The Beginning Of The End
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The Mystery Of The Shemitah

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...

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  • 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.

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