillipsburg Mall

Wooster, Ohio — Wayne Towne Plaza

Exton, Pa. — Exton Square Mall

Hazleton, Pa. — LaurelMall

Washington, Pa. — Washington Mall

Chattanooga — Northgate Mall

Bristol, Va. — Bristol Mall

Norfolk, Va. — Military Circle Mall

Fond du Lac, Wis., Forest Mall

Janesville, Wis. — Janesville Mall

Rhinelander, Wis. — Lincoln Plaza Center

Rice Lake, Wis. — Cedar Mall

Wausau, Wis. — Wausau Mall

The CEO of J.C. Penney says that these closures were necessary for the future of the company…

“As we continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth, it is necessary to reexamine the financial performance of our store portfolio and adjust our national footprint accordingly,” CEO Myron Ullman said in a news release.

Actually, his statement would be a lot more accurate if he replaced “continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth” with ” prepare for bankruptcy”.

It would be hard to overstate how much of a disaster 2013 was for J.C. Penney.  The following is an excerpt from a recent CNN article

It’s been a brutal year for J.C. Penney, its stock falling over 60% in the past 12 months. The company has been losing hundreds of millions of dollars per quarter, and is in the midst of another turnaround effort after ousting former Apple executive Ron Johnson last year.

Overall, shares of J.C. Penney have fallen by an astounding 84 percent since February 2012.  And keep in mind that this decline has happened during one of the greatest stock market rallies of all-time.

For now, J.C. Penney will continue to try to desperately raise more cash from investors that are foolish enough to give it to them, but all that is really accomplishing is just delaying the inevitable.

If you would like to see some photos that graphically illustrate why J.C. Penney is falling apart, you can find some right here.

And of course Sears and J.C. Penney are not the only large retailers that have fallen on hard times.  This week the CEO of Best Buy admitted that sales declined at his chain during the holiday season…

Best Buy shares skid on Thursday after the retailer said total revenue and sales at its established U.S stores fell in the all-important holiday season due to intense discounting by rivals, supply constraints for key products and weak traffic in December.

In the immediate aftermath of that announcement, Best Buy stock was down more than 30 percent in pre-market trading.

And Macy’s just announced that it is laying off 2,500 employees in an attempt to move in a more profitable direction.

So why is all of this happening?

Aren’t we supposed to be in the midst of an “economic recovery”?

That is what the Obama administration and the mainstream media keep telling us, but it is simply not true.

In fact, a new Gallup survey has found that the number of Americans that are “financially worse off” than a year ago is significantly higher than the number of Americans that say that they are “financially better off” than a year ago…

More Americans, 42%, say they are financially worse off now than they were a year ago, reversing the lower levels found over the past two years. Just more than a third of Americans say their financial situation has improved from a year ago.

That is why these stores are dying.

Things continue to get even worse for the middle class.

But a lot of people out there will continue to deny what is happening right in front of their eyes.  They are kind of like that woman over in California who was conned out of half a million dollars by a Nigerian online dating scam.  They will never admit the truth until it is far too late to do anything about it.

So have you been to a Sears or a J.C. Penney lately?

Do you believe that they will survive?

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

  • whteshark

    They just remodeled a JC Penny Outlet here in Kansas City a couple of years ago and they closed it down about a month ago. Surprised that store wasn’t on this list.

    How do you compete with Wal Mart? American consumers are broke and will look for the best deal. Wal Mart doesn’t even want to use American ports anymore. They import cheap Chinese junk through Mexico and ship it right into the United States.

    I’m a big believer in Capitalism but Free Trade has been a joke and yet leaders in both parties cling to it. I know it’s a pipe dream but how about Fair Trade for once?

    • jaxon64

      you nailed it in one sentence-American consumers are broke.
      People have been using credit cards and even credit C to pay credit A &B…those who are still above water in their debt to income ratio are not blowing money on $70 Sears Polo shirts and $120 Levis when a $25 pair of wranglers or Lee jeans work just as well…
      New car sales down also?…people I know have been driving their autos until they die now instead of “re-upping” every 4 to 5 years. Many just use the money they save from monthly payments and pay cash for a $2,000 clunker that might get another 50,000 miles or 2 years–that’s actually a pretty good deal compared to $500 to 800 a month for car loan payments…
      New homes sales down too?…people may be seeing over-priced houses that could be dropping in price by 10 to 20% in a year or two and also rising interest rates on the 30 year rates…Many in my area are just slugging along in loans and homes that are still underwater from the lost equity that has not been recovered since 2008/09…
      Ultimately, all of it is inter-connected so when sears and JC Penney fail..it hurts jobs, then it hurts manufacturing,..and commercial real estate…and on and on…This is not going to end well

      • jaxon64

        PS: Has anyone else noticed a decline in road conditions? Roads are usually worse in winter with the plowing, chemicals and salt they spray on them with wintry precip but my wife and I have both taken note of how awful the roads are on many major roads. Even the beltway has uneven pavements, potholes, damaged shoulders and on/off ramps..
        Also, I’m seeing a lot more of newer model cars that have been in fender benders–but the people aren’t getting their cars repaired or the body work done when the insurance checks come it appears—just some things you notice once you start looking for things ( like half the stores in the strip malls being “For Lease”)

        • Mark Caldwell

          Yes, I’ve noticed this. There are a few shovel ready projects finishing up in spots. But the roads and bridges are going to crap and are beginning to have that ‘3rd world’ appearance.

        • Orange Jean

          We had a MAJOR problem out my way (Hampton Roads area southeastern VA) a year or two ago… but somehow it’s been resolved.

          I went on a long road trip 3 yrs ago driving from here to Maine… along the way I saw very bad damage in roads (including the freeway) in parts of VA near Richmond (I smashed something there on a huge pothole, had to replace tires). In PA the roads were a mess, but not much more than I’d seen in the past and they were doing a lot of road work. The NY thruway was top notch as was almost all the roads in NH (some of the best roads I’ve seen). Maine had average roads… but I was surprised to see that 95 and 195 in and around Boston were in terrible condition… as were local roads in some very expensive towns thereabouts (Belmont and Cambridge).

          I went back most of that route this past fall, not quite as bad.

          • sherlock32555

            Live in metro N.O. and I think we could give the whole U.S. a run for your money. You have to dodge pot holes that would sink your front end to its frame. Still the way this country is going we will not need a car or truck because you can’t afford to fix it or buy the gas for it. Its a sad state of affairs for this nation when you look back 10 years and think those were the good years compared to now. Folks we have not seen anything yet. Hope you have been preparing for what you know in your heart is going to happen to this once great nation. May god have mercy on us.

          • Hammerstrike

            Remember, that is a debt-fuelled prosperity.

        • Orange Jean

          Also the so-called stimulus funded… “shovel ready” road project in my town (Smithfield, VA)… was some of the worse quality work I have ever seen. It had to be redone it was so bad; it took over a year to fix major potholes and a planned addition of sidewalks on one of our main commercial streets… a MESS!

          • PointofVue

            We seen crazy stuff where I live too. Signs went up to tell everyone the stimulus was paying for the new sidewalks on one side of a two lane highway. It took them about 3 months to get them in. Then, I kid you not, the orange construction signs were down less than 1-2 weeks, and more went up. They came back through, tore out 3/4 of the sidewalks, and widened the road.

          • 2¢Wurth

            Portland, Oregon has a bridge with a three year old, $4+ million coating that is falling apart. Lawsuits are flying everywhere but how long do you think it will take to fix it? Every week the roads department tears up a section, puts long screws into the deck and covers it up, then a representative assures the public that this will be fine for now. I always thought the wealth of the U.S. would provide economic inertia long into the future and that things would take quite some time to decay. I am amazed at the speed at which things are falling apart. We have “retail disruptions” now, prepare for when the infrastructure really starts to let go.

          • none

            We just haven’t been able to finish re-building Iraqi, yet Also foreign aid to other countries.
            The main point is that the pollutions in D.C. don’t have to drive, or live in those areas.

        • davidmpark

          Seen all that too.

        • MrsBulldoggy .

          When you mentioned strip malls, I instantly thought of my old stomping ground of Las Vegas/Henderson. The entire Vegas Valley is littered with them, mostly empty or with a few tenants. Many of the streets in towns in Arizona are horrendous and in need of serious repair. My husband noticed people’s shopping carts in Wal-Mart the other day, how empty and barren they are. He also pointed out how long people take to shop – they are reading every price and trying to find the best buy for the least amount of money. Homes around the neighborhood I am at need serious lawn care maintenance OR they are vacant (see a lot of those homes with the overgrown weeds). Still many, many For Sale signs, nothing has changed, just seems worse…

          • Imaplaneiac

            Mrs. BD, the shopping technique you mention above SHOULD be the NORM for any ” wise ” shopper! That is, unless you’re a 1 Percenter! I’m doing this throughout all of my life!

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            Hi Ima – I agree. It just struck me as odd because my husband pointed it out and he stated that a lot of elderly people were putting too many things back on the shelf and not in their cart. He’s been in Florida much longer than I and he noticed this change about a year ago. Yikes, I am sounding like such a female chauvinist, it just sounded funny coming from him since he hates to shop. (Forgive me, men, I’m sorry for being sexist.} I do think people’s habits have started to change to reflect the state of our economy and nation.
            You are right, Ima. Many of us need to become savvier shoppers, I stink at it. Any tips, Ima?

          • Imaplaneiac

            Mrs. BD, I buy ONLY what I need – NOT on IMPULSE. Furthermore, I buy ONLY what I can AFFORD – living within my means! As a rule, I buy an article and food when ON SALE. I then buy that food in BULK; especially non-perishables. Yes, I do pay with my credit card; however I pay the Balance Due EVERY month – NEVER have paid Interest! AND my credit card earns me airline Frequent Flyer ( FF ) Miles – I’ve lost count of the FREE flight itineraries it has earned me! I have TWO FF Award Trips already booked for later this year!! You could do the same … and then visit your kids and grand-kids more often!
            My shopping strategy has SAVED me BIG BUCKS over the decades! Especially during King O-boob-a’s reign!

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            Never go shopping on an Empty Stomach! :)
            Good ideas and tips for all. If more people lived within their means (including OUR government), we wouldn’t be in the predicament we are currently in.

          • MarcusAurelius

            I read this blog all the time…but I’ve never posted anything till I saw you guys talking about strip malls. I live in a suburb of the capital city of Ohio…and here we don’t (yet) see some of the poverty etc that is so frequently discussed…with one major exception: urban sprawl. It has gotten to the point of insanity. They are constantly building new strip malls…while you have one that is literally just across the street and is nearly vacant. What does that say? Why are you constantly building more if you can’t even fill the ones you already have?? The new restaurants and stores that usually fill these strip malls only seem to last a year or two at best…everywhere you drive in this town you will see nearly vacant strip malls…often with new ones being built nearby as if a flashy new building will somehow make a difference.

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            I lived in Vegas for 20 years and watched the city grow in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. When 9/11 hit, many land developers went out of business (I work for several and helped them pack up shop – sad). A few years later, they began building again even though there was an overflow of empty strip malls, buildings, homes. The inventory grew yet (like Ohio) the buildings remained relatively empty. When I left in 2010, one of the builders actually mothballed a 50 story condo/casino project that was basically finished on the exterior (I believe it was Fountainbleau). The projection was (at that time) to open it back up around 2014 if the economy turned around. There were other, smaller condo/casino type projects around the valley that suffered the same fate. Empty shells littering the valley floor.
            I, too, wonder why the banking institutions loan out their money to spec malls that remain vacant.

          • Freebyrd1968

            Cash flow!!

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            Free – As in NO cash flow when builders can’t rent or sell their space. There weren’t New tenants in town, just real estate agents cannibalizing existing, rival tenants across town. Tenants riding the merry go round looking for the best leasing deal, leaving their existing space empty with no one else coming in to fill it. So, banks shut off their bank draws when occupancy goals weren’t met and malls stand empty. Can only cannibalize for so long when nothing new is coming in…

          • none

            It is because of the tax codes.
            They where changed back in 1964???
            This caused all of the Ghettos to start going up all around the country. All at the same time.
            You can read about it in Milton Freidman’s “Free to chose”.
            Basically the tax codes make it profitable. Every congressman and Senator knows this.

          • Mondobeyondo

            Phoenix is suburbia central. Strip mall capital gone berzerk.

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            Vegas Valley as well, Mondo. Happy Saturday to you…

          • the lady of jade here

            Very true.

          • the lady of jade here

            I’m in Phoenix and I can tell you the days of the real estate boom here (2004 – mid 2007) are long, long, long gone. Real estate is going up but not much else here is and Phoenix is starting to resemble what it really always has been, a barren wasteland.

        • mh53j

          The 2010’s have a gloomy 1970’s feel to them. Maybe just me.

          • Rene Girrard

            The 1970s was one of the best decades in American history. She hit her peak in 1969.

          • Mondobeyondo

            No, the best years were the late 1950’s. November 22, 1963 was a HUGE turning point. More than most people realize. We have yet to completely recover from it.

          • Hammerstrike

            Kennedy had the US gov print its own money.

            Cancelling that was that his successor first did.

          • William Henry Bowen

            I’ve had that exact same conversation with friends that lived through the 1970s. I’m getting a BAD case of deja vu.

          • Mondobeyondo

            No, it’s not just you.

          • Hammerstrike

            The poor of the 1970s being the middle-class of the 2010s?

        • dead

          You want to see roads in terrible condition, go to Los Angeles.

          • Whereveryougothereyouare

            Pennsylvania is known as “The Pothole State”, and for good reason! Everybody has come to expect the driver in front of you to suddenly slow to a crawl or swerve right or left to avoid the inevitable potholes!

        • Imaplaneiac

          jaxon64, another blogger commented about this, as well! Can’t recall who …so I’ll say MOST of the states he or she detailed are deep ” BLUE ” States – if ya know what I mean. Gee, what a coincidence!

        • CJWill

          I’ve actually noticed what you are talking about with newer model cars that have been in wrecks that aren’t being fixed around where I live. along with strip malls losing tenants and being up for lease for long periods of time.

      • Dr. G.

        You really pay $25 for jeans? We buy most of our clothes, toys, stuff animals, belts, coats, shoes, even books, cookware, plates, glasses, garden stuff at the local DI (that’s a thrift store). Four bucks for a nice used pair of jeans. Twenty five cents for a belt. Elmo, Cookie Monster, and assorted other stuffed animals are a buck each. Who pays retail anymore for new stuff? Who can afford to do that?

        • davidmpark

          Agreed. We go to the DI monthly. Got a lot of good tools and motors from there. My wife got some dresses perfect for her there at $3.00 USD each; in great condition. The kids get their clothes that we alter to into their personal styles for pennies on the dollar.

          Too bad they don’t have anything in my size. I’m about 6’10” 330 lbs. – very hard to fit.

          • Tim

            You’re a giant, David! :-)

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            hehehe. This time the giant’s named David. :)

          • jaxon64

            good one Malcolm

          • K

            Hey David, hope you practice shooting in the prone position. Standing up, would just make you way too big of a target.:))

          • davidmpark

            That’s why I have the body armor. :)

          • K

            Well done

        • PointofVue

          Plenty of people are still buying retail and don’t shop at thrift stores. I don’t mean just the rich folks in big cities either. Be glad there are people still buying retail as if not, you would not be buying in the local DI.

          • the lady of jade here

            Think about this…..someone has to buy things at retail so they can end up being donated and so that thrift shops can sell said things at a price that everyday people can afford.

        • Imaplaneiac

          Dr. G, do you have an ” Aldi ” grocery store in your area? ( Check the web ). You can save BIG BUCKS there! ( No membership fee is required to shop there ). I find items at my local Aldi that are as much as 40% CHEAPER for the like item at my nearby military commissary!

      • DB200

        If you buy a clunker, be sure that it is a Mercedes-Benz W124 model. They allmost never break down, are easy to maintain and drive very comfy. Preferable a diesel because it runs on almost everything, from veggie oil to kerosine. I find it the ideal prepper’s car. They were made from 1985-1994. Buy the 1988-1992 models as these are the best.

    • radarnj

      cheap Chinese junk says it all .. they made it and we bought it. Shame on us for buying that crap…

      • Freebyrd1968

        Not only do they make the products we buy but our corporations built their factories and trained the Chinese how to run them!!

    • dave

      S0-called Free Trade is part of the PLANNED destruction of the US economy !!!!!

      • Freebyrd1968

        Say “thank you, Bill Clinton”!!

        • Boo-urns

          Clinton pushed for more free trade arrangements, but don’t forget that NAFTA was signed by George HW Bush.

          Don’t be fooled; the Republicans give as little a crap about your or me as the Democrats do.

          • Freebyrd1968

            Bush, who had worked to “fast track” the signing prior to the end of his term, ran out of time and had to pass the required ratification and signing into law to incoming president Bill Clinton. Prior to sending it to the United States Senate Clinton added two side agreements, The North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), to protect workers and the environment, plus allay the concerns of many House members. It also required US partners to adhere to environmental practices and regulations similar to its own.

          • davidmpark

            All the more reason to abandon the parties.

            We are the true owners of this nation: whether they like it or not. We don’t need them – they need us for money, consent, man power, etc. All we need to do is act like the owners. Vet the candidates in person, talk to neighbors, request public records. Yes; it work. But we are Americans – we can do hard things. :)

          • Boo-urns

            Political parties, and the two-party system, are inherently dysfunctional and IMO anti-American. But no one listens… :(

          • davidmpark

            No one who’s feeding off the parties listens (they don’t bite the hand that redistributes the wealth). Normal folks will if you can undeniably prove that they’re hurting them.

          • jaxon64

            agreed–as Michael has said–2 heads of the same snake

          • Freebyrd1968

            Untrue, Bush pushed it, Bill Clinton signed it into law. Look it up before you comment, next time. Spreading rumors is unethical!

    • PointofVue

      I would like to see Michael do an article on how we try to reverse these free trade agreements. People are always posting, just don’t buy products from other countries, yet it’s not that simple as very limited selection for USA products. Bring back manufacturing jobs is another comment tossed around as an easy fix. For example, even if someone started making a DVD player in the USA, all out of USA built parts, the costs to make it, sell it and pay all the workers wages would make it expensive. Consumer goes to the local box store and had two choices, made in China for $50 or made in USA for $100. We know which one will most likely be purchased. Export those to China and they will not buy them either as their own products are cheaper, and they are not making enough money for expensive USA products. As long as products are imported at a cheaper costs, manufacturing is not going to return to this country.

      • Boo-urns

        We need stiff tariffs on all imported goods. All goods and services should compete on quality, not solely on price. If you could buy a quality piece of consumer electronics made in the USA or one made at an unknown sweatshop in China, both for the same or very similar price, the choice would be a lot more obvious.

        We used to compete on the global market based on the quality of our products. Then two things happened: our quality started to slide, and foreign manufacturers in countries with much lower standards of living found themselves able to bring their products to our markets at much lower prices. Their quality has declined as well (for those products that weren’t cheap junk to begin with), but they are still much cheaper. Add to that a down economy and people are looking to save every penny they can in the here and now, who cares that the product in question will need to replaced sooner than later.

        Tariffs. STIFF tariffs. And stiff tax penalties for domestic companies who ship jobs overseas.

      • DB200

        My golf balls are US made. Now that should make everybody happy, right?

        • jaxon64

          So are my Ball canning jars and accesories…….

      • Gay Veteran

        corporations also go to China due to lack of environmental laws

  • James

    Agree that this is not a recovery by a long shot. The stock market is a bubble and wall streeters seem to be the only ones doing well. America will be a third world country in less than 10 years.Even after the next crash some will eventually recover. However, the richest will have to kept themselves more protected as they will be the only ones who have any wealth.
    The morals in this country are going downhill as well. Appreciate you bringing the morals issues up Michael. The divorce rate in this country is terrible. The drug use will continue as people become desperate. The labor force part. rate will likely be at 40-50% in the coming years America will officially not be a superpower soon. They can’t get involved in the new violence in the middle east and north Afrca because we’re to broke.Dark times are here to stay.

  • chris

    The service economy that our leaders have been pushing our country (Canada, UK, Europe as well) towards for the last two decades is slowly dying on the vine. And I ask people on this board, what next? Do we go to war? Are politicians going to finally wake up and fix this mess (not likely). Frankly, I think we are headed for WWIII. The preparations have already started: Japan vs. China; Middle East in turmoil; the USA trying to provoke Russia to attack them. Politicians would like the unemployed fighting some imaginary threat overseas rather than having them in the country where they might attack said politicians.

  • Patriot Alice

    I went to visit these stores during Christmas and they were no shoppers. I thought these stores might make the list, but they didn’t. This tells me that, the stores that are closing are the hopeless ones with no recovery ever in sight..Many more of them will close soon..

  • Veronica

    The economy is bad, but can we all agree that Sears and JC Penney have had no style since the 80s? I am surprised they have lasted this long. Shoppers either go to Macys for mid prices or to Target or Walmart for low prices. Sears and JC Penney have no strategy to compete with the low market and no style to compete with the mid market.

    • John

      Or they shop at the dollar stores. We have about 4 new ones in our area.

    • Jim Davis

      Well stated. These two stores have dated brands. They are not on the radar of people under 40. The fact they are dying is no more of a sign of a bad economy than the deaths of Montgomery Wards, Korvettes or Caldor. That said I don’t know where I am going to find decent tools if Sears goes under. I like their appliances too. Maybe they can find some way to allow the Kenmore and Craftsman brands to survive.

      • radarnj

        It’ll be like taste cake… the popular brands will survive under new ownership.

      • Rene Girrard

        I think Sears tools are still good too.

    • piccadillybabe

      The last time I remember the big mall in our area to be a nice and fun place to shop was a long time ago, 80s to mid to late 90s. After that, there was a decline. The book stores are all disappearing. Mr. Paperback which had been in our area since the 1970s just went out of business. Borders followed after that. Heard someone say, the the malls would house the homeless in years to come.
      Who knew, we would be on the brink of such decline even 10 years ago?

      • ad

        Lol “Mr.Paperback” lol awesome name.

      • Mondobeyondo

        Barnes and Noble is in trouble too. Tablets and the Amazon Kindle are dragging nearly all bookstores below sea level.

        • piccadillybabe

          My tablet has become an indispensable device. It’s kinda like my best friend. Got rid of most of my books. Who reads books now, very few people.

    • Northernconservative

      Let’s not forget kohls or Ross; places like that.

    • deathofusa

      Not so sure about the Macy’s part, given that they also just laid off 2,500 people and closed dozens of stores….yes target and wal-mart are taking over, but even they are struggling now. Bottom line – no one can entice a customer that can barely feed his or her family.

      • Top Gun

        out of 500+ comments, this one sums it up…

    • PointofVue

      I agree with you. Sears original success came from an older generation that bought there all the time (I am one of them). Back when there were not many choices in retail and more rural people could always browse the Sears catalogue and order what they needed. In the 80’s, competition set in and in one aspect, they tried to cater to a younger generation, except they were going to malls and shopping in the specialty stores like The Gap. The older generation did not go as much as before as with the K-marts, Wal-marts, Targets, etc., they too had more choices and usually at a cheaper price for the same items. Probably the biggest attraction to some was a Sears credit card was easy to get and minimum payments were so low, the were able to keep people shopping to some extent. I remember when they would only take their own credit card and nothing else. The times changed faster then they could keep up with it

    • k

      What makes you think sears, and JC penney dint think of going low cost. Its not that difficult to think.

      he strategy they can follow has been usurped by wallmart which almost completely locked up the supply of low cost clothing from asia.

  • Rob Kinney

    The closest Sears to me is closing in a couple days, the one in Fayette mall in Lexington, KY. It’s the center of the mall, you have to go thru it to get from one side of the mall to the other, so who knows what they will replace it with, another store doomed to failure I suppose. Sears has been there since the mall opened I think, which is sort of sad I guess. Anyway, the JCPenny in still there I think but it’s probably just a matter of time…

    • Mark Caldwell

      I was there a couple of months ago and it’s amazing that it’s still open.

      As the article asked “are they having associates actually flush money down the toilet?” I actually thought the same exact thing. Deja Vu like….

  • K

    Why would anyone shop either place anymore? Even as these stores slowly die, the people at the top continue to make huge salaries. JC Penny is where most of my suits came from at one time. The price went up, the quality went down. Sears has licensed other stores to carry both kenmore and craftsmen. Not to mention the quality on kenmore has declined steeply. Best Buy is another great example of a store with no inventory. Oh you can order in near anything. But go into the store and find what you want, good luck. The people at the top continue to sell off bits and pieces, to cover their huge salaries, but no real attempt is being made to save them. Think about it, with the middle class shrinking every passing month, why would you try to save these companies. It was the middle class that kept them alive.

    • Andrew

      I’m poor but really tired of all if this “salary-envy.” They get big dollars because IF they turn things around then they potentially make a billion for some of these large companies. Granted, it hasn’t worked but few would complain of a doctor’s $1 million salary if he cured all his patients. Much the same here.

      • Selaretus

        Not even close,Andrew. These clueless CEO’s make obscene salaries no matter what happens; and get a fat bonus for ‘improving profitability’. That means laying people off. Even if the CEO does get fired he get’s a huge severance package. Obscene.

        • Andrew

          I also tire of the fat mantra that every CEO’s goal is to lay off workers. It’s not. Unions indoctrinated you with that. Workers ARE the #1 cost of business. Ask yourself: if they take a CEO’s $5 million salary & drop it down to $50K, do you think that the doe line workers will see a single, solitary dollar of that? If you’re honest, you’ll say “No;” there’s debts to pay & stockholders to mollify.

          • Rob W

            I’d be surprised to find workers to be the #1 cost of a retail business. Overhead and inventory would be a much bigger chunk. Please.

          • Andrew

            Try google on that. Granted, with retailers it’s much closer, but to cut costs by eliminating your inventory is called “going out of business.” “Overhead” is a collection of costs and is unfair to rebut the #1 claim. You folks don’t like such capitalism, not because it’s unfair, but Rather because it’s honest. CEO’s salary too high? Don’t worry, a competitor will fix that. Workers’ salary too low? Don’t worry, a competitor will soon fix that too.

          • Rob W

            Who is “you folks”? You and your attitude can go urinate up a rope.

          • Andrew

            Sorry about “you folks.” I meant to say communist bastards who want to destroy the system that made our country the most powerful economy in the world and gave us ALL the highest standard of living on earth.

          • the lady of jade here

            Interesting visuals I get on that one as a woman…go urinate up a rope.

          • Gay Veteran

            we don’t have capitalism in America. Why? 4 words: Too Big To Fail

          • LiberalsLie

            Why don’t you take a business course in college.

          • Rob W

            Join andy.

          • Gay Veteran

            I guess you cheered when the corporations moved jobs to China because of cheap labor

          • Andrew

            No. I did not cheer. But I did two things that you obviously haven’t done. First, I asked why are our politicians are making life so difficult that companies have to move? Second, I STARTED MY OWN BUSINESS so I wouldn’t have to join the mindless masses complaining about fat cat CEOs moving to China.

          • Gay Veteran

            they moved for 2 simple reasons: (1) slave labor wages in China, (2) China’s lack of environmental laws and regulations

          • Mondobeyondo

            The CEO’s goal is to make a profit for his company. As far as the individual(s) go, it doesn’t matter. That’s called “collateral damage”.

          • dan

            andrew, i agree with you. there is some scary reactionary, pol pot, bolshevism style communism in this thread

      • K

        When the guy at the top, makes in two months. What they guy at the bottom makes in forty years. That is not envy. That is the level of insanity, that you are blind to. If I envied them, that means I would like to change places with them. You could not pay me enough, to become one of those greedy creeps.

        • Andrew

          Look at my last reply to Rob W about honesty.

        • Andrew

          By the way envy does NOT mean you want to trade places. It means you want to pull down the crab that’s about to leave the bucket. Cain didn’t kill Able because he wanted to trade places with him.

          • K

            Wow, your right I want to stop that crab. Because it is climbing out, on the dead bodies of all the other crabs. You know if we had true capitalism, competition might indeed solve these problems. But with the fascism that exists in this Country, it does not. Have you been asleep for a couple of decades?

        • Freebyrd1968

          Don’t you know. You have to pay top notch salaries to get the top notch executives that run your corporations into the ground. Then the board pays them top notch severance bonuses to leave.
          Go to next corporation and repeat, Ad infinitum.

          • Freebyrd1968

            That appears to me to being rewarded for failure!!!

          • K

            Perhaps not. What if from the beginning, you intended to milk all you could out of a company, on its’ way down. What if crashing some of these companies, was actually the long term plan. There are already places in this Country where Walmart is the only game in town. If Sears,Kmart,Penny,and Best Buy all crashed. There would be a much larger number of places, where Walmart is the only game in town. Now ask the next question. When Walmart is the only game in town, in enough places. Think they may start raising their prices?

          • Freebyrd1968

            What you are talking about is a cash cow, known in college business courses as part of the life cycle of a company. I don’t think Walmart is any better off than any other company these days!

          • piccadillybabe

            To keep these CEOs in place with their 7 digit salaries when the businesses are going bankrupt is like putting the last nail in the coffin. Rewarding failure with a million dollar salary is inhumane. Any decent human being would step down and say, “I am not worth it, I have failed and do not deserve to be paid any longer.”

          • hh1034

            They are not decent human beings. I’ve got mine you get yours.

          • piccadillybabe

            Ever since these CEOs have been existence in this country (l998), we have seen the slippery slope of decline, bankruptcy, buyouts, foreclosure and the rise of unprecedented poverty and the demise of the middle class. It’s like they came to do the dirty work like proxy hit men.

          • Andrew

            Your comment shows us precisely how the assault weapons bans got started. The ONLY time you hear about them is when a tragedy occurs, but hey, NO ONE WANTS TO REPORT THE 1000s of times that lives were saved by assault rifles. Likewise, Steve Jobs made billions AND he DIDNT run Apple into the ground.

          • Freebyrd1968

            Would you please explain that statement!

          • Andrew

            Sure, Professor John Lott found that assault weapons actually save more lives in America than they take. He also showed that 0.5% of homicides were by assault rifles, yet surveys which ask Americans what percent of murders are by assault weapons—people say “about 50%.” Why? Because, like CEOs, when something goes right with one—no one reports it—only when something goes wrong is it reported.

          • Freebyrd1968

            Agree 100%. Why do you think I’m anti-gun?

          • LimitOfInfinity

            Can you name a single time a life was saved by a citizen with an assault rifle? Would a handgun have worked just as well? Was an extended clip really necessary?

            And Steve Jobs SAVED billions through massive tax breaks, outsourcing and embargo loopholes he got through paying off politicians. When every piece of the system is working in your favor, not making you pay your fair share, letting you get away with anything you want and you can eliminate any possibility of competition by bribing the lawmakers to change laws that would prevent you from doing any of that, of course you’re going to succeed.

          • Andrew

            Really? Okay, you asked for it: Hey Lefty, google is your friend. Just search for “assault weapon saves” especially look for one I’m familiar with in Harris Co. Texas dated April 9, 2013. Also, each month, in the NRA’s magazine, it has a section of news clippings (No, not the NRA’s reports) called “The Armed Citizen” that show 1000s of instances where assault weapons have saved people. Lefties don’t tell you this on NBC, CBS, ABC, etc so YOU don’t know. POINT, SET, MATCH.

          • bmr

            Well let’s see just a couple of weeks ago in Florida a house was invaded by 3 men and the owner pistol whipped. He got a hold of his ak-47 shot and killed one of the guys and the other two ran off. I say he saved his own life. Oh and by the way a true assault rifle is selective fire not semi-auto.

          • Padraigin

            I see that Andrew was off POINT, up-SET and over-MATCHED. Seems to be the story of the poor and tired Andrew’s life.

          • Andrew

            Actually. I do agree with you there but you act as if the owners of the corporations have no power to change anything. They can hire, fire, increase, or reduce salaries. Let THEM run their OWN business. If a CEO is not making a company money then let the OWNERS deal with it.

          • Padraigin

            Steve Jobs ran himself into the ground, accumulating all that lucre (while Andrew remains poor). He, like your average mental misfit at the helm of these organisations, cared little for the humans, Andrew. It was the deal, the technology, the sale that got his rocks off. Now he sleeps with the fishes. But that hardly makes any point in relation to the point you have been attempting to, without success, make.

            Your analogies lack substance, Andrew. Please, when the moment takes you, give some thought to your mantra of “The multimillion “bosses” are so cool, look how they love all their staff, even though they are still creaming it while the wage slaves are terminally terminated,they have said how sad they are to see them go. Such humility. Aren’t they so cute, such an example to us tired and poor people”. Clearly, you are a perfect sheep for the machine. How was that last shearing, by the way. Make you feel better. Perhaps a bit cool, now that the Poles are being shifted, geoengineering at its worst. But that’s for another time.

        • LiberalsLie

          When you liberals start disparaging the millionaire celebrities, sports stars and politicians, maybe you will be taken seriously about your cries of income inequality.

          • K

            I have little or no respect, for those groups either. Calling me a liberal, is laughable.

        • americalsgt

          I don’t disagree with you, but the horse is out of the barn, and even if they fired the top 50 earners at either place it’s still an inevitable bankruptcy. They may as well be selling slide rules. They are done.

          • K

            I agree Penny is gone. Sears was saveable, until they started letting other stores carry craftsman and kenmore. Also right after they signed that contract, they went to even cheaper suppliers for those brands. Best Buy could be saved, but I see no indication they are really trying. I believe as the middle class disappears the stores they supported are being allowed to disappear. Why, because in the long run, they know there will be next to no middle class. So why even try to save a store, that will soon have no customers at all.

        • Andrew

          Okay, a question for all you thumbs up: If Steve Jobs makes more money for Apple in 1 year than the $15/hr security guard makes for the company in 100 years, then shouldn’t Jobs be paid a salary based upon his VALUE to Apple? (100x that of the security guard). If Jons doesn’t get paid his value then he leaves to compete against Apple (E.g. NEXT). Fat cat CEOs don’t have the same job security either, despite the RARE golden parachutes exceptions all squawk about.

          • K

            First off, as always apples vs oranges. We are talking about failing companies, you cherry picked one of the most successful companies on the planet. 100 to 1, salary difference, how about 1000 to 1 at least Second golden parachutes are far more common than you seem to think. How many times have I seen an executive get themselves in trouble. Do they get fired for just cause? No they get a fat check, to agree to quietly go away. Call it crony capitalism, or fascism, the fact is true capitalism has not existed in this Country for quiet some time.. Odd you have not noticed.

          • Gay Veteran

            “…Fat cat CEOs don’t have the same job security either, despite the RARE golden parachutes exceptions all squawk about.”
            golden parachutes aren’t about job security genius, they’re about getting rich when your incompetence can no longer be tolerated

          • Mike Smithy

            I remember being a young lad taking various business classes in college. Back in the olden days, the professors were unanimous in stating that the goal of business is to maximize shareholders wealth. It seems that now the goal of business is for the CEO’s to steal wealth from the common shareholders via golden parachutes while the board of directors turn a blind eye in exchange for perks, payoffs and bribes.

        • Mondobeyondo

          But how did those guys at the top get to be that way?

          Focus on that.
          Try to emulate it.
          If you feel comfortable and ethical with the path they took to get there, well… okay.
          If not, you’re on the right path

        • Nick

          I will trade places with them, and I’m almost positive I’d do a much better job. As a matter of fact, I would give myself a better than 50% chance of pulling them out of this.

      • Gay Veteran

        get a clue, they get big dollars regardless of what they do

      • cpgone

        Is your doctor a communist living in china, using slave labor ,most of which are political prisoners?
        goggle “Death By china”

      • Padraigin

        That’s the ticket, poor and really tired (brain melt perhaps) Andrew, goad the vampire squids into more gouging of the public purse, whilst stashing away in their Swiss bankster accounts the dollars steeped in the blood of the “one paycheck away from disaster” slaves of the shop floor, because, as you know, the psycho’s at the top of the pile of dog turd are doing it for the people. “Lookee here, they just made another million in net profit. Oh, what’s that you say, they did that by throwing another hundred or so wage slaves under the bus, closing some underperforming stores in the process”. Wishing you well in the coma recovery ward. You never know, it could happen any time.

      • Keywee

        Well, I’m NOT poor, and I’m really tired of this attempted justification of greed at the expense of people’s lives. Very few people are actually envious of these unproductive parasites, in fact I personally pity them. How awful to have so much money and yet so little self-esteem they feel the need to accumulate more to fill the void in their soul.

        • Andrew

          No one can know the motives of another. Rich or not: You sir, are a jackass.

    • Laurie Richards

      so true! Little boxes on the hillside and this isn’t the RAND corporation! So now you have corporations and starving people who at one time were given crumbs now they aren’t even getting that anymore.

  • Rodster

    First off both Sears, JC Penny’s and Best Buy have all been woefully mismanaged. In fact Sears if i’m not mistaken bought Kmart another near bankrupt chain. The same chain that when you walk into any of their stores is like taking a trip back into the 1970’s.

    So why would Sears, knowing Kmart was about to go under, buy Kmart? Bad management and a huge factor why Sears and the bunch listed are all facing bankruptcy.

    Lastly all these stores have not been able to compete with Amazon which continues to get bigger and bigger. To Amazon’s credit they have stellar Customer Service.

    A lot of these stores were basically Showrooms for Amazon. With a bloated management and the old way of doing things, that’s why they are all in trouble.

    Recently I made an online purchase at Bestbuy. The order was eventually cancelled while I was being lied to over the phone. They kept sending me emails warning me if they did not hear from me they would cancel the order. Meanwhile I emailed them several times a day and spoke to them on the phone while being lied to by their customer service reps. They finally said they have not heard from me and they had no choice but to cancel the order.

    A couple of days ago I purchased an item from Amazon by their 3rd party sellers with a high rating. One of the items came slightly damaged. I emailed Amazon and informed them of this. Within 30 minutes they asked if I wanted a PARTIAL or FULL refund. I requested a partial refund. “They GAVE ME 40% OFF ON THE ITEM”.

    That’s customer service and why they have destroyed brick and morter stores like Sears, Kmart, JC Penny’s and Best Buy.

    • Rodster

      I meant to say Amazon gave me 40% off on the ENTIRE order. I never requested that either, they just did it.

    • Mark Caldwell

      Or at times like entering a village that has not seen visitors in a hundred years.

    • K

      Actually the other way around. K-Mart bought Sears. No I have no idea how they came up with the cash.

      • William Henry Bowen

        Part of the cash was raised by selling off some big Sears assets, like the Sears Tower in Chicago.

        • the lady of jade here

          Sears no longer owns that tower in Chicago? Wow. I took a flight out of O’Hare years ago and as the plane went up I was able to get a good picture of downtown Chicago and that tower. That was in 1984. Amazing how much the world has changed since that time. And I’m afraid much of the change has not been for the better.

          • William Henry Bowen

            The Sears Tower has been owned by 3 different companies since Sears sold it – presently owned by a real estate investment trust known as American Landmark Properties. The biggest tenant in the building is United Airlines – they moved their corp. HQ there in August, 2012 and occupy about 1/5 of the total floor space.

  • grumpyhillbilly

    These are two stores that catered to the middle of the middle class. They are just dying with their clientele. I still remember my Mom treating the Sears catalog as a shopping Bible. So sad to see.

  • Harriet Meaders

    With Sears, it is more than the economy that has hurt this company. It is “poor management”. I worked for Sears part time up north and again for a time as an extra job here in Florida in the now non existent “Circle of Beauty” cosmetic department. It was a very nice makeup line formulated just for Sears. At that time, in the 90s I think, Sears was doing great. The clothing was fashionable and good quality, the kids clothes were great. Everyone frequented the photo studio and this new cosmetic line “cleaned up” during holiday time with beautiful gift baskets and complementary makeovers. And of course everyone bought the appliances and Craftsman Tools. Customers “jammed” the stores and lined up at the registers. Then new management took over, did away with the makeup, which they totally marketed “terribly” and changed the softline products, meaning clothing, and destroyed Sears. That is why it is going down the tubes. BAD MANAGEMENT sucked it dry and killed what was a great family traditional store for generations. Very sad.

    • Richard

      Sears used to have specials for “Craftsman Club” members. Unless you got to the store the 1st day of the special, you were out of luck. Craftsman used to stand for quality, and Sears stood behind their tools with lifetime guarantees. Not anymore.

      • Kris

        Crfaftsman tools are now made in China, did you know that?

        • Rene Girrard

          Man that s_ucks. I guess they sold out too like most everybody else.

        • Tim

          Is that right? Oh man. Is anything made in the USA anymore?

        • jaxon64

          I have a true story for you…
          A couple of months ago I was preparing to refinish my dining room table since the holidays were coming and we’d be hosting several of the family/friend dinners.
          Well I was looking for a nice sander to do a soft sand of the top finish, remove any small dings/scuffs and then was going to stain the same color and re-seal.
          To cut to the chase, I had 3 choices in the hardware store-and the features and prices were pretty close….so I looked at the manufacturer deciding I’d buy the American made one.
          Craftsman was made in China
          Dewalt was Indonesia assembled
          and Black and Decker is american owned but manufactured in Mexico !!
          In the end I went with the Black and Decker–my thinking was that by supporting Mexican workers and the mexico economy–maybe indirectly I could help the USA by keeping a few immigrants in their own homes instead of competing for our dwindling jobs here—
          PS: the sander is a piece of junk and the paper won’t stay in the clamp on the sides and keeps slipping loose–ended up doing a lot of the sanding by hand with cut strips of sand paper wrapped around an old sanding block–took most of a weekend to finish a simple project..
          PPS: when people commented on how nice the table looked I was proud to say, “Yes, it was re-finished here in America.”

  • eddiestale

    where is itty bitty gary to tell us this is great

    • Mark Caldwell

      He would congratulate them on not being greedy capitalists.

    • davidmpark

      I made him cry on the last thread. Probably will be a while…

      • 2guest2

        Nope, he’s baaaacccckkkk…

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          LOL, At first I thought that said he’s barack.
          same ideology, no doubt

  • Clyde

    If things get tough enough only the price will matter. Anybody impressed with the displays at Dollar General?

  • John

    We had a K-Mart across the street from a Sears. K-Mart closed about 2 years ago. Sears closed about a year ago. We also have a JC Penny’s in the same mall the Sears was in. It’s still open for now. A lot of the products Sears sells are low-quality Chinese made plastic crap. I have a metal Craftsman electric jigsaw that was my grandfather’s (I’m about to turn 50). It still works fine. If Sears still sold products like that, they would probably be doing better. Although I realize products like that would be US-made and MUCH more expensive than what Home Depot and Lowe’s sell.

    • Tim

      The one thing I’ll always remember Sears for is Crafstman tools. I still have some Craftsman tools my father bought 40 years ago.

    • Imaplaneiac

      John, I bought a Washer & Dryer set at Sears in 1985. BOTH still work flawlessy to this day – always have!! Would I still find that quality standard at Sears today??

      • William Henry Bowen

        Sadly you won’t. The Sears quality of old is just a memory.

        • Imaplaneiac

          WHB, my machines are both Kenmore; which I think are actually Whirlpool products. Back then they may have been ” Made in USA “? Nowadays, they’re likely made in Mexico or China!

          • William Henry Bowen

            Yes, in those days all Kenmore appliances where made by Whirlpool except dishwashers. Laundry pieces where made at the Whirlpool plant in Clyde, OH (east of Toledo). Now days you have to be VERY careful – some Kenmore is made by Whirlpool but most is not.

        • the lady of jade here

          I worked at Sears the Christmas Season of 1984 as a clerk/cashier. There was a real striving back then for customer service and making the customer happy. Now customers are called “guests” – WTH? A guest is someone you invite into your home, not a customer – and the service at Sears sucks and here in Phoenix the salespeople have nothing to do and if you ask them a question, they are rude to you in return. I will not be heartbroken to see Sears cease to exist as really, they no longer are what they once were.

    • Rene Girrard

      No, I don’t think they would be so much more expensive. They would certainly be better quality.

  • Mark Caldwell

    I’ve observed the decline over the years, and those photos just beg the question: is there an intentional effort to go out of business? It’s sad.

    • davidmpark

      It does look intentional, doesn’t it.

    • MrsBulldoggy .

      Isn’t it interesting that these two retailers are going out of business, and in their place is Dollar General and Dollar Tree? Higher end goods being taken away to make way for lower end, inferior goods. Nothing would surprise me anymore…

    • Anonymous

      I did hear something about a lot of retailers wanting to close their stores so they could do it all online. Saves building rent, electric, property tax, store repairs, etc.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Santa Claus brought me my very first telescope and pair of binoculars. Christmas Day, 1976. I remember it well. Woke up sooo excited on Christmas morning, Saw the “J.C. Penney” tags on the products purchased, and told my mom, “Oh Mom! Santa stopped by J.C. Penney on his way to California, and dropped off these presents!!”

    Heartbreaking.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Truth be told – I haven’t set foot inside of a JCPenney in years. Even though there’s a store about 5 miles from my house. A sad commentary on a once powerful and relevant retailer.

    Ditto for Sears and Wards. And if you don’t know what “ditto” means, Google it. Oh, how I miss the smell of that freshly printed purple ink…

  • Don Scott

    Yesterday, I shopped in a Penney’s in Santa Rosa CA and I was very pleased with the merchandise and the prices. Now that Mervyn’s is gone, Sears and Penney’s are all middle-income people have left for buying clothing that is reasonably stylish and affordable. Walmart is disgusting for many reasons, and I refuse to shop there.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Vomit induced influx successful.
      Toilet please? Seriously I’m bout to spew

      • Mondobeyondo

        I’m not that good at haiku’s.
        Sorry, I can’t do it. But I will.try.

        Two mice mating in a cupboard!
        A despicable deed!
        More vermin shall arise.

        ————
        Please don’t ask for more. I can’t come up with them

    • davidmpark

      I forgot about Mervyn’s. My ex-mom used to take us there all the time. Some fond memories…

      • Boo-urns

        Ex-mom?

        • davidmpark

          Long story.

  • Mondobeyondo

    The saddest thing is – both Sears and J.C. Penney are legacy retailers.
    Sears was founded in 1886. J.C. Penney was founded in 1902.
    It’s so sad to see them go under like this.
    —————–
    What made their demise?
    Um, your input first. I have my own theories, but I’d like to hear those of the Almond Gallery first.

    • davidmpark

      Stocking clothes only for congresswomen? That’s why they always look like extras from Matlock episodes. :)

  • Mondobeyondo

    For the younger, tender ears and eyes –

    Sears and J.C.Penney were once retail powerhouses.in the U.S. In other words, your mom and dad would buy your blue jeans, dresses and skirts from those stores.

    NOT ANYMORE.

    What happened? Plain and simple. If you don’t sell what we want to buy, we won’t buy it

    • Jane Weller

      The Internet/World Wide Web happenend.

      Plain and simple.

      • Ranger_Ric

        I disagree, these stores started their dive long ago. The net had no greater effect on them than any other brick and motor store.

        What happened is even simpler than that in my opinion. These stores used to sell quality products made in America and for that reason, the people who shopped their were willing to pay somewhat higher prices.

        Now they get their merchandise from China like most everyone else but their prices are still levels above their competitors.

        Why pay Sears prices for Walmart quality?

  • Frank Bell

    They should put their money in the stock market.

    That is the best way to earn more, much more, money.

    The Fed won’t let you down.

    The exception ist the lower and middle class, of course. But as there is no outcry, things will not change anytime soon.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Rather than focus on why and how these legacy rattails, um legacy retailers, have survived – find out how they managed to survive in the first place. And why they are crashing and burning right now.l

    The Rosetta Stone is hidden there.
    Where?
    Your guess is as good as mine.

    • Mondobeyondo

      I can not predict the future. Please do not believe that I can do so. I can not.

      That’s the short term view.

      Long term view? Yes. I know what is going to happen. Butterflies? No. Then – YES

    • MrsBulldoggy .

      I am not good at reading between the lines, please enlighten me. Thank you.

    • davidmpark

      The government’s protect failing businesses and help get failed businessmen as leaders.

  • Wakulla Prepper

    Sears can’t go out of business fast enough for me. Terrible customer service, they rarely can determine part number(s) for equipment repair parts. They offer same poor quality as Wal-mart. yet at higher prices. Contrary to another poster’s statement Lowes and Home Depot do offer tools of very high quality (contractor vs. homeowner quality levels), and the cost difference is significant, yet many of us will pay for quality. On Amazon I use the search term “made in America”.

    • davidmpark

      I worked at a Home Depot as a Merchandiser while the wife started physical rehab. I can say without any doubt that you are right. The vendors send Home Depot and Lowes their low-grade models, and sell the better stuff on their own online stores or through Amazon. Seriously!

  • davidmpark

    No, they won’t survive.

    All the great retailers are going the way of all things because of many reasons. The two greatest reasons is the companies went for politics instead of being retailers: if they can’t get the money by marketing and social pressures, they’ll go to Congress and the Dictator for a “bailout”. Guess they couldn’t get the wealth redistribution this time.

    And the other reason is they mostly sell crap. Used to be that Sear’s was THE place for tools; especially power tools. Good working, well made power tools at that. Today, it’s cheap stuff that burns out quickly. The good tools are at online retailers.

    JC Penny and Sear’s made their beds; they can lie in it. Consumer’s and Caesar’s have made their choices.

  • How Not To Play The Game

    Wait just a minute. Sears and JC Penney sold themselves down the river. By sending over seas for their products to be manufactured. And , in turn, selling pure crap to the American public. I will not miss either one of you sell out operations whatsoever. Craftsman tools are made in China for crying out loud. Something better will replace both of these ghosts of yesteryear.

    • Rene Girrard

      Has Harbour Freight become the new Sears for tools?

  • Kim

    People aren’t shopping because no one has any money. And no one has money because either they are unemployed or under employed and barely making ends meet. Today I went into Whole Food to get sea salt (soaking in sea salt helps if you’re exposed to low levels of radiation. I do it once a week just in case) and NO ONE was in there. Across the street Is Bridgeport Village mall and it was empty. Amazing.

    • MrsBulldoggy .

      We are also being taken to the cleaners with higher costs on food, gas, utilities and taxes. Plus we are now being asked to pay for health insurance many simply cannot afford. Hours are being cut back at many businesses for workers and I wonder what a mess it will be when the employer mandate is lifted after the election in November. I just think all of this is being done on purpose to get rid of the middle class. Question is why?

      • How Not To Play The Game

        Evil fueled by greed. Only thing that can explain it. Only thing that makes sense.

        • MrsBulldoggy .

          If one puts any credence into the Georgia Guidestones, the first edict states that the ideal population of the Earth is 500 Million. When I read it, I thought how in the heck are they going to get rid of 6.5 Billion People? As you said, and I agree, it is just plain Evilness. Spooky to say the least…

      • Anonymous

        Excellent comment. The why: poor people, sick people, people that were not taught survival skills, dumbed down people are much easier to control. There are some people that feel they are superior and deserve to control everyone else.

        • MrsBulldoggy .

          Anon – Intellectually, I believe the people you describe are narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths devoid of all feeling towards their humankind. Emotionally, I just don’t understand it all.
          BTW, what is going to happen to the rest of us who don’t fall into any of the categories you mentioned? Re-education camps (such as Pol Pot’s Cambodia circa 1977), beatings and torture and the gulag (USSR’s Siberia), or extermination (Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot to name a few). Do you think our government would go that far?

          • Anonymous

            History answers the question of if governments go that far. One has to wonder why so many Nazis were brought to the USA after WW2.

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            For their work on rocketry, avionics and physics.

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            German Scientists to work at NASA, for one. What about all those Japanese War Criminals at Unit 731 that were basically pardoned and brought over to the US as well? Interesting question, and it makes one shudder…

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            “Do you think our government would go that far?”
            Have your observations and understanding of progressives led you to the conclusion that they are ‘ends justify the means’ types?
            They are eugenicists.
            They are rabid over-populationists.
            Their religion worships Earth above all else and they believe we are killing the Earth.
            What do you think?

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            Malcolm – My HEAD says YES these people are capable but my HEART says NO. See what I am saying? It is disturbing to think that we have humans in control that are diabolical enough to slaughter 6.5 BILLION people. Yet, if I go back and look at Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Hitler, Crusades, and some would even say Bush, Jr, I know that it is more than possible. Question is how are they going to get rid of 6.5 Billion people? That is not an easy task, not even for the evilest amongst us.

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            I see what you mean.
            I’m of the mind that they probably wont just round people up and toss em in the ovens. I think they’ll regulate everyone out of existence.
            Cheap energy is to be frowned upon.
            Polluting and destroying food sources by the likes of the Monsantos of the world is to be made a matter of law.
            Agenda 21 everyone into the cities.
            etc etc etc.

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            My apologies if I came off rude, it wasn’t my intent (I reread my comment to you). I think you are right to a large degree – regulating everyone out of existence. And they’ll do it in increments so they won’t have to handle large riots until we reach critical mass. By then they’ll have most of the larger police departments militarized, the population dumbed down and fearful, and many of us without proper shelter eating adulterated food (as you mentioned).
            As a spiritual person, it is just beyond my comprehension that there are people/monsters that can actually do this to other human beings. As long as I live, I’ll never understand…

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            Oh no no. I didn’t think you were rude atall. No worries. :)

            I think we’re on the same page.

          • Gay Veteran

            “…Cheap energy is to be frowned upon….”

            hey Einstein, the planet does NOT have unlimited resources

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            Umkay, so we’ll count you among the ones that want to keep poor people poor and impoverish others thru energy rationing.

          • Gay Veteran

            oh yes, if we would just drill for oil in the national parks we could drop the price of gas by 10 cents

          • davidmpark

            You’re right – we’d need a lot more places to drill, frack, refine, and build power plants. Maybe more nuclear plants too. And lift restrictions on families producing their own utilities on closed systems. That should lower it all to a good price! Thanks for pointing that out! :)

          • Gay Veteran

            oh yes! frack more so we can further pollute our limited drinking water resources

          • davidmpark

            Oh! No! This argument works if it doesn’t rain and we don’t purify water!!!

            We’re DOOMED!!! ;)

            Seriously, that’s your best argument?

            We have a charcoal/sand filter on our rain collection system. Then it goes to the distiller, then to chemical purification (we make the sodium hydrochloride via salt water electrolysis). Our water system here creates up to 2,500 gallons of potable water in a space of 6′ X 8′ 3″. The system creates water far more pure than tap water; it’s homebuilt using leftover junk and cheap methods available to anyone.

            Research and testing. Oh how FUN it is!

          • Gay Veteran

            good luck with that if you have massive water pollution.
            but hey, gotta squeeze out that last drop of energy, the environment be damned

          • davidmpark

            The environment can care for itself. But hey, let’s stop energy production and let people die. After all, Leftist’s seem to think that humans are a disease, right?

          • Gay Veteran

            like anyone wants energy extraction to stop.
            great strawman

          • davidmpark

            It’s only a strawman if it’s not true.

          • Gay Veteran

            then WHO wants to STOP energy production?

          • Gay Veteran

            “The environment can care for itself….”

            pure BS. Compare U.S. (with environmental laws) with China (without).

          • davidmpark

            Nope – China is doing what communists do. It will set itself right eventually, but that’s only if they wish to be good stewards.

            As for the US, we are using those laws you’re touting to harm people and stifle growth and prosperity. They’ve gone too far!

          • Gay Veteran

            China is no longer communist. Their capitalists will do the yuan, just like our capitalists will do anything for the dollar.

            We know what happens when you have no environmental laws (see China for a recent example).

          • Gay Veteran

            I have an even better idea. Don’t pollute the water in the first place!

          • davidmpark

            They go for rationing, I’m setting out my closed-utility panels, turbines, generators, and anaerobic digester; and tell ‘em to go #$%& themselves.

            My family will not go without the basics of life.

          • davidmpark

            The earth does have unlimited resources. It’s the rampant mismanagement by the same kinds of folks that say we need population control that leads to shortages.

            Most of our resources comes from renewable sources in agriculture and adjacent industries. Crude oil is made by earth in the mantle – not from prehistoric plants. And metals and most plastics can be reworked – only 4% of plastics are not re-workable.

            Just do some research; it’s very fascinating!

          • Gay Veteran

            rigghhhhhht, a finite planet has infinite resources

          • davidmpark

            Yes, it does.

            Here’s a short, short list of what comes from just rabbits in product and by-product: Fresh Meat: standard meat cuts, hearts, kidneys, sweetbreads, and liver; Canned Rabbit Meat; Sausages; Rendered Fats; Glycerin; Gelatin; Soaps; Candles; Pet Food and Treats; Fur Pelts; Leather; Raw Hide; Rabbit Skin Glue; Fur for Bedding/Stuffing/Insulation; “Lucky” Rabbit’s Feet; Methane (Natural) Gas; Charcoal; Fresh Manure; Compost; Liquid Fertilizer; Feed for Night Crawlers; Potassium Nitrate (Saltpeter); Ammonia; Bone Handles, Tools, and Jewelry; Bone Meal; Blood Meal; Bile Acids (an anti-inflammatory used for gall stones); Pepsin (digestive aid); Chondroitin Sulfate (blood clot dissolution); Fibrinolysin (blood clot dissolution); Chalones (anti-cancer therapy); Phosphoric Acid; Calcium; Magnesium; Glucosamine; Blood Plasma; Prussian Blue; Lapinized Brains (Used in Vaccines).

            That’s the short, short list. It’s renewable and enough to care for a full family in the comfort of a 16′ W X 4′ L X 7′ H system.

            Do your homework, buddy. This world is far more amazing than we realize.

          • Gay Veteran

            wth does rabbits have to do with Unlimited resources

          • davidmpark

            Everything!

            Think about it: about 85% of all our daily resources are from renewed resources. The rest (about 15%) are recycled. Most of the time folks who say we have limited resources don’t know where they actually come from or processed! And rotten leaders drunk on power and corruption pick up on that as a way to claim earth is overpopulated and resources are scarce – when those leaders are the ones that locked most of those “limited resources” up in the first place!

            I win!

          • Gay Veteran

            look worldwide and the terrible problems of drinking water and food

          • davidmpark

            The world is not my priority. I’m looking at what affects my family and household.

          • Gay Veteran

            no man is an island

          • davidmpark

            Here’s a warning sign for when the ovens are heating up – they go after the severely disabled and terminally ill first. All holocausts begin with those who cannot defend themselves.

            And this scares me more than anything…

          • William Henry Bowen

            Sadly, I think the present regime is more than capable of doing exactly what you describe – and WILL do it at some point.

          • Drud

            The most difficult idea to wrap one’s mind around, is this: 1)Yes, it is very possible for the people who control our economy, our currency and more and more, our lives to go down the path towards towards torture, camps, extermination, etc. and 2) they are not necessarily psychopaths or even particularly evil. They are simple addicts in ivory towers. This means that the more power they get the more they need to get their fix, and, since they never have to get their hands dirty, never have to listen to the screams, they can lie to themselves and say that the things they do are for the greater good. This exact scenario has played out time and time again since the first human civilizations formed. We are in no way immune to human nature simply because “this is America” or “our freedoms are guaranteed by the Constitution” or any of the other mainstream platitudes you hear. We are headed down a dark road, BUT we can easily fight back. All we have to do is band together and begin to disobey the unjust laws the high and mighty government try to force on us every day.

      • behindthegreenmask

        Your answer? UN Agenda 21. That’s why.

        • MrsBulldoggy .

          Behind – Yep! Good old Agenda 21. Dressed up to look as if the people’s best interests are at heart, when in reality the opposite is true.

      • Rene Girrard

        Is it because we have forsaken the Lord our God which blessed us from the very beginning and made us a great nation?

        • Venharis

          Bingo.. this country is in Judgement for all of OUR transgressions. God has removed his divine protection and we are now at the mercy of lying devils.

          • Imaplaneiac

            AMEN, brother! ” The wages of sin is DEATH “!

        • YASS

          This is happening because Americans sat on their rear ends and isolated themselves from the growing threat, thinking the problem would solve itself.

          If God blessed this country “from the very beginning” then it wouldn’t have been taken over by the Globalists IN 1913!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          And now Americans will sit on their FAT rear ends and cry for God to save them when we already have the tools necessary to save ourselves (HINT HINT: 2ND AMENDMENT)

        • MrsBulldoggy .

          Rene – I keep hearing the same thing on other blog sites. It very well could be as our society seems to keep devolving.

        • Boo-urns

          What does that have to do with the inept idiots we’ve elected to run this country? Nothing, of course. If you keep looking at imaginary sources for your problems, you will only find imaginary solutions.

        • Gay Veteran

          “…God which blessed us from the very beginning….”

          yeah, including those 100s of years of slavery

          • Hammerstrike

            commonsenseatheism.c om/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/God-watches-TV.j pg

            God is keeping the black mahn down!

    • MrsBulldoggy .

      Kim – How long do you soak in the sea salt? Is there a particular brand that you use? Thank you. LoriQ

      • Kim

        Hello! I soak about 20 minutes in luke warm to warm water. Use about two cups. I don’t use soap or shampoo and I don’t rinse off.

        Use Dead Sea sea salt or Himalayan. U can get either one in bulk online. When I run out I go to whole foods, they have bulk California sea salt. Normally I order the good stuff from Saltworks and it’s not that expensive. :-)))

        • MrsBulldoggy .

          Hi Kim –
          That is really good information to know, thank you. Would you happen to know what is a good product for thyroid support as well? I’ve been reading and haven’t really come across anything that stands out and says “try me” (besides diet modifications). Once again, Thank You so much, it is appreciated. LoriQ

          • Kim

            There is some very good information on MindBodyGreen’s website. Just google MindBodyGreen and type thyroid in the search tool on their website. There is a whole bunch of good information there.

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            Thank you Kim. I will start down that path. Can never be too careful especially since our food sources are adulterated more than ever. Besides, I keep reading about Fukushima and it really makes one think about “what if”. Once again, Thanks! LoriQ

          • Kim

            Anytime!

          • Imaplaneiac

            Mrs, BD, maybe Sears or JCP carries that salt?!

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            Hi Ima – that’s a good question. I don’t know, but I sure can check. :)

          • Venharis

            Nacent iodide is the best. I get mine from InfoWars(dot)com

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            THANK YOU, Venharis! Have a Blessed Day.

  • 2Gary2

    so many penny stores closing in WI.. hey walker I guess your economic plan is a big fail.

    • eddiestale

      ^tiny man

    • davidmpark

      A state governor is in charge of NATIONWIDE retailers! REALLY?!

      Wow, cookie! How smart you are!

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      As your muppet overlords like to have you say over and over, I enjoy it when leftists fail.

      • davidmpark

        Elmo smells corporate handouts! A-hahahahah!

  • 2Gary2

    Tax the rich hard and spread the wealth. Regular folks will then have the money to shop and actually buy things.

    • eddiestale

      little gary 2 shoes

    • 2guest2

      Press 1 to hear my same ol’ message again; press 2 to make me go away…

    • captain

      So, what incentive does that provide for the rich to earn any money then? Plus, what happens when the rich does not have anymore money? Who are the regular folks going to leach off then?
      I mean if I was rich and I live in the system your talking about I would give all my money away so I could leach off the ‘supposed’ rich.
      This is the main reason why socialism doesn’t work. The people who support it lack common sense.

      • davidmpark

        He won’t answer that; or the magic flutters away.

        Details ruin his sides plans. That’s why they chant. The chant is the heart and soul of it for them; the details prove their crime.

        All the more reason to press them on it and not give ‘em any recourse but to explain themselves. Then, when one slips up, make sure it’s recorded on video with witnesses, then tie ‘em up in the courts and sue ‘em into bankruptcy. They want a fight; give ‘em one! :)

        • captain

          Preach on man! Preach on! :)

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          “All the more reason to press them on it and not give ‘em any recourse but to explain themselves”
          Holy crap have you ever seen me try to talk sense to the gay clown? It’s like their tiny little minds repel logic and common sense.

          • davidmpark

            Absolutely true! But it must be done.

            The confrontation isn’t for the sake of the parasite; the confrontation is for the sake of those around them and you. Remember, they can only thrive when the majority allows them to – without that consent; they cease to be.

          • Gay Veteran

            logic and common sense are certainly qualities you lack

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            Umkay. I’ll take that as the ‘I know you are but what am I’ defense that is exactly what I was describing.

          • Gay Veteran

            you can take it bending over.

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            Yikes. I’m not your boyfriend, degenerate pervert.

          • Gay Veteran

            degenerates are people like you who think the government owns our bodies

    • Venharis

      Like in Venezuela? You can’t even find a role of toilet paper there…

      • jack

        Just what is the role of toilet paper? I mean what is it for?

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Teacher says, every time Gary says “spread the wealth”, a one trick pony gets it’s wings.

      • davidmpark

        Trick pony! :) Awesome!

        Today’s indoctrination is brought to you today by the letters “F” and “U”, and by the number “0”. Back to you cookie monster!

    • davidmpark

      “Tax the rich hard and spread the wealth.”

      So, steal the money from the store owners and government employees and congress (the rich), so people who chose to be welfare junkies (Gary’s of the nation) can buy stuff from those they originally stole the money from. Leaving those who are in poverty due to actual issues like severe disabilities and loosing their jobs in a lurch so parasitic welfare junkies can continue acting like Peter Pan…

      And you wonder why we can’t respect you. :)

  • xander cross

    Who exactly own J.C. Penny and who own Sears? Also, where is all their products made in?

    • 2guest2

      The white man? China?

  • Pam

    Very painful to view the photographs. I wish something could be done to save them but, sadly, it won’t happen.

  • Imaplaneiac

    I went to both of my local Sears & JCP, today! Didn’t buy anything, howver; as the item I was looking for ( luggage ) was outrageously OVERPRICED!! Went to my local Target, as well – but didn’t dare use my credit card there!!
    I saw, today, that Fox Business Channel has put BOTH Sears and JCP on ” Death Watch “.

  • DT

    JCP has forgotten who brought them to top. The good Lord above and the working class stiff. JC use to tithe as much as 90 percent of his income. The retailer offered a good product for a fair price. I use to luv to shop there, then they tried to be comparable to Macy’s. Trying to one up and raise their prices beyond the quality of the merchandise, as well tacky and do mean merchandise. I hate to see this happen to anyone, because ultimately it affects all of us.

    • Carter

      JCP died about 100 years ago, so don’t blame today’s greed on him.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Ever get what you wanted but never wanted what you’re getting?

    • DB200

      Mondo, that is the first law of Santa Claus: if you are not clear in what you want, you get something different.

  • Eddivision15

    I’m worried about my survival more then some corporation.
    The ship is sinking and it’s every man for themselves.
    i know that is cold and may not be very christian but my granddaughter hasn’t even had a chance to live yet so she is my priority.

  • THETHOUGHTPOLICE

    Lots of working class Americans are in the same boat; no longer relevant and dated. The key is to stay relevant or die…

  • Anonymous

    The photo looks similar to a mall I saw in Montgomory, AL. Every store that closes is another family that will lose a job that may be very important to the family.

    I really need a solution article. With all of the college educated people in this country, why can’t any of those fancy degree holders figure out how to put it all back together again? What can we do? Where can we move? How can we restore middle-class America?

    • MrsBulldoggy .

      Stop the over regulation of this country as we cannot compete with the BRICS countries in this atmosphere. Entice large corporations to come back to the US thru major tax incentives, land/property leases, and employee worker training programs in conjunction with local colleges/universities and vocational schools. Offer vacant factories and buildings for pennies on the dollar in exchange for a 10/20 year lease. Start negotiating with unions and set the ground rules early on or corporations and businesses will not come back to this country. Do what we have always done best and nurture R&D, Creation, Innovation and the risk takers thru creative avenues. Perhaps set up a private foundation and begin funding those with brilliant ideas that do not have start-up capital. Just a few thoughts. I’m sure there are many brilliant ideas out there, much more than mine…
      America and Americans are worth saving, we can change our path and build up our country again. I think it all begins with a change in attitude and the just the idea of a few of us planting the seeds that all is not lost. A few bright lights in the darkness is all that is needed…

      • Gay Veteran

        and quit wasting 100s of $billions on the Pentagon

        • MrsBulldoggy .

          Gay – there is WASTE across the board not just the Pentagon. I would call for a full accounting, but I don’t trust the auditors either. 95% of the politicians on both sides of the aisle are bought and paid for. The best solution I can see is to find a citizen board filled with competent, vetted accounting professional without any type of affiliation (politically) to go over the books (both sets, not just the one given to the public for show). Give, we the People, the true low down on what we spend and what we truly owe. And then start voting in people that will handle this mess instead of voting along partisan lines. That is just my 2 cents…

          • Anonymous

            Put the books on the internet for the public to audit.

      • k

        Though these changes can help, they can only help in slowing the bleeding but not stop it.

        The problem is systemic. When goods made in asia cost less than half to make than in america…..any amount of tax breaks, low or free leases wont help. Companies will only divert that money saved, into stocks or probably give some discounts, but they wont bring back their entire manufacturing lines because even the supply chain….the goods and even materials required to make those goods are also far cheaper over there. Not to mention many workers over there work more than 60 hours a week, for less than half the wages compared to the states.

        I am not implying that the govt shouldnt do anything it should do all it can try to save these companies.

      • the lady of jade here

        Great ideas here but I’m afraid if this is really all planned, these ideas will never be put to use. I hope that this is not all planned, I really hope so as every day I seem to lose a little more faith in human nature.

    • jaded

      Those college grads are just trying to look after themselves and that’s it, people who’s eye is only on money. That’s one problem with the world/people.

  • none

    NOT GOOD NEWS TODAY MICHEAL:
    Basically Both of these stores where started with revolutionary concepts in shopping.
    Then other people looked at the way they where run, and corrected out the mistakes with the stores they started.
    This approach is now working on Wal-Mart. Go to any Costco, and you will see a lot full of expensive cars. Go inside and you can see some of the same things Wal-Mart is doing. (Also a side note). I think Costco is Chinese owned? Which would explain why they can copy something so well.Ha Ha just joking.

  • none

    NOT GOOD NEWS TODAY MICHEAL:
    Basically Both of these stores where started with revolutionary concepts in shopping.
    Then other people looked at the way they where run, and corrected out the mistakes with the stores they started.
    This approach is now working on Wal-Mart. Go to any Costco, and you will see a lot full of expensive cars. Go inside and you can see some of the same things Wal-Mart is doing. (Also a side note). I think Costco is Chinese owned? Which would explain why they can copy something so well.Ha Ha just joking.

    • DiscouragedOne

      LOL, sad but true.

  • Richard

    “If you can believe it, J.C. Penney actually lost 586 million dollars during the second quarter of 2013 alone.”
    And if I can’t believe it, how much did they lose?

    • Tim

      There you go again, Richard. Just the other day you praised Michael for his excellent articles.

      • DiscouragedOne

        I think he means the execs are faking it to pocket $, I think he is right.

    • DB200

      Probably 10% – 20% more, as all companies try to cook their books, and delay the bad news as long as possible.

  • mar1950

    Disposable income is falling. This will eventually bring down all retail. Hopefully the multinational, multi-billion $ chains will be gone. They have profited by importing from slave labor factories and brought them here duty free thanks to GATT and NAFTA. Then they pay their employees starvation wages. I hope they all go under and we will see mom and pop business that is responsive to the community and sell to their own neighbors.

    • C.L. Strasburg

      From where will “mom and pop” purchase their inventory?

      • DiscouragedOne

        Which is why we need to start making things here in the USA again.

    • the lady of jade here

      Good idea and I’d love to see it happen but can most people afford mom and pop store prices on what they make these days? Just sayin’.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Last year, I wandered into a local dollar store here in Philly and saw some cops taking a report. I talked to a dude I know who works there: a frustrated guy who has a masters degree in English from a major university but is stuck working for minimum wage in a dollar store (something that would have been unheard of when I was growing up). Anyway, I ask him why the cops were there. Turns out some folks had been shoplifting. There’s something really pathetic about people shoplifting in a dollar store, but then, The Banana Republic of America is pathetic on so many levels these days. Even shoplifters are lowering their standards.

    “The American economy is in the crapper. Everyone knows it.”—Gerald Celente

    “I’m looking at the vital signs for our economy and our country, and I’m not feeling particularly reassured at this time.”—The Patriot Nurse

    Economic recovery? Well, if becoming a Third World horror movie is one’s idea of recovery, then we’re “recovering” just fine.

  • Rene Girrard

    I remember my dad saying as early as about 1975 that Sears was going downhill. They have been going down a long time. I’m not sure why.

  • James

    Maybe after all of these box stores fail, the mom and pop businesses will return and make purchasing more localized again.

    • the lady of jade here

      That sure would be nice but I don’t know that we could afford mom and pop prices as a society any longer.

  • Mike Baron

    JC Penny went off the cliff when they put Ellen Degeneres as their spokes person )(man, girl, who knows).

    • Gay Veteran

      yes, it was all her fault. eyeroll

    • Mary

      I was thinking the same thing. After JC Penney decided their to push the homosexual agenda that was it for me regarding shopping in JC Penney. I used to shop in the Rice Lake, WI Penney’s and I’m not surprised it is closing. Once Kohls opened a store in Rice Lake it was curtains for Penneys.

  • Dave

    Sad turn of developments. Keep in mind that Sears and JC Penny historically (and even now) provided quality goods at reasonable prices as compared to the made in china junk sold at Walmart and target. I worked at JC Penny while in college and back then if you’d have said they would go bankrupt people would have thought you were insane. But globalization aside, Obama’s lame economy will ensure the death of many businesses that might have survived globalization, including sears and JC penny.

    • DiscouragedOne

      Have you been at Sears lately? I remember the last time I walked in that store (out of curiosity), and I went to the Womens clothing department (there was a time I bought ALL my work clothes from Sears, and I still have/wear a lot of that good quality clothing I bought years ago). That quality stopped in about 2005. On one trip to a mall when I walked in Sears out of curiosity ( about 4 years ago) my last time in Sears, I was aghast at the crap and started reading labels, ALL of the cheap, crappy looking clothes were made in China, Vietnam, Singapore…etc, so I don’t agree, you obviously haven’t been there to say “even now”, try it has not been that way for at least the past 9 years.

  • Rene Girrard

    I remember that in 1989 I bought a drill motor from Sears, and I paid like $150 for it. In about one month’s time it started leaking gear oil out the case. My dad bought a Thor drill motor (made in USA) many decades ago that still runs to this day.

  • dave

    This is sad. These stores were always 2 of the main department stores when I was growing up. They sold just about anything a person may need or want. At decent prices, too. I see this as a definate bad omen for our economy.

  • Ghost11111111

    Good. I’m friends with a guy that works at Sears. He makes 16.00/hr. He hates his job and is rude to the customers. But his father is the manager and most of his relatives and family friends work with him. Ask him a question about a product and he won’t have much information. Times are changing. Corporations must adapt, compete well, and sharpen up. Life is temporary. Soon u will break through the earth and find yourself in the day of judgement. And the angels positioned in ranks. Than u shall know that Your Lord is 1. There is only 1 God. And we are all equal. Do as much good as u can. God is fair and beautiful to all. Whether u r a Muslim, Christian, Jew, or Sabian, as long as u believe in God and do good deeds, u will go to heaven. Quran chapter 2 verse 62.

    • http://www.fbbc.com/audio/mp3/classics/JH_some_on_broken_pieces.mp3 Psalm56Eleven

      We are all sinners, but God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, gave His life on the cross as full payment for our sins, was buried three days and the resurrected.

      Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

  • Mondobeyondo

    I do go to Sears every so often, but not to anything, It’s mainly just to get out of the house and to look around. A lot of their merchandise looks like stuff my mom would want. My mom’s been dead for 11 years now.

    • xander cross

      Sears is like that now days. I just walk to see what they got and that’s about it. Don’t buy nothing and I see the associates talking which is okay with me. That’s all one should do when you don’t have customers for 4 hours of the day.

    • xander cross

      The same thing is happening to Home Depot and Lowe’s.

      • DiscouragedOne

        I like Home Depot. Lowes is ok too.

  • Mondobeyondo

    “Sears always has parking”….
    There’s a reason for that.

    It’s hard to find parking at a Wal-Mart.
    There’s a reason for that, too.

  • Mondobeyondo

    “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore, is the “Brother, Can you Spare a Dime” of our generation.

  • krinks

    This is all a sign that the true inflation rate has been manipulated the last 20 years to report it as artificially low. They do the same thing to the unemployment rate. Note that folks losing their unemployment benefits was reported as a lowering of the unemployment rate. They can only pretend people have the buying power they don’t have and pretend they have jobs they don’t have. The stores that are dying know the truth.

  • chilller

    Sears K-mart stores are closing at a record pace. Albertson’s grocery chain announced the closing of 26 stores.
    If 70% of our economy is based on consumer spending, why would you send the biggest driver of that economy, US jobs, overseas? The end result of such a move doesn’t take a high paid financial expert to figure out. And Obama continues, in secret, to promote sending more jobs away through the TPP. This leaves only 2 possible explanations.
    1. The gubermint and their financial experts are all clueless morons.
    2. Ripping out the financial heart of our consumer based economy is an intentional plan to take our nation down…an inside job terrorist attack. After all, didn’t they target our financial sector the last time during 911? Seems to me the target hasn’t changed but their means of delivery has.

  • Citizen X19

    Internet shopping killed these two fossils. Kmart is another one that is on life support.

    • Jodi

      Kmart is the worst.

  • Cincinnati Dave

    What was the old saying: “As GM goes , so goes the country!” We could replace that with: “As the Middle Class goes , so goes Sears, JC Penney, and Macy’s!” It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that we as a nation are in DEEP trouble and it is only going to get much MUCH worse! It is very sad to watch all of this happen right before our eyes!

    • DiscouragedOne

      Macy’s is still ok to shop at sometimes, but not as good as it used to be.

  • justsayin

    Less money to spend increasing taxes, prices etc. Means ALL retailers will be suffering. Plus the ridiculous gov’t regs. Wait till Obamacare applys to businesses next year. It will probably lead to a record setting year for business closures..just sayin!

  • Roddy Pfeiffer

    I retired in 2013 from JCP after 10 years in supply chain. JCP is failing because of itself and bad management. Their supply chain is old and very inefficient. I joke about it being “state of the art” 1974, and I’m not off by much. It is run by guys who worked their way up from the loading dock. They have never worked for another company, and they have no idea what supply chain in the 21st Century is. They are not even qualified to be management in today’s world. JCP buys millions of tons of merchandise for the same price as everybody else in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bangladesh. It costs them a lot more to get it to the customer. In the store they have to sell it for a loss to get customers into the store. Not a good business model. The whole chain is a dying dinosaur. All things come to an end.

  • Roddy Pfeiffer

    In these “comments” forums I often hear people ranting about bringing manufacturing jobs back to America. They often complain about workers in other countries working for $4 an hour and undermining American workers. America is too expensive to do manufacturing. A Chinese worker who makes the equivalent of $4 an hour US has a very nice middle class life. He owns a nice home, has health insurance and a pension, owns nice consumer goods, and saves 30% of his paycheck. My wife is from China and we retired there. My $1300/month Social Security check gives TWO people a nice middle class life here. There are several reasons why America costs so much, but high taxes are near the top of the list. There are no property taxes here and most workers pay no income tax.

    • Joe Kleinkamp

      Do you actually think anyone is stupid enough to believe you? Well maybe the ones who think professional wrestling is real “Roddy”

    • DiscouragedOne

      How is the pollution treating you?

  • Bob

    These companies have been going under for quite some time. Their business models are outdated and did not keep up with the way people do business.
    Remember when Dell had THE business model for selling computer on demand. Where’s Dell now…selling out. And many others who seemed to possess the golden key to only lose it years later by not keep up with what people want, and how they go about getting it.
    The global market place is changing fast and if you don’t keep up your out.
    How much investor money has been wasted on revamping stores no one wants to shop at. Rather than using it to change thier way they do business

  • William Henry Bowen

    Have not been in a regular Sears store in like 5 years – do shop the local Sears Tool & Applicance store (bought a dishwasher & disposal and a number of tools there about a year ago).

    BTW, one of the links in the article was to a story about the unrepaired damage to a Sears store in downtown Oakland, CA. I used to live in Oakland (20 years ago) and the inside of that store was depressing back then.

  • pecosbill

    I shredded my JCP’s credit card and sent it back. My reason was primarily that in nearly all their advertisement pamphlets they depicted young beautiful white women standing by the side of black men. I made my complaints directly to the CEO of advertisement policy. I reminded him that his business was to sell clothes, not PC religion.

    I don’t know if this made any difference but when i go into my local JCP’s to use the restroom, I notice that the mixed race ads have disappeared. I made the same complaint China-Mart and sent the shredded card back to them as well.

    I never understood why CEO’s would purposely irritate their base of white middle class costumers with ads designed to insinuate to that base that their daughters should have black boyfriends.

    I’ve noticed that while Belks has a lot of blacks in their pamphlets, it’s nearly always arranged with white girls next to black girls and black boys with with white boys. Somebody up the chain has some sense it looks like. But how long will that last before PC overrules good business policy?

    My local Sears closed about two years ago. Sears did everything possible to drive off customers, high prices, crappy sales personnel, and limited produces. I still shop at the Sears outlet store for tools and appliances etc.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      I think you read too much into it.

      • mharper42

        No, she does not. Ads are carefully staged, and JCP has acquired quite a reputation for edgy ad messages.

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          It’s more reasonable to you that JCP is trying to convince white girls to get into bed with black folks with a picture of the two together (And what business would that be of your anyway – and who cares)
          than it is to say they’re just trying to represent all Americans in their advertising?
          really?

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            What’s funny (and sad, really) is the idea that a female is going to look at an ad and then decide to bed black men because the ad suggested it. If an individual can’t think, choose, reason for themselves, then they have much bigger problems to be concerned about. Ads are designed to entice, yes, but we have a responsibility to do our due diligence in whatever endeavor we follow (or choice we make). I agree with you Malcom, it isn’t our business what someone does behind bedroom doors (as long as it’s consensual and no children are involved).

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            Well said!

    • Boo-urns

      Completely absurd. If that’s the message you really think they are trying to send you’re a moron.

    • IstvanIN

      Target and Walmartinez do the same thing , put White girls with black males in their ads, it is calculated and a turn off.

      • Gay Veteran

        a turn off if you’re a bigot

        • the lady of jade here

          Agreed GV.

  • DJohn1

    I have visited JC Penney and Sears last year once.
    The problem is out of date pricing. I looked for shoes at JC Penney and the prices were at least $30 higher than they should be. So who ever is buying and pricing goods needs to retire.
    Sears also under a different corporate name runs Sears Outlets. Those stores have very good pricing. Those stores are under different management and are doing just fine.
    If Sears has any intention of surviving which I doubt at this point, then they are going to have to change their ways.
    Trashing the names Kenmore and Craftsman seem to be the way they are going as the accountants rule the roost. I bought a Kenmore Microwave about 7 years ago. It is still running. It is well designed.
    So I bought another one this year. It is not any where near as well designed as the first one was.
    For the first time in years I visited a Best Buy. I didn’t even recognize the store. They have changed and the changes I saw would not bring me back for another visit.
    Here are the true signs of a retail store going bankrupt.
    1. You depend on doing business all on line.
    2. Your sales are all rebates that have to be mailed in to manufacturers.
    3. Your retail prices are 10-20% over what I can find them for elsewhere.
    4. Your name products have gone sadly down hill in quality and no attempt is made to generate return customer sales.
    If the shoe fits, then I think we have future bankrupt companies.
    Helen Hunt made her fortune in the 1930s depression. After losing half her family fortune from the advise of brokers she started a new policy. That policy was she never invested in any company that she didn’t use the products of. She did her homework. She went out to the stores and if she like what she saw she invested. If she didn’t she did not invest. She died with a fortune of 27 million dollars.
    Sears, JC Penney, Best Buy, and many other stores would not currently get one dime of my investment money.
    Same goes for things like cars. If I wouldn’t own the product, I certainly wouldn’t invest in it.

  • greanfinisher .

    The Sears personnel at the local mall near this area had been nothing but arrogant, belligerent and insulting, and it has been the same way with GM.
    What happened with GM?

  • JustanOguy

    The writing was on the wall for Sears and JC Penney over a decade ago..

    The problem with big companies is their inability to change when the times call for it. Closing a bunch of stores actually (many of those are in dying malls or in malls where upscale shoppers are at other places such as Nordstroms, etc.) actually makes them nimbler.

    Thank Amazon, Kohls, etc..

    As for Best Buy — include thanking Walmart because you can pretty much now find everything there for cheaper.

    As they say… Best Buy is to browse and learn about the products that you go to Walmart or Amazon to buy.

    Sign of the times? Explain WalMart & Amazon raking in Billions and the questions in your post will be answered.

    P.S. – You forgot to mention that Sears used to make a big chunk of their money through the archaic system of “catalogs” and missed the ordering online boat. Where do you think Amazon learned their business model and applied it to modern times?

    • DiscouragedOne

      I agree, but brick and mortar experience is a big factor too. I have bought online from Kohl’s maybe 5 months ago or so, although I have a Kohl’s about 1 mile from me, yet I almost never go there.

  • Arizona

    THE AMERICAN people were not happy with the LORD so they abandoned him,NOW everyone has what they wanted NOTHING,and your still bitching,whats your problem anyway??you wanted your boys to be little queers,you got it,you wanted to marry them off to the to the queers next door ,now you can,You wanted demons to run the country ,you got it,AND YOUR STILL UNHAPPY,well heres something your also going to get you never thought about,..WAR………………

    • Boo-urns

      WTF does this have anything to do with this article????

      • MrsBulldoggy .

        Basically what this person is saying is that this country moved away from God and turned toward sin, blasphemy, immorality, unethical behavior and so forth. Reaping what we sowed as a nation…

        • Boo-urns

          And I say again, what does this have to do with Sears and JCPenny? Does God really exact his vengeance on a pair of retailers for the sins of man?

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            Boo- I can only speak for myself here. Personally, I believe JC and Sears did not evolve with current technology, fashion, design or the wants and needs of its customers/clientele. They couldn’t compete with Dillards, Macy’s, Nordstroms with quality (theirs went downhill), and price is in the bag for Wal-Mart and Target. I also believe that the middle class is shrinking, our disposable income is much less and many are struggling tremendously – this means less to spend on non-essential goods and services. And the money that people do have for non-essentials, they are going to shop around for best price and quality (JC and Sears just didn’t stack up). As for God exacting revenge, I don’t quite look at it in those terms. We’ve lost our moral compass as a nation to a greater degree. You don’t even have to believe in God to have morals, values and ethics. It seems, to me at least, that anything now goes in this country. We fight, we bicker, we treat each other poorly. We are divided horribly, we no longer truly listen to one another and we only care if “we got ours” and screw the next person. How can we all move forward peacefully and successfully when all of us have our guns and knives at the ready to slit one another’s throats for disagreeing? Our egos are all too big (mine included), we no longer know what tolerance, peace, decency, respect, compassion, grace, mercy, forgiveness and even playing well with others is.
            As for your question, I think we have made a mess of this nation ourselves. We are reaping what we have sown. God doesn’t need to do anything, we’ve done it to ourselves. God Bless and thank you for letting me ramble…

          • GSOB

            Each man is his own prisoner, in solitary confinement for life.

          • Anonymous

            A bad economy is bad for most of us, not just for 2 retailers.

        • Gay Veteran

          god sure turned a blind eye to 100s of years of slavery in America

          • Anonymous

            “……visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children…..” -Numbers 14:18

            America is paying for the sins of their fathers now.

          • Gay Veteran

            now?
            so god was cool with all those 100s of years of slavery?

          • Anonymous

            No, God was not /is not cool with slavery. Slavery is evil and God is not cool with evil. God believes in freedom or He would not have given humans free will. Numbers 14:18 says God is slow to anger and the children pay for the sins of their fathers for generations. We are paying for our father’s, great-grandfather’s, sins now.

          • Gay Veteran

            “…the children pay for the sins of their fathers for generations….”
            that is totally f-ed up! you pay for sin/crime that you don’t commit?!?!?!?

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            Gay, no one with a heart would even stop to believe or think slavery was right, correct, moral or ethical. It is a black mark upon our history without a doubt (as it is upon others around this world, not just ours and not just slavery against black persons). However, it wasn’t God’s fault, that is a cop-out and irresponsible. It is humankind’s fault for choosing to follow thru on such despicable acts. There are no excuses, none. Just atonement and the call for any and all to never repeat such barbarism again, and if I may add, to stop it wherever it may rear its ugly head.

          • Gay Veteran

            I didn’t say it was god’s fault. You were talking about reaping what we sowed as a nation, and when it comes to slavery it took a LONG time to “reap”

          • MrsBulldoggy .

            What is your point, Gay? You don’t have to be religious to understand reaping what a person has sown. That happens regardless of what a person believes in. Many will say they will get their just desserts one day (another way of saying reaping what one has sown). I’m sure there are many other adages to what I am pointing out to you, Gay. Quit trying to make an argument when there isn’t one.
            As for slavery, what do you suggest? Lining up all white people and shooting them for a legacy that many had nothing to do with? Taking from whites and giving to blacks? Would that make you feel better? We could enslave all the white people, give all the blacks in this country a white slave or more? Would that make you feel better? And what about all of us people in the world that are of mixed race? If we look more white than black/brown, well, you’ll just punish us? But those with brown/black skin, you’ll give a pass? I guess we’ll just repeat the mistakes of the past and harm more people to get a pound of flesh instead of working to create a more peaceful world. And those people we harm, well, most of them weren’t around when slavery was here, most of them didn’t have relatives who enslaved anyone, but hey the color of their skin is enough to propel the hatred forward.
            I wish to see hatred done away, you just wish to perpetuate it.

          • Gay Veteran

            The point being that the “reaping” may take a very long time, thus the reference to American slavery.

            “…I wish to see hatred done away, you just wish to perpetuate it.”

            where the heck did that come from???

          • afchief

            Slavery is not a sin. It was the treatment of slaves. Read Philemon in the bible. Philemon a member of the Colossal church owned a slave named Onesimus who became a Christian. Paul never condemned slavery nor did Jesus. It is how one TREATS people.

            But your lifestyle is a sin!

          • Gay Veteran

            “Slavery is not a sin….”
            I don’t think you need to say anything else to show you are a total a**hole.

          • afchief

            Showing your ignorance!

            I thought gays like a**holes!!!

          • the lady of jade here

            Agreed GV.

          • the lady of jade here

            Please have some respect for those different from you. How can we ever make this country right again if we are so divided on things such as someone being gay that don’t really even matter?

      • Alasha

        lol

    • Gay Veteran

      get back on your meds

  • Jodi

    It’s true Sears always has parking. We always park there when we go to the movies.

    I know this came up in another article last week. If you’re old enough to remember, the Sears Wish Book was something I always looked forward to when I was a child. Kinda sad to see companies like Sears & JC Penny dying but the truth is both places have poor quality products. I guess that’s what happens when everything is made in China plus I realize that the middle class is dying too. Not to mention when these type of stores close they sit there empty forever. Our Mervins store has been empty for years & Nordstrom closed a couple of years ago. The malls are looking like ghost towns & downright depressing.

  • cpgone

    The sales are simply going on line and or to more efficient china retailers like WalMart , Harbor freight.
    Retailers come and go. Remember Zayre? Monkey Wards?

    PLEASE DO AN ARTICLE ON THE DVD
    ” Death by China”

    thank you

    • DiscouragedOne

      I hate Wally World (WalMart), it is not my preferred retailer by any stretch of the imagination. Everytime I even see one I think of the ultra-rich spoiled brat Walton kids taking advantage of their employees AND U.S. taxpayers, they make me want to puke!

      • cpgone

        Sam Walton rolling in grave?

    • cpgone

      They all sell china made stuff
      Target, HArbor Freight, Kmart,etc
      Granted, WW seems to be the worst.

  • cpgone

    PLEASE DO AN ARTICLE ON THE DVD
    ” Death by China

  • Rob W

    Hemingway talked about being busted, he said a man goes broke slowly at first, and then all at once.

    • MrsBulldoggy .

      I think we’re going thru the “slowly at first”, and we are fast approaching, “then all at once”. Great quote, by the way and so true…

    • Drud

      Yes, he was asked by a reporter in his later years: “How did you go broke?” He responded in prototypical Hemingway Pith: “Two ways. Gradually then suddenly.”

  • dale

    there is a small sears store in my town carrying appliances and craftsman stuff. guys working there have been there a long time. knowledgeable and accessible. maybe this is sears’ future?

    • William Henry Bowen

      Dale, I have a similar Sears tool & applicance store nearby in Chagrin Falls, OH (SE of Cleveland. Recently bought some tools & a new dishwasher there. Have not been in a regular Sears store in 6 or 7 years (I don’t even know where the closest one is to where I’m living now).

      • Powell

        Yeah, but much to your chagrin it too will soon close….

        • William Henry Bowen

          :) Yes, when it closes I will be chagrined.

      • DiscouragedOne

        Not the same quality it used to be, I am planning on some new appliances in the not too distant future, but not from them.

        • William Henry Bowen

          I looked at the Kenmore dishwashers and was NOT impressed. Ended up with a KitchenAide dishwasher that works VERY well.

    • DiscouragedOne

      Except Craftsman used to mean quality, now it means “made in China, and don’t expect the quality you USED to get”. I don’t buy them anymore. Sears also seems out of touch with that, they still think craftsman is the “most respected brand”, they ought to get their heads out of 20 years ago.

  • Winder

    JC Penney started to nosedive when they hired Ellen DeGenerate as a spokesperson. Bad move for a company that caters to the middle class predominately in the Bible Belt. I have 5 teenage daughters and have only recently set foot back in Penney’s since they let “Ellen” go. I do my best to only give my dollars to companies that have a moral compass , i.e. Chick Fil A. Not homosexual promoters like Penney’s, Starbucks, Target, etc.

    • DB200

      What has homosexuality to do with this?

      • William Henry Bowen

        Because people do not support AND even boycott companies that push perversion.

        • Gay Veteran

          really? heard any songs lately? watched any movies? played any games?

          • Shane

            simmer down tinkerbell, they are expressing an opinon. One of our basic freedoms. I agree the gay agenda kept many consumers away.

          • Gay Veteran

            hey junior, every a**hole has an opinion

          • the lady of jade here

            Good for you for standing up for yourself!

          • the lady of jade here

            Please have some respect and refrain from insults like that. Not everyone was made to live the 1950’s suburban husband works/wife at home 2 kids model.

    • Gay Veteran

      bilge. hopefully your 5 teenage daughters will soon start to think for themselves

      • the lady of jade here

        Good point GV.

    • IstvanIN

      So many people hate Ellen DeGeneris just because she is gay but the funny thing is she is one of the few clean comics. I have caught her stand-up routine a couple of times on TV and unlike most “comedians”, she wasn’t course or rude mouthed.

    • DiscouragedOne

      I decide on what stores to go to/buy from based on 2 things, do they have what I want, and is it a decent price. The end.

  • Mark Crawford

    I delivered Tires and Appliances to Sears throughout the mid continental U.S. and can testify to this decline. So many times, I’d be in the mall waiting to be unloaded, calling my wife and telling her how scary it looked, half of the mall shops closed. “Ghost Town” is an accurate description as there were hardly any shoppers (<12) in the whole mall at all during the weekdays.

    • DiscouragedOne

      Makes me think of the (now closed) Summit Place mall in MI. For the last 3 or so years it was open, it was just scary to go there. You drive through the parking lot at your own risk these days, there are potholes big enough to total your car in.

  • Top Gun

    These stores are run by computers. The upper management punches in numbers then cries about losses. The merchandise in these places is comparable to thrift stores. Who the hell are the ‘buyers’? I have often made comments like “fire the buyers”. I make good money buying and selling clothes on a thrift level. BUT I KNOW MY CUSTOMERS. Many today are not looking for ‘fashion’ , they want good looking and well made. The clothes in these stores seem to be cheap high fashion or downfight baffling. Like here in NW Florida, Sears has tons of winter boots? And tons of leather coats? No one wears leather coats here. But they do wear designer flip-flops, all year. But yet they carry cheap looking flips they can’t sell! Every store needs it’s own merchandise tailored to the area. They just seem to like big name people to run things. All I see is them “running “it into the ground…

    • DiscouragedOne

      Excellent post, that is how Sears lost my business years ago.

  • FirstGarden

    Sears And J.C. Penney Are DYING???

    Give the CEOs a bonus!

  • Joe Shmo

    The REAL problem is not the stores closing so much, it is the non-performing loans on the properties that the banks hold! Those stores use up a large amount of square footage. The commercial real estate market in this country has to be totally in the crapper. Any commercial real estate moguls (or bankers) out there? I would like to hear from a professional in the biz.

    • DiscouragedOne

      We have had whole malls, and several big stores clothes, malls stay dead, very small percentage of big stores get repopulated.

  • Richard O. Mann

    America. It was fun while it lasted.

    • How Not To Play The Game

      It aint over yet. The fat lady has not even reached the stage.

      • DiscouragedOne

        Really? How long do you think it has?

  • Boo-urns

    I’m not going to defend anything that’s been going on in regards to the economy, but Sears and JCPenny’s impending failures really have nothing to do with that. Both companies have been spiraling downwards for at least a decade or more, and neither has adapted their business models to the modern consumer. The state of the economy isn’t helping, but you can’t lay the blame there.

    • DiscouragedOne

      I agree, that has been my experience, the reason I stopped going to Sears was the merchandise went downhill and I could not find anything I wanted anymore, I think that was around 2005. Keep in mind in the 90s and early 2000s I bought ALL my business clothes at Sears.

  • Frank

    This is a great article and like the author, I have watched it happen over many years. What went wrong? It’s easy to see and the current economy is not the core reason. JC Penney’s and Sears were catalog companies and they missed the jump to the Internet. Yes, they had quality products and their competitors undermined them with cheaper prices, but they also lost their customer service compass. Visiting these stores as a kid was fun and I could page through the catalogs endlessly. These should have been replaced by browser kiosks where items could be dropped into a shopping cart similar to Amazon.
    Instead, brands like Towncraft and Stafford (JCP Men’s department) or Craftsman and DieHard (Sears) have been replaced or cheapened with unacceptable substitutes. Macy’s is not far behind.
    I am lucky enough to live in San Jose, CA, where the economy is kept afloat by the tech industry. However, I still see vacant storefronts, a half-filled mall (JCP, Sears, & Macy’s are the anchor stores), and food chains like Starbucks, Carl’s and MacDonald’s have closed stores in the area.

  • DB200

    Michael, very interesting article. You draw the right conclusion: as the middle class dies so do these retailers.

    You state that the Obama administration and the mainstream media keep telling us that the economy is on a recovery path. To be honest, when I read the economic news it is all misery, so I have difficulty finding these upbeat articles. Maybe you should write a blog about these articles, with the evidence that they are outright MSM lies.

    • Shane

      I enjoyed your article on who is benefitting from QE, the big banks are even bigger than before but none of that money is trickling down to the middle class.

    • DiscouragedOne

      Yep, even CNN is being more honest these days about the way things really are.

  • Mountainhiker

    Bottom line, under the current democratic administration, taxes have gone up, millions have lost their jobs and now with the curse of socialist medicine, the cost of medical insurance is taking even more money out the average Americans pockets. The less people have to spend, the less they will be shopping in Sears, J.C. Penny and many other stores. The insanity of wealth redistribution, pure socialism, is nothing but redistribution of wealth from working people into the pocket of the government so there is less money for clothes and new cars.

    • Gay Veteran

      no, with “obamacare” it will redistribution of wealth to the insurance companies

      • DiscouragedOne

        Follow the money, who owns the insurance companies? Oh, same people that are behind our puppet government, that’s right.

  • Mondobeyondo

    The KMart store that was a mile north of my house, closed its doors for the last time on December 20th, 2011. That day, they were selling their merchandise for 60% to 80% off. It was packed that day. Never seen so many people in that store as there were that day.

    Eventually they boarded it up, and placed a chain link fence with barbed wire on top, around the entire property.

    As of January 16, 2014, it’s exactly the same as it was in early 2012. Barbed wire – check. Boards – check. There’s new graffiti on the walls though. New tenants moving in? Ha ha. Not funny.

    I loved that store. It was there when my parents and I moved to our present location. I applied for my very first job there in 1982 (didn’t get hired). KMart wasn’t (and still isn’t) the best retailer, by far. But It was close by, and I could buy appliances, food, clothes, etc – they even had a small deli inside.

    But that’s now in the past….

    • Shane

      I miss those days too. Zayre’s and Montgomery Wards, its all gone and more will follow.

    • DiscouragedOne

      I have a K-Mart that close to me, and I go there sometimes because it is convenient, but if you go there when it is crowded even the least bit, be prepared for long waits at the checkout because of their dinosaur technology. Heard when I had to wait in line 20 minutes to buy 5 items over the holiday season by somebody with a big bag of dog food…”next time I will go to PetsMart, I thought this would be faster”.

  • eddiestale

    where is gary the midget to tell us that raising taxes would have prevented these closures?

  • Mondobeyondo

    Don’t know what caused this….um, creature to commit such an act, but this is the worst thing I’ve read all year. All 17 days of it.

    I’m starting to believe what Gerald Celente says – “When people lose everything, and have nothing left to lose, they lose it”. Not saying that economic issues were the reason – we may never fully know. There’s obviously some serious mental issues involved in this story.

    But still – it is the ultimate act of desperation. And so very sad. Please, never let it get THIS bad.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2541473/Police-officer-shoots-dead-wife-children-mother-law-committing-suicide.html

    • Mondobeyondo

      Is the country falling apart? No.
      Just reacting to a paradigm shift.

    • Jodi

      Mondo, this story is horribly tragic. This officer happened to work in the same city as my husband. We saw the story on the news in the morning & when my husband got to work he heard that he worked for the Lindon City police department. My husband didn’t know him because he’s not a police officer & he had only been there for about 3 mos but it was such a shock. Why the children I will never understand what they had to do with it. Very sad & tragic.

    • Sandbagger

      I was in a junk store and the clerk told me about this. She was in her 60’s I’m guessing and boy, was she shook up!

      This is what the modern jumping from high rise windows looks like in our Greatest Depression.

  • Gay Veteran

    Gerald Celente: recession, depression, trade wars, currency wars, world war. when all else fails they take you to war

  • Anonymous

    Minnesota seems to be doing just fine. Every restaurant I see doesn’t have an open parking space. The commuter trains are packed with working people. Shopping centers have 3/4 full parking lots. Every car I see on the road is brand new or close to it. Home prices are still up there. Homes, apartments, and condos all seem to be in good repair. I don’t see anything like the picture for the Appalachian article. Quite a few people have snowmobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, and condos in Florida that they take vacations to spend time in. I don’t see anyone that seems homeless. I don’t see anyone holding signs asking for help. People seem to be getting pregnant and having kids like they still have hope for the future. Perhaps, I am missing some things, but these are the opinions I have based on what I have seen.

    • Mondobeyondo

      You’re so lucky up there.

      • DiscouragedOne

        It is VERY cold in MN, but it is a nice state, I liked it a lot when I visited.

    • wally

      Same thing in San Diego. Some homeless yes but it has been 80+ this week. If I was homeless I’d want to live here too.

    • the lady of jade here

      Minnesota seems to be one of the states that never booms or goes bust but just stays stable and good overall. If the winters were a little bit easier to handle, I might be in Minnneapolis myself right now.

    • DiscouragedOne

      I have seen all of those things you mention not seeing in MN here in MI. It depends where you go as far as malls, I can think of a few that are always bustling, and I can think of a few that became deserted wastelands then went out of business.

  • FounderChurch

    Business Socialism! by FounderChurch

    Just as sick old degenerate societies systematically fall into the vice of Socialism, Communism, Fascism, Nazism, and voting Democrat which is the same thing, so to do business take the same path to their doom. The proper name for it is Business Socialism.

    On today’s NY Stock Exchange, not one company was on there in the year 1900, and none of the Companies that were on the Exchange in 1900, are on the Exchange today. Companies have lifespans about the length of a human life. Most companies die before they are a hundred years old just like humans die before they are a hundred.

    But during their senile dotage they, like humans who go on Social Security, turn to some form of Socialism, which only hastens their death.

    Sears and Roebuck and JC Penney are just two powerful examples of this decline and death of companies.

    Do they have to die? NO! But, will they do the needed things to stay young and live long? NO!

    Most companies, like most nations, and most people have a death wish, the odor and stench of death about them, and despite being warned to exercise, eat raw health food, drink lots of clean water, and avoid toxic things like tobacco, alcohol, bad air, bad water, and drugs, what they seem to want to do, is curse God and die, and so it is not surprising that is what they choose to do. Of course hell awaits them, thank God.

    So, even though America is rapidly going to hell in a hand basket, that is not why JC Penny and Sears are going out of business. It is all about arthritic Business Socialism.

    Every wonder why large companies start looking like. and functioning like, the former USSR? The reason is simple, they are kindred Socialist spirits. Join FounderChurch.Blogspot,Com

  • John

    You can’t judge the health of the American economy by the results of two department store chains that are out of step with the times.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Oh yes you can.
      Look at where Americans shop.
      Where they spend their hard earned dollars.

    • DiscouragedOne

      When it comes to women who used to buy their clothes at these stores, I can tell you where a lot of them went, Macy’s, so they could find the items they want. Usually if I go to a brick and mortar Macy’s I don’t walk out empty handed.

      • Sandbagger

        I was looking around Macy’s last weekend. Not too impressed with their offerings either.

        Who exactly are the buyers responsible for purchasing all the rhinestone studded crap?

        • DiscouragedOne

          Clothes are going downhill for sure overall…we need to start making them in the USA again.

  • Mondobeyondo

    When the middle class died, Sears and Penneys died along with them. They lost theirtbase. And now, their base has lost them. Their base has moved on, to Wal-Mart and Target. The upscale folks pronounce it at ce

    • Mondobeyondo

      oops.. upscale folks pronounce it as “Tar-zhaay” – is what I meant to say.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Keep squeezing that turnip. There’s no more blood to draw out of it.

    Instant cash… is not instant cash. It is DEBT!!!
    The kids

  • prestodo

    I wish Wal-Mart would die!

    • Hamburg

      Why, so 2 more million folks could lose their jobs too? What a dumb thing to say…!

      • DiscouragedOne

        So it could be replaced by something more fair to Americans, instead of something that takes advantage of them.

  • monty

    Remember Montgomery Ward? Been a while huh?

    • William Henry Bowen

      15 years to be precise.

    • Sandbagger

      I received a catalog from them last month. Same old junky stuff.

  • taos

    We went to buy drapes from Penney’s and they told us to go online.Didn’t even have any on display.??

    • DiscouragedOne

      Wow, I have not been at the brick and mortar in a while, that is just sad.

  • thomas doyle

    I OFTEN WONDER WHEN A COMPANY GET NEAR BANKRUPTCY ALL OF A SUDDEN THE LAST FEW QUARTERS THERE IS HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS LOST! (LIKE J.C. PENNEY really! $586 million) I BET THE SCUM AT THE TOP OF THE COMPANY ARE SIPHONING OFF THAT MONEY INTO OFF SHORE ACCOUNTS WHILE THE BUSINESS CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE FOR BADLY NEEDED CASH AND THE WORKING CLASS PERSON JUST LOSES MORE ABOVE MINIMUM WAGE JOBS! Complete scum running these corporations! they all went to the same business school and probly cheated their way all the through!

    • Sandbagger

      The elite are deliberately shipwrecking their companies it appears.
      Take the money and run is their motto.

  • FounderChurch

    All business is not good, just as all people are not good. We Conservative Believers need to get that through our heads once and for all.

    One big problem in America is that we seem to have no mechanism to differentiate between good business and bad business. Socialist Business is no good, and we need to have a register of all business that grades them on the degree of socialism they contain.

    Businesses that support Democrat Leftist causes are by definition Socialist Businesses, and no one should buy anything from them, and they should be hounded out of business. Anything less and the nation is doomed. Our churches are no good or this society would not be in the shape it is in. Our bad churches and bad businesses have done us in.

  • Herb

    I think these stores are failing because everyone buys their crap online from amazon now. I can order pretty much anything without burning a drop of gasoline.

    • DiscouragedOne

      Here is what happens to me…I go to the brick and mortar store and look around, sometimes for hours, leaving without the thing(s) I wanted, even though I actually checked online first to see if that store had it. I go home, go to the store online, find it and order it in 5 minutes or less. So, guess which stores I go to on a regular basis? Right, the ones that actually have the merchandise they say they have.

      I remember one time I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond for something I saw online and it said my local store had, but they didn’t. I was a bit annoyed, but then the clerk apologized, went on their computer system and ordered it to be delivered to my house. Nice of him, but next time I will just skip the middle-man and go online and order it myself.

      • Anonymous

        And Bed Bath and Beyond makes it up by giving free shipping if it isn’t in the store. They didn’t have something in the store that I needed, so they shipped it to my house for free. On top of that, they snail mail coupons to me and let me use the coupon even after it is expired. For those 2 reasons, I always choose to go to BBB first when I am shopping. Customer service is a big deal to me.

        • DiscouragedOne

          Yes, the customer service is good, but it took me 20 minutes extra while all the ordering went on. It would take me less than 5 to just do it myself.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Let’s get past the leaves, past the flowers, past the trunk, and get down to the roots. The roots are where it all begins, right? Get down to the foundation. The beginning.

    This country (the U.S.) – still is a great country, in spite of our problems. What made us great to begin with? THAT is the key to getting back where we once were. That’s the key to getting back our (former) respect and glory. The country which helped win two world wars. The country which put men on the moon.

    Faith. Faith in God, faith in our founding fathers, faith in a REAL family (husband. wife and children, not two husbands or two wives or a husband and 5 wives). – I could go on and on about that, but I won’t.

    Courage. It’s clearly evident in our armed forces, but lacking among the general population. Yes, there are some who re absolutely couraeous, and deservedly need our recognition. Policemen, firemen, and so on. But the average citizen’s concept of courage – is when Peyton Manning scores a touchdown in spite of all the defenders from the opposing team. Really? Give me an ever loving tibia fracture.

    Our children need to study history more. But the schools won’t teach it. Our children need to know about God. But parents won’t teach it. THAT is why we have Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. That is why we have Columbine. It’s why you can’t enter a movie theater without fear of getting shot.

    It will only get worse. I’m 94.3 percent certain of it (ha).

  • Mondobeyondo

    Am I depressed? Uh-huh.
    Why do you think they call it a “depression”?!

    Hypothetical Q and A:

    1) Hi Mondo! First time listener, last time caller! Where do youI find inspiration?
    From the past. My parents and grandparents. They went through it before us.
    They can teach us a lot.
    Talk to your parents or grandparents.
    I also get a LOT of inspiration from the Bible.

    2) Mondo, what do you eat?
    Lots of potatoes. But, it’s important to keep your diet varied. Potatoes, and also rice, have lots of starch, and too much of it isn’t good. Add some variety! Salads, fish if you can afford it… steak if you’re a broke millionare (catch the contradiction?!) And the classic college dorm food – ramen noodle soup. And food stamps (EBT card). I don’t like being on food stamps, but it does buy a lot of potatoes.

    3) When will things improve?
    They won’t improve. Sorry. But thanks for asking!

    4) Are your tough times driving you crazy?
    Judge for yourself.

    Okay, that’s all for today!

  • Johnny Flash

    I was a loss prevention manager for a short time with Kmart. The trouble they are in didn’t happen overnight. These guys have been running the ship for years as if they were in a vacuum and had no competitors. They didn’t want any outside advice on streamlining their operation. They didn’t want to update their inventory management system (the equipment was on average 15yrs old and they had piles of inventory they didn’t know they had yet would order more and more). And they kept death grips on their pricing of products refusing to even try and be competitive. Most of the higher-ups enjoyed nice fat salaries while paying the people that actually did the work poverty wages.

    From a loss prevention perspective they gave me 3 cameras to watch an entire store! These guys are a joke and have been for a long time and were warned by better advisers over the years. I say good riddance for being such hardheaded fools and complete greedy idiots.

    • k

      Maybe it was all deliberate….like somebody here said earlier. Somewhere down the line they must have figured that running iit nto the ground and breaking it up and selling the peices will be more profitable than spending money on trying to revive it.

    • DiscouragedOne

      Try buying something at K-Mart! I went to my local one over Christmas and said never again after waiting in line for 20 minutes (to buy 5 items). No self-service checkout, no express lanes (I was buying less than 15 items) and dinosaur technology at all the cashiers. This is what makes people stay away, I will think twice next time even if I only need something simple they might have.

    • Sandbagger

      You’re right about them being warned in the latter half of the 20th century that they needed to modernize.

      I have fond childhood memories of K-mart and will be sorry to see them go.

    • pulltheweeds

      loss prevention – lmao –
      gotta luv all of the new bs phrases
      in this crazy nation

  • Shane

    There is little to no discretionary spending in peoples budgets today to spend at these stores. Stagnant wages and the ability to shop/order on line will be the death of most brick and mortar stores. Look what e-readers did to Borders Book stores,

    • Anonymous

      So sad. I loved Borders.

    • DiscouragedOne

      I knew many who were upset when Borders went out of business. I know why people shop online even if they do have to pay shipping some of the time (I get it free some of the time too), because you can search things, find what you want and order it in a short time.

      Compare this to going to the brick n mortar, looking around for hours, not finding, clueless clerks, and I have even researched stuff online where it SAYS a certain store has it, you go there, they don’t have it.

  • jack nichols

    RIP JC and Sears

    • Sandbagger

      Joining The Emporium in the cemetery of stores.

      • Sandbagger

        Next to Mervyns, Kinney’s Shoes, Gemco and Miller’s Outpost.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Went to Sears at the local (fairly) nearby mall this morning. Lots of people there, for a Saturday
    morning. Yaaayyy! Sears is on the comeback!

    BUT – let’s take a closer look.

    1) The reason why there were that many people at Sears, is because there aren’t many shopping options to choose from. There’s Ross, and WalMart, and….

    2) WalMart and Sears were crowded because – well, people need to eat (WalMart), and people need decent clothes for Sunday morning (Sears). That’s the only reason I can think of. WalMart has it all. Groceries, clothes, DVD players, drugs (over the counter ones, of course), and whatnot.

    • DiscouragedOne

      Where do you see decent clothes at Sears, I haven’t seen them for many years, in fact I stopped looking as it was a waste of time.

  • Mondobeyondo

    There was a comment mentioned earlier about roadways. Here is my input:

    In most major cities, the roadways and highways where visitors travel (i.e. close to the airport, nearby hotels, yada yada) are kept up well. Why? Because most tourists stay on the main roads. Makes a good impression. Makes the Chamber of Commerce happy. Makes money!!!

    To see how a city REALLY is, get off the state routes, Get off the interstates. Travel the side roads. Drive down Main Street. Oak Street. That’s when you’ll get the true side of life – how it really is. Interstate 10 is just an illusion. Visiting a city is waaaay different than living in a city.. How many people do you know who live in hotels? Not many.

    WARNING! The above paragraphs do not apply to certain areas of Detroit, Chicago, Washington D.C, Los Angeles, and many other cities and towns

    • DiscouragedOne

      If you didn’t have that disclaimer at the end, I was going to ask you how much you have traveled the highways in MI.

  • GSOB

    Patriots & Broncos…

    1/18/2014
    I think Denver needs the victory.
    but I suspect that they’ll be defeated tomorrow.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Oh my goodness.
      Why does any football team win?
      Because they scored more points than the opposing team.

      • GSOB

        There are even countdown to kick off tickers on FOX 31.

        Lot’s of promotion for the orange
        and blue attire.

        I don’t follow sports but all the hype here, I live in Aurora CO, is hard to ignore.

        A proxy?
        Local media baby sits the uninformed.

        Lot’s of drugs in professional sports.

        Such a violent game.

        Denver, ….. let’s just say, it will be a good game but I think Denver Broncos will be defeated.

        Does that mean I hope so,… YES.

        A proxy for me it is.

        • yuri

          You’re on the wrong channel. The game is not on here dunce… Go play somewhere else.

          • GSOB

            you are such a kind person

          • GSOB

            yuri

            dunce

    • chard

      Who gives a polyunsaturated crap about football when the whole nation is collapsing. You are sick with the entertainment disease.

      • GSOB

        you are kind.

  • GSOB

    Information technology for ya.

  • k

    I got my first job at jcp at 16 and worked for them for almost ten years. A majority of that time i worked on commission and sold over 100,000 thousand dollars of merchandise a year my yearly gross was a fraction of that maybe 23,000 at best. Towards the end they eliminated commission and offered me an hourly wage because it was considered decent I was only alloted 25 hours or less a week. I was offered a different position for a pay cut but a garunteed of full time employment. That lasted three months until I ended up getting only 15 hours a week not even enough to pay for daycare but I had to pay it anyway to work I was actuall paying and losing money to go to work. Luckily I found a new job even though I now work 60 hours a week I am grateful my employer actually gives me the opportunity to work and keep food on my families table on a consistent basis.

  • ghost

    All these ‘free trade’ advocates, especially Republicans have never read Adam’s Smith’s Wealth of Nations.. He certainly never advocated ‘giving away the store’ in the pursuit of free trade.

    How can one have honest free trade if your competing with a communist country’s subsidized industries? and Where the government owns the major portion of every industry?

    • DiscouragedOne

      Free trade needs to be made “fair”, it is far from it now, but I think they like it the way it is to benefit the elites.

  • Mary Kotomski

    JcPennys and Sears haven’t remained relevant at all. That’s why they’re going under, the economy is only a small part of that. Their clothing choices are horrible.

    • DiscouragedOne

      I can still find some things I like at JC Penney, although I am more likely to go to Macy’s, and I also buy from other stores online now that carry more stuff I am interested in like Boscov’s for example. We women know what we want, and if it is not there, we go somewhere else.

  • LimitOfInfinity

    Why doesn’t anyone shop at Sears or JC Penny? Because most lower-middle class people don’t have any money for anything they don’t absolutely need. Why don’t most people who might shop at these two middle class stores have any extra money? Because the rich have been funneling everything into their bank accounts and using that money to bribe politicians to give them unfair advantages so they can skirt the oppositional factors that should govern the free market. They also pay the government to create the types of situations that would allow them to get away with all of this. Why isn’t the government doing anything about it? Because they’re all paid by the corporations who profit from the inequality the politicians create for the corporations. Why isn’t anyone doing anything about it? Because America is overflowing with idiots who either don’t vote or only vote based on religious affiliation or pure brut sentiment and don’t do anything when the people they vote for lie and just support big corporations.

    What’s the answer? A 28th amendment to get the corporations money out of “our representatives” pockets. Wolf dash Pac dot com. If no one individual can donate more than 100 dollars to any politician, they will be forced to pander as many people as possible rather than to just the biggest donor. This means they will need to actually represent us or they will lose. How is this problem or it’s solution not absolutely apparent to everyone?

    • DiscouragedOne

      I beg to differ on this one, it is not just lack of money, I do have money to buy clothes, I just don’t spend it at Sears. There was a time I bought ALL my work clothing at Sears,not all that long ago, up until the mid 2000s or so, when it started turning to junk. That is not to say other stores don’t have junk (they do, which is why I now shop online a lot of the time to save myself a headache, only going to a store if I really need to try something on, but I know my sizes), but the amount of junk at Sears reached “this is a waste of time” level for me a long time ago. I think it is very sad, I used to love them.

    • Anonymous

      In my opinion, there should be zero money in politics. Politicians should volunteer as a service to their country (remember how someone politicians tell Americans to volunteer/work for free? Perhaps politicians should take their own advice). Politicians should have a regular job that they make their income at. No individual, corporation, etc. should be allowed to give a penny to a politician, and if a politician accepted even a penny they should be banned from politics for life. Politicians should have to read everything they got on, and should be required to luv under the same laws and rules they impose on the American people, no exceptions, no loopholes. If one likes it enough to vote for it, they should like it enough to luv under it themselves.

      In Europe’s history, royals, nobles, and others that thought they were superior to everyone else, exempted themselves from taxes, military service, and many laws while subjecting everyone else to laws, taxes, and military service. Sound familiar? History always repeats itself. Humans refuse to study history and refuse to learn from history.

      • Anonymous

        Auto correct can be very frustrating.

        Luv= live
        Someone= some
        got on= vote on

        And the computer thinks it is helping?

  • DiscouragedOne

    To be fair to Sears, the last couple of times I bought bras (at Macy’s), I had to walk up to the counter to get a clerk to help me, even though I was browsing quite a while before that, and this happened twice. I also remember the 1st clerk was really annoying, she seemed like she didn’t really WANT to be there, she just HAD to be there, and also I was dressed down that day and I didn’t like the way she looked at me. SO, bad customer service is not limited to Sears, but I agree they are in big trouble. I actually did buy a few things from JC Penney last year…online.

  • DiscouragedOne

    I never shopped there, but I think it is sad.

  • DiscouragedOne

    I never had a problem with K-Mart clerks, but I am aghast at their technology. If they want to compete with Wally World, they need self-checkout and express checkout and non-dinosaur cashier technology.

    • R

      No one wants to invest in it and I am not sure if they have the money too. The problem is at the top.

      And trust me, I know all about the dinosaur registers, I work on one and it is horrible. I specifically work in electronics and although we have good products, they cant beat WalMarts prices. People chose cheap over quality every single time. And Walmart is cheaper so they get the business. It is what it is.

      • Anonymous

        K-Mart is too disorganized for me. I don’t like the way things are laid out. Also, I feel like I got in a time machine and went back to 1971 when I walk in a K-Mart due to store decor.

      • DiscouragedOne

        I choose quality when I can afford it, it may be all they can afford? Anyway, if the ones on top actually cared about saving the store, they would fix that. It is a big deal to people, you go in K-Mart and it is like a time warp.

  • Sandbagger

    K-Mart is owned by Sears. I propose the two merge and keep only their top-selling brands, such as Craftsman tools.

    For that matter, why not combine many retailers into one under a single roof? A kind of big-box department store for clothes. This “department” store would include a J.C. Penny department, Sears department, K-Mart department, etc. It could be arranged around a central food court.

    Recently, I was in the mall in a town of 40K during the week around lunch time. One would think people would take advantage of lunch time to grab something to eat there and shop a bit, like in the good ol’ days. It was very quiet and honestly a bit creepy. In the J.C. Penney, the lower floor is like a dungeon. The Hallmark store was closing up amid many other empty mall stores, too.

    I’m wondering when J.C. Penney and Sears, etc. will cut the pensions of their former employees. We have family that depend upon that bit of cash each month. Without it, things will REALLY be tight.

    • DiscouragedOne

      Craftsman tools are NOTHING like the quality they used to be and made in China.

  • Chocolatini

    Two kinds of jobs: service jobs or creating/manufacturing products. The majority of manufacturing jobs are now outsourced to cheap low-wage countries. Look at the tag on your clothes. Where was your computer and tv made — all in Asia. So let’s say 50% of all jobs are gone, leaving service jobs — jobs like cutting hair, accountant, doctor, chef, teacher, etc. Service jobs have to be performed locally — the person has to be physically here to cut your hair. Cutting your hair can’t be outsourced to a Chinese worker. This is the only reason why we have service jobs still here, otherwise they’d all be outsourced to low-wage countries. They’d be good as gone by the globalists who want things done cheaply. We’d just be sitting around idle.

    • Anonymous

      Service jobs are often being performed by immigrants, legal and illegal, which also puts Americans out of work.

  • Mondobeyondo

    We are sitting on top of a bomb.
    It’s a time bomb.
    When it goes off, is anyone’s guess.
    Nobody’s even trying to diffuse it.
    When it goes off, you’ll know.
    Good luck.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Don’t count on Obama trying to keep the ship of state together. He’s too busy flirting with the prime minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt. If you don’t know about it, Google it. It’s the worst kept secret in the world.

    Yes. The Obama marriage is in trouble. Nobody will officially tell you, of course.

    • Bill

      Been covered up with million$ birthday party—-

  • Mondobeyondo

    Ever wonder what it’s like to go through a depression? You’re getting a first hand view through moi, if you’ve followed my posts.

  • chris

    Best Buy and B&N as bricks and mortar entities are likely doomed as well. Casualties of Amazon. Sad but inevitable.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Look around you. The world is changing.*
    I finally dropped my landline number. I don’t need it any more. Hung on for the longest time, but now I’m cellphone only..”But what about 911?” you say.

    Well, Google Maps has my location nailed, right down to what square foot I’m typing from. So… it shouldn’t be a problem for the first responders to find me in the event of an emergency.

    Oh by the way…

    Plans for tomorrow:
    1) Wake up
    2) We’ll take it from there

    *THAT is why the legacy retailers are failing. They are stuck in 1964. The world has changed.

    • Bill

      It sure has. The problem is that respect for each other and our country changed too.

  • Joe Smith

    The web has put these stores out of business, and they wont be the last.

  • pRIMrose7

    It’s really very simple. Create an underclass that can only afford to shop at WalMart and the Dollar Store and the rest is history. Even the top 5% of the population can’t equal what the 95% spend.

    • Anonymous

      The 99% build wealth by doing real work and producing something. The 99% are the crocodile. The 1% do no real work (sorry, golf and whiskey with friends at lunch does not count as work, in my opinion) and have all the money and don’t care that the working class and working poor can not afford electricity, food, or families. The 1% are the scorpion riding on the crocodile’s back.

      The 1% have become like the military (as the old military saying goes): “If the military wanted you to have a family, we would have issued you one.” The 1% are controlling the 99% in the same way. The 1% have taken away the 99% God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A family makes one happy? Too bad, the 1% will make sure one can’t afford one and one will have to work so much one will have no time to see the family. A middle class wage makes one happy? Too bad, as the 1% will ensure they raise the cost of living while workers get their wages and hours reduced. Pursuit of happiness-gone. How can anyone pursue happiness when many are just trying to survive another day?

      • ConcernedAmerican

        There is a book with the title “Stop Stealing Dreams.” I don’t think the book is about economic issues (although I am unsure as I have not had a chance to read it), I think the title is appropriate as feedback to the 1% too.

        Have your dreams been stolen by others that force their way of life, their laws, their idea of right and wrong, their idea of what education is, their idea of how much education you should have, their idea of how much money you are worth and deserve to be paid? If so, you are not alone.

      • pRIMrose7

        My point exactly. When 1% of the population controls what happens to the 99% it’s called tyranny.

        • Anonymous

          Right on.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Twenty years ago, we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope, and Steve Jobs.

    Today, we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs.

    • Bill

      Good one. Guess you and I are the only ones up this early.

  • Bill

    Has any one seen a recent article about a possible”big” Chinese bank failure that could effect their whole economy? Could be the start of something really “big”!

  • Orange Jean

    It’s been several decades since I last regularly shopped at either JC Penny or Sears… and about 10 years since I bought anything at either store. The main reason? The stuff I would have otherwise considered buying there (fat girl clothes, since I am …) is just UGLY as well as being poorly made. KMart also has fat girl clothes cheap and some years has had some that looked nice at least (I loved the Route 66 chinos, which fit me perfectly… alas, haven’t seen those in a few years).

    Also, locally one of the malls where JC Penny will be closing and there was an article in the paper about how this will make the mall worse… well, for that mall (Military Circle Mall) it wasn’t the store that did them in… it’s the fact that the mall is known as “Killary Circle Mall” … due to the fact that gangs have taken over the place and there have been shootings IN the mall. Who in there right mind would shop there?

  • nohomehere

    I read an article saying that if reporters didn’t write in line stories ect.. well now I think they look for the most elastic and ,undiscoverable ! Claiming a brighter side view as an excuse to outright …sha na na na na na na na na! one must lower their standards to keep or get a job nowadays. Some ones going to do it so it might as well be you , right? Sauce for the goose!

    • Anonymous

      I have read many articles that are obviously written by computers. Computer journalists guarantee that no human with a conscience goes off and exposes the truth or blows the whistle.

  • LibertyNow

    Atlas Shrugged is now non-fiction. Read the book to see how it ends. Today was predicted 50 years ago in a “novel.”

  • Al

    I used to loyally shop at Sears for tools, Craftsman tools, they weren’t the best but they were inexpensive and there was a lifetime warranty. Took some tools that had worn out back to Sears and some Mexican that could barely speak English refused to exchange them without the receipt.
    “I bought these ten years ago, no way I have the receipt…these are Craftsman, “satisfaction guaranteed or your money back or an exchange”. “?Que? Thas what computer says, you have to have receipt”

    Never went back and don’t give a shyit if they go out of business. It’s a barrio store that only hires minorities anyway. F’ em.

  • hh1034

    I was recently at a Sears waiting to meet someone in the parking lot during the week. The store had been open about a hour. The parking lot was empty.

  • garak0410

    I worked for Sears when I was in college from 90 to 94 and I can honestly say, I loved it there. I sold computers, phones and office equipment (Division 3). Sure, there was unreasonable pressure for selling service contracts but they took good care of us and it was a fun atmosphere. I eventually worked my way up in retail management by taking a Management position ad a recently opened Montgomery Ward in my area in 94 and got my own store in another state by the end of 94. I had a blast…however, I took over a store that had padded an inventory and as a result, I had the worst in the company. I turned it around but eventually got tired of the needless DAILY pressure over having a single bad day in service contracts when we always finished the month at or above goals.

  • sgdf dgdg

    These once great store brands are dying because of a trite, buy Chinese junk at the lowest price American consumer culture. Welcome to the dismal century of Wal-Mart.

  • Mike D

    My health insurance costs $4940 more this year due to new Obamacare regs…. I will be shopping ALOT LESS this year.. along with MILLIONS of other Americans!

  • crunchycon

    Back in the 60s and 70s, my mother bought all of my back-to-school clothes at Sears, and in the very early 90s, I bought suits for my husband and me at Penney’s. Now, there’s darn little I would buy at either – the quality is just not there any more.

  • DorothyPalmer

    So, get rid of the black jesus.

  • Bernie

    Here at the Indian River Mall in Vero Beach, Florida, The Brookstone store closed yesterday. We have also had a fairly large nail spa shutter their location. The mall still has the Sears, Dillard’s, J.C. Penney, and Macy’s store anchors. Mall traffic is insipid at best.

  • Amil Muzz

    Sears to close Craftsman showroom in River North

    By Micah Maidenberg February 14, 2014

    After giving up on its State Street store, Sears Holdings Corp. now plans to close a River North showroom for its Craftsman tools brand less than four years after opening it.

    Sears does not anticipate renewing a lease for its 8,000-square-foot “Craftsman Experience” showroom at 233 W. Huron St., a Sears spokesman said in an email. He declined to say why. The lease ends in June, according to Scott Fithian, executive broker at Chicago-based Lord Cos. who’s marketing the space for lease.

    The store closing is a blow to the loft building, which is owned by a venture that… cont at Crains Chicago

  • LeeH

    I’m 65 and I can’t remember the last time I shopped at JC Penney. The last time my wife and I shopped at Sears was for a washer and dryer. They only had four in our price range and the salesman seemed bothered to be waiting on us. We’ve never been back. That was 20 years ago. I grew up with my parents shopping either Sears or Monkey Ward (Montgomery Ward).

  • Cortney G

    Every company goes through a crsis at one point or another. I do not believe this is the demise of JC Penney at all. I agree with the CEO, that the closing of the stores listed above will in fact help the growth of the JC Penney’s long-term profitable growth. The company is jsut having a hard time changing with the times, and I think to help this transition go smoother JC Penney needs a younger, more innovatitive Public Relations team.

  • Toriann L

    I think that Sears and J.C. Penney should employ fresh P.R. professionals to work alongside corporate members in an effort to regain loyal customers. Both companies have been around for quite some time, and are also conservative. But times have changed, and in order to remain cutting-edge and keep up with the new pace of things, old practices need to be replaced.

  • Sam

    Store bankruptcy and their causes
    It is very simple. They hire alot of managers who don`t have a clue on how to get merchandise people actualy want to buy.
    Have you sean the table ware at sear? Beige, brown , black. Who wants to eat in that! Yuk! The selection is terrible. And they don`t know how to sell it.
    Now toys. The selection is crap. hugly, crap quality, and as a result people don`t buy it. Look in their catalogue for Christmas last year. I found nothing I was willing to buy. Very desapointing.
    They think they will tell people what to buy and people will buy it. They think people are stupid.
    The way they manage stores is by mathematics alone. That much product coming in, that much is sold and equal that much profit.
    Nobody thinks anymore.
    As for clothings in most store they sell spandex pants and blouse and t-shirts. etc That is crap. spandex is for bating suits so you won’t loose it in the swimming pool while swimming.
    The quality of product is down the toilet and they think we don’t know the difference. And another thing. There is less and less well trained sails representative ( sell’s person) on the floor. Alot of cash registers are closed and you have to stand in a long line jut to pay for what you want to buy. Well, a few times, I just walked to the counter of the casheer and dumped what I wanted to buy and left. They got no sale from me these days.
    Vote with your walet.

  • jennyharisson14

    If you are looking at going bankrupt there is one critical principle you must be aware of, then ask the experts for advices.

  • jennyharisson14

    People must handle , then fix their problem and ask experts for advices.

  • jennyharisson14

    Ask the experts advices ,then with attorney guide to avoid .

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