Consumerism has long been a defining element of American society, but retail giants are now shutting down thousands of their locations amid a long-anticipated “retail apocalypse,” as Business Insider describes it.
The outlet reports that over the next couple months, more than 3,500 stores are expected to close:
“Department stores like JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears, and Kmart are among the companies shutting down stores, along with middle-of-the-mall chains like Crocs, BCBG, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Guess.” Continue reading »
Flashback from 2013:
H/t reader squodgy:
“It’s all DOWNWARD….
We’ve been ridiculed with our realistic forecasts for being depressing.
The fact is we are being honest and realistic. So F.U. to the “Unbelievers”.”
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Mar 2, 2017
Silver and gold was slammed today. Initial jobless claims is at its lowest point in 44 years. BCBG filed bankruptcy. The art bubble is popping. CalPers threatens to slash pension benefits. Trump sent a message to every American that the economy is collapsing. Rickards, Stockman say Trump will not be able to avoid the debt bomb that is ready to go off. The Fed has set the stage to bring down the economy. BofA has analyzed the market and makes a prediction that the economy will collapse in the second half of this year.
H/t reader squodgy.
‘The Great Economic Collapse’ coming to a country near you, …
… as planned by …
And it will happen exactly, when these bastards press this button …
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… or hair coloring on Donald Trump. Neither one helps.
Do you scratch your head as I do, when you read one story in the news that says retail sales grew in June and then read another that says retail sales sucked like a drain hole? Often things are not what they seem.
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Previously “pent-up” real-estate demand to “fizzle.”
Retail landlords are on edge. Their tenants in malls across America are reporting awful revenues and earnings, and they’re shuttering stores, and some are going bankrupt. And they’re all getting their clocks cleaned by ecommerce.
Ecommerce sales in the first quarter jumped 15% from a year ago to $86.3 billion, not seasonally adjusted, or $92.8 billion seasonally adjusted, the Census Bureau reported today. They accounted for 7.7% of total retail sales. Over the last four quarters, ecommerce also jumped 15%, to 354.3 billion. Continue reading »
Barack Obama recently stated that anyone that is claiming that America’s economy is in decline is “peddling fiction“. Well, if the economy is in such great shape, why are major retailers shutting down hundreds of stores all over the country?
Last month, I wrote about the “retail apocalypse” that is sweeping the nation, but since then it has gotten even worse. Closing stores has become the “hot new trend” in the retail world, and “space available” signs are going up in mall windows all over the United States. Barack Obama can continue huffing and puffing about how well the middle class is doing all he wants, but the truth is that the cold, hard numbers that retailers are reporting tell an entirely different story. Continue reading »
Prepare for collapse.
Major retailers in the United States are shutting down hundreds of stores, and shoppers are reporting alarmingly bare shelves in many retail locations that are still open all over the country. It appears that the retail apocalypse that made so many headlines in 2015 has gone to an entirely new level as we enter 2016.
They tried to spin it in the most favorable light, and even then it was ugly.
It’s early in the shopping season, and Americans might still come out and head to the mall in massive numbers and do their patriotic duty and buy things that ideally no one needs made in countries they don’t know with money they don’t have to prop up manufactures, middlemen, transportation companies, oil companies, the entire supply chain, and finally US retailers that have hired hundreds of thousands of part-timers just for this sacred period of the year. Continue reading »
The fact of the matter is that year over year retail sales at these levels only happen during recessions. It’s really that simple. Without the crutch of subprime auto loans and student loan debt being spent by pretend University of Phoenix students on iGadgets, fitbits, hookers and blow, this economy would already be in free fall. Look no further than what happened to Wal-Mart today for confirmation we are in the midst of a worldwide recession, if not depression. The only people who refuse to acknowledge recession reality are the Wall Street hucksters, looking to fleece a few more muppets before their party is over. Propaganda and lies can’t stop this recession.
With global markets still tumbling, the Godfather of newsletter writers, 91-year-old Richard Russell, warned that the retail public is about to become frightened and panic will take hold.
– American Malls In Meltdown – The Economic Recovery Is Complete & Utter Fraud (ZeroHedge, Aug 16, 2015):
The government issued their monthly retail sales this past week and four of the biggest department store chains in the country announced their quarterly results. The year over year retail sales increase of 2.4% is pitifully low in an economy that is supposedly in its sixth year of economic growth with a reported unemployment rate of only 5.3%. If all of these jobs have been created, why aren’t retail sales booming?
The year to date numbers are even worse than the year over year numbers. With consumer spending accounting for 70% of our GDP and real inflation running north of 5%, it’s pretty clear most Americans are experiencing a recession, despite the propaganda data circulated by the government and Fed. The only people not experiencing a recession are corporate executives enriching themselves through stock buybacks, Wall Street bankers using free Fed Bucks while rigging the the markets in their favor, politicians and government bureaucrats reaping their bribes from billionaire oligarchs, and the media toadies who dispense the Deep State approved propaganda to keep the ignorant masses dazed, confused, and endlessly distracted by Cecil the Lion, Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, Ferguson, and blood coming out of whatever. Continue reading »
– Brazil Retail Sales Drop Most On Record, Goldman Warns Will Get Worse (ZeroHedge, June 16, 2015):
Just a few months ago, we warned Brazil’s economy was on the verge of collapse as the fiscal situation was deteriorating rapidly. It appears, judging by the most recent data from the oil-rich nation, that we were right. Broad retail sales have now declined for five consecutive months with the seasonally adjusted broad retail sales index now at the same level as early 2012. Core retail sales declined 3.5% YoY during April (weakest print since Aug 2003) and broad retail sales declined by an even larger 8.5% YoY (lowest on record), and as Goldman warns, the outlook for private consumption and retail sales in the near term remains very weak.
– Major U.S. Retailers Are Closing More Than 6,000 Stores (Economic Collapse, May 1, 2015):
If the U.S. economy really is improving, then why are big U.S. retailers permanently shutting down thousands of stores? The “retail apocalypse” that I have written about so frequently appears to be accelerating. As you will see below, major U.S. retailers have announced that they are closing more than 6,000 locations, but economic conditions in this country are still fairly stable. So if this is happening already, what are things going to look like once the next recession strikes? For a long time, I have been pointing to 2015 as a major “turning point” for the U.S. economy, and I still feel that way. And since I started The Economic Collapse Blog at the end of 2009, I have never seen as many indications that we are headed into another major economic downturn as I do right now. If retailers are closing this many stores already, what are our malls and shopping centers going to look like a few years from now?
The list below comes from information compiled by About.com, but I have only included major retailers that have announced plans to close at least 10 stores. Most of these closures will take place this year, but in some instances the closures are scheduled to be phased in over a number of years. As you can see, the number of stores that are being permanently shut down is absolutely staggering… Continue reading »
– Retail Sales Crumble, Suffer Worst Run Since Lehman (ZeroHedge, March 12, 2015):
Earlier today we warned readers that based on actual credit card spending data, today’s retail sales data would continue the worst trend since Lehman, and sure enough that’s what happened: moments ago the Commerce department reported that in February, retail sales missed once again and missed big and across the board, the third big miss in a row, with the headline print coming at -0.6%, far below the 0.3% expected, and in line with the -0.8% drop last month. Putting the headline numbers in context: December -0.9%, January -0.8%, February -0.6%. Excluding the volatile autos and gas, sales dropped once again, sliding -0.2%, below the 0.3% expected – in fact below the lowest estimate – and worse even than last month’s downward revised -0.1% decline. And with that the worst run in retail sales since Lehman is now in the record books.
– Retail Sales Plunge Twice As Much As Expected. Worst Back-To-Back Drop Since Oct 2009 (ZeroHedge, Feb 12, 2015):
Following last month’s narrative-crushing drop in retail sales, despite all that low interest rate low gas price stimulus, January was more of the same as hopeful expectations for a modest rebound were denied. Falling 0.8% (against a 0.9% drop in Dec), missing expectations of -0.4%, this is the worst back-to-back drop in retail sales since Oct 2009. Retail sales declined in 6 of the 13 categories.
– US Retail Sales Drop Most Since June 2012 (And Don’t Blame Gas Prices) (ZeroHedge, Jan 14, 2015):
But but but… US retail advanced sales dropped a stunning 0.9% MoM (massively missing expectations of a 0.1% drop). The last time we saw a bigger monthly drop was June 2012. Want to blame lower gas prices – think again… Retail Sales ex Autos and Gas also fell 0.3% (missing an exuberantly hopeful expectation of +0.5% MoM) and the all-important ‘Control Group’ saw sales fall 0.4% (missing expectations of a 0.4% surge). Boom goes the narrative.…
– Sears to accelerate closings, shutter 235 stores (CNBC, Dec 4, 2014):
Sears shares fell Thursday, after the struggling department store announced an adjusted net loss of $296 million—in line with the updated guidance it gave in November.
The retailer also said it’s accelerating the number of stores it plans to close this year, boosting its list from the 130 underperforming stores it announced in its second-quarter earnings release, to a total of 235 stores. Continue reading »
Politicians at work:
As reported two weeks ago, following to a stunning announcement by the head of Ukraine’s central bank, Valeriya Gontareva, we learned that (virtually) all of Ukraine’s gold was gone, or – in the parlance of Jon Corzine – had “vaporized.” And as we also predicted two weeks ago, it was only a matter of time before Ukraine’s people – the vast majority of whom are innocent pawns in a vast game of realpolitik between the west and east – finally got angry and demanded some answers. That time came earlier today when as Interfax.ua reported “a Kyiv-based court has instructed Kyiv prosecutors to bring an action against National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Governor Valeriya Gontareva on charges of abuse of power or misuse of office to obtain illegal profit, the Vesti newspaper reported on Tuesday.”…
“Many reasonable analysts understand that there is a widening gap between the global ambitions of the US Administration and the country’s real potential. The world is changing and, as has always happened in history, at some point somebody’s influence and power reach their peak and then somebody begins to develop still faster and more effectively. One should study history and proceed from realities. The seven developing economies headed by BRICS already have a bigger GDP than the Western G7. One should proceed from the facts of life, and not from a misconceived sense of one’s own grandeur.“
– ‘Worst Case Scenario’ has happened at US nuclear site — Robert Redford film predicted 2014 WIPP disaster: Plutonium release due to chemical reaction in burst nuclear drum is ultimate catastrophe… Most significant issue is combustible waste exposed to high heat, everyone understands that (VIDEO) (ENENews):
The WIPP Trail, narrated by Robert Redford, 1989 (at 17:00 in):
- Robert Redford: We now know that 40% of the [WIPP] hazardous waste is combustible, thus posing a more serious and immediate threat.
- Bruce Throne, New Mexico State Attorney: I think the combustible waste is perhaps the most significant because even a layman can understand that when combustible waste is exposed to high levels of heat, there may be some effect inside the TRUPAC [containers].
- Redford: Wind is a critical factor that must be considered. The worst case scenario would be if a fire occurs within a breach of a container. The wind could then carry plutonium particles through the atmosphere, traveling considerable distances.
- Oxford Dictionary’s definition of fire: “Combustion or burning, in which substances combine chemically with oxygen from the air and typically give out bright light, heat, and smoke”
France’s Socialist-led parliament has passed a symbolic vote to recognize Palestinian statehood, despite staunch objections from Israel. MPs in Britain and Spain have already passed similar motions.
Those seeking proof that Abenomics is working are advised to look elsewhere.
Retail sales during the four day Thanksgiving weekend were down a whopping 11 percent from last year. This is a “make or break” time of the year for many retailers, and if things don’t turn around during the coming weeks we could see a tsunami of store closings in January and February. As you read this article, there is already more than a billion square feet of retail space sitting empty in the United States. Many have described the ongoing collapse of the retail industry as an “apocalypse”, and this apocalypse appears to be accelerating. Yes, the shift to online retailers is a significant factor, but as you will see below even online retailers struggled over the holiday weekend. The sad truth of the matter is that U.S. consumers are tapped out and are drowning in debt at this point, so they simply do not have as much money to spend as they once did.
– And The Biggest Winner From The OPEC Price War Is… (ZeroHedge):
“This is a golden time window to acquire more strategic oil at lower costs,” notes one Hong-Kong based analyst, as Bloomberg confirms what we have noted here and here, that China is emerging as the winner from OPEC’s battle with rival oil producers as the world’s biggest energy consumer stockpiles crude.
So-called Islamic State militants claim to have developed a crude nuclear weapon using materials seized from Mosul University, Iraq. A British extremist boasted of the damage the dirty bomb would do if detonated in Iraq, UK media reports.
One of the militants bragging about the device online was Hamayun Tariq, fighting under the nom de guerre of Muslim-al-Britani, the Daily Mirror reports. Britani, a Briton who claims to be a bomb expert, tweeted:
“O by the way, Islamic State does have a dirty bomb. We found some radioactive material from Mosul University.”
A wife and a son of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have been arrested by the Lebanese Army, Beirut security officials said. They were detained in coordination with “foreign intelligence apparatus,” reported the local press.
The woman was described by officials as one of al-Baghdadi’s wives, Safir daily newspaper reported. However, they didn’t provide any details on her nationality or name.
The woman, who was accompanied by her son, was arrested while crossing the border from Syria. According to the officials, she was using a fake ID.
Once again the cyclical patterns in US macro data are re-emerging as extrapolated hopes fade into mean-reverting credit-impulse-hangover-driven realities. Despite all the hopes and dreams of escape velocity, cleanest-dirty-shirt-wearing economic enthusiasts, year-to-date performance of Citi’s US Macro Surprise index is at its lowest level since 2008. Whether this is absolute weakness or relative weakness (versus yet more over-enthusiastic expectations) is unclear though, the Midterm election results and NFR Black Friday spending data may be a hint.
Earlier today, in a stunning announcement, Putin revealed that the South Stream project is now finished. As the WSJ reports, “Putin said Moscow will stop pursuing Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline project that would supply natural gas to Europe with an underwater link to Bulgaria, blaming the European Union for scuttling the project.” Putin is right: Europe – Austria excluded – had seen rising resistance to the South Stream in recent months. The EU is concerned that the project would cement Russia’s position as Europe’s dominant supplier of natural gas. Russia already meets around 30% of Europe’s annual needs. So what does Putin do? He signs a strategic alliance with NATO member Turkey, the only country in Europe that is anything but European and which lately has been increasingly anti-Western, to build a new mega-pipeline to Turkey instead. And the exclamation point:
TURKEY, RUSSIA AGREE TO USE LOCAL CURRENCIES IN TRADE: TRT
Or, as Obama would put it, Russia just got even more “isolated.”
– Haunting Drone Footage of Chernobyl Town (Smithonian):
“Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl” shows a drone’s-eye view of the city nearly three decades after nuclear disaster
– The World’s Largest Stock Market Index Is Flashing Red (ZeroHedge):
With a market capitalization of around $16 trillion, the NYSE Composite Index is a massively broad equity indicator less affected by the day to day gyrations of AAPL, TSLA, BABA, or NFLX. As NewEdge’s Brad Wishak remarks, the world’s largest market cap equity index is painting a very different picture than that of the Dow or S&P 500…
A small community of Christians in Canada left the body of a deceased member for six months trusting God to resurrect him from the dead. The Crown found no criminal intent and the grieving widow was ordered to seek public health counseling.
Just 15 months after Detroit’s Black Out 2013 debacle, spokespeople for the city and DTE Energy confirmed at around 11:00 a.m. local time on Tuesday that most of Detroit’s municipal grid is offline:
*DETROIT CITES ‘MAJOR CABLE FAILURE’ FOR POWER OUTAGE
*DETROIT: OUTAGE IS AFFECTING ALL CUSTOMERS ON THE PLD GRID
The outage is preventing power from being delivered to police stations, schools, traffic lights and other city-run facilities and services.
Goldman Sachs’ 2015 global equity views and themes note is out and its title “The Long Grind Higher Continues” says it all… it’s muppet slaughtering time…
It’s good to be king (or Europe). Former European Council President Herman van Rompuy, derided for “damp rag” ineptness by UKIP’s Nigel Farage, will receive around $900,000 over the next 3 years as a “transition allowance” for doing absolutely nothing in retirement. What is even more egregious, as The Telegraph reports, Van Rompuy will pay a reduced “EU Community” tax rate, considerably lower than the Belgian income tax rate on his ill-gotten gains. As Farage exclaims, having driven millions of Europeans into poverty and unemployment during his reign, Van Rompuy “hit the jackpot.”
– Almost 9000 Daily record cold temps in November alone (Ice Age Now):
8977 Record Cold temps in November vs 2022 Record Warm Temps
– Intense cold continues across central U.S. (Ice Age Now):
Temperatures as much as 25 degrees or more below normal will be common across much of the central U.S. on Monday, from Texas to the Canadian border.
– Michigan ski area opens with record snow (Ice Age Now):
WAKEFIELD — Indianhead Mountain opened to skiing on Friday after record snowfall has fallen this year.
– Significant winter storm unfolding in eastern Europe (Ice Age Now):
Romania to be hardest hit
Parts of southern and eastern Romania will face severe disruptions to travel and daily routines, while bordering areas of Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine will have some impacts from a significant winter storm, says meteorologist Eric Leister.
The cities of Craiova, Bucharest and Bacau are in the area that will be hardest hit.
– Eastern Turkey – Heavy snowfall reduces visibility to 16 feet (5 m) (Ice Age Now):
1 Dec 2014 – Due to heavy snowfall, the city of Bitlis soon took on white blanket.
In particular, blizzard conditions in the locality Rahvan between Bitlis and Tatvan reduced visibility to 5 meters, catching many unprepared many vehicles on the road.
Filed under “insane paragraph of the year,” Reuters pens one of the most-telling sentences of the year/decade/century, suggesting – as per the existential threat to the Fed’s meme – that consumers are worried that their cost of living won’t go up more?
Translation: Please dont lose faith that your cost of living will stop soaring: the Fed’s very existence depends on it.
President Barack Obama is expected to announce Ashton B. Carter as his nominee to be the next secretary of defense, the Associated Press reports. Carter served as the Pentagon’s second-in-command from October 2011 to December 2013.
Tags: China, Collapse, Economy, Fed, Federal Reserve, Global News, Government, ISIL, ISIS, Obama administration, Oil Prices, OPEC, Politics, Retailers, Russia, Sergei Lavrov, Society, Technology, Terrorism, U.K., U.S., Vladimir Putin
– Kohl’s And The Rest Of The Retailers Are In Deep Trouble (Sovereign Man, Sep 13, 2014):
Kohl’s And The Rest Of The Retailers Are In Deep Doo Doo
“Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” ? Mark Twain
I never believe government manufactured numbers. They will always be adjusted, massaged, and manipulated to achieve a happy ending for the propagandists attempting to control and fleece the sheep. Yesterday, the government produced retail sales numbers for August that were weak and the corporate MSM propaganda machine immediately threw up bold headlines declaring how strong these numbers were. Positive stories were published on the interwebs and Wall Street hack economists were rolled out on CNBC, where the bubble headed bimbos and prostitutes for the status quo like Jim Cramer and Steve Liesman declared the recovery gaining strength. Woo Hoo. Continue reading »
– It’s Coming: “We Are Seeing a Very Material Slow-down Across the Economy” (SHFTplan, June 4, 2014):
Remember back in early 2008 when the Presidential election was in full swing and the majority of financial and political pundits were hailing the booming American economy, record home ownership and never ending growth?
By the end of the year everyone had changed their tune and the United States of America was, as former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said, “on the brink” of an unprecedented collapse.
When the stock exchanges turned, credit markets froze up and the U.S. was in the midst of its worst recessionary environment since the Great Depression the oft repeated phrase “nobody saw it coming” was being peddled by the mainstream on every front in an attempt to convince Americans that the crash simply came out of nowhere.
The following analysis from The Market Ticker is a blaring alarm.
This time no one can say we didn’t see it coming. Continue reading »
– RETAIL DEATH RATTLE GROWS LOUDER (The Burning Platform, May 25, 2014):
The definition of death rattle is a sound often produced by someone who is near death when fluids such as saliva and bronchial secretions accumulate in the throat and upper chest. The person can’t swallow and emits a deepening wheezing sound as they gasp for breath. This can go on for two or three days before death relieves them of their misery. The American retail industry is emitting an unmistakable wheezing sound as a long slow painful death approaches.
– 17 Facts To Show To Anyone That Believes That The U.S. Economy Is Just Fine (Economic Collapse, April 29, 2014):
No, the economy is most definitely not “recovering”. Despite what you may hear from the politicians and from the mainstream media, the truth is that the U.S. economy is in far worse shape than it was prior to the last recession. In fact, we are still pretty much where we were at when the last recession finally ended. When the financial crisis of 2008 struck, it took us down to a much lower level economically. Thankfully, things have at least stabilized at this much lower level. For example, the percentage of working age Americans that are employed has stayed remarkably flat for the past four years. We should be grateful that things have not continued to get even worse. It is almost as if someone has hit the “pause button” on the U.S. economy. But things are definitely not getting better, and there are a whole host of signs that this bubble of false stability will soon come to an end and that our economic decline will accelerate once again.
The following are 17 facts to show to anyone that believes that the U.S. economy is just fine:
Continue reading »
– Retail Store Closures Soar In 2014: At Highest Pace Since Lehman Collapse (ZeroHedge, April 21, 2014):
What a better way to celebrate the rigged markets that are telegraphing a “durable” recovery, than with a Credit Suisse report showing, beyond a reasonable doubt, that when it comes to traditional bricks and mortar retailers, who have now closed more stores, or over 2,400 units, so far in 2014 and well double the total amount of storefront closures in 2013, this year has been the worst year for conventional discretionary spending since the start of the great financial crisis!
– Two More Victims Of The Retail Apocalypse: Family Dollar And Coldwater Creek (Economic Collapse, April 17, 2014):
Did you know that Family Dollar is closing 370 stores? When I learned of this, I was quite stunned. I knew that retailers that serve the middle class were really struggling right now, but I had no idea that things had gotten so bad for low end stores like Family Dollar. In the post-2008 era, dollar stores had generally been one of the few bright spots in the retail industry. As millions of Americans fell out of the middle class, they were looking to stretch their family budgets as far as possible, and dollar stores helped them do that. It would be great if we could say that the reason why Family Dollar is doing so poorly is because average Americans have more money now and have resumed shopping at retailers that target the middle class, but that is not happening. Rather, as you will see later in this article, things just continue to get even worse for Americans at the low end of the income scale.
I was also surprised to learn that Coldwater Creek is closing all of their stores… Continue reading »
– 20 Facts About The Great U.S. Retail Apocalypse That Will Blow Your Mind (Economic Collapse, March 9, 2014):
If the U.S. economy is getting better, then why are major retail chains closing thousands of stores? If we truly are in an “economic recovery”, then why do sales figures continue to go down for large retailers all over the country? Without a doubt, the rise of Internet retailing giants such as Amazon.com have had a huge impact. Today, there are millions of Americans that actually prefer to shop online. Personally, when I published my novel I made it solely available on Amazon. But Internet shopping alone does not account for the great retail apocalypse that we are witnessing. In fact, some retail experts estimate that the Internet has accounted for only about 20 percent of the decline that we are seeing. Most of the rest of it can be accounted for by the slow, steady death of the middle class U.S. consumer. Median household income has declined for five years in a row, but all of our bills just keep going up. That means that the amount of disposable income that average Americans have continues to shrink, and that is really bad news for retailers.
And sadly, this is just the beginning. Retail experts are projecting that the pace of store closings will actually accelerate over the course of the next decade.
So as you read this list below, please take note that things will soon get even worse.
The following are 20 facts about the great U.S. retail apocalypse that will blow your mind… Continue reading »
– Peak Stupidity: Argentina Fines Walmart For Violating “Fair Price” Pact, Urges Citizens To Denounce “Evil” Retailers (ZeroHedge, Feb 16, 2014):
We take certain liberties with this title: we realize that since one is dealing with human individuals, particularly human individuals stuck in an insolvent, soon to re-default nation, stupidity can never peak per se, as the next day will without doubt bring some peak-er instance of even more profound idiocy. However, at this particular moment, this may be it.
– THE RETAIL DEATH RATTLE (The Burning Platform, Jan 19, 2014):
“I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest, to make money they don’t want, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.” – Emile Gauvreau
If ever a chart provided unequivocal proof the economic recovery storyline is a fraud, the one below is the smoking gun. November and December retail sales account for 20% to 40% of annual retail sales for most retailers. The number of visits to retail stores has plummeted by 50% since 2010. Please note this was during a supposed economic recovery. Also note consumer spending accounts for 70% of GDP. Also note credit card debt outstanding is 7% lower than its level in 2010 and 16% below its peak in 2008. Retailers like J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Sears, Radio Shack and Barnes & Noble continue to report appalling sales and profit results, along with listings of store closings. Even the heavyweights like Wal-Mart and Target continue to report negative comp store sales. How can the government and mainstream media be reporting an economic recovery when the industry that accounts for 70% of GDP is in free fall? The answer is that 99% of America has not had an economic recovery. Only Bernanke’s 1% owner class have benefited from his QE/ZIRP induced stock market levitation. Continue reading »
– What Recovery? Sears And J.C. Penney Are DYING (Economic Collapse, Jan 16, 2014):
Two 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. Continue reading »
– US Retailer Hell In One Chart (ZeroHedge, Dec 4, 2013):
The chart below from the WSJ, summarizes perfectly the hell that US retailers find themselves in. In brief: sales down and inventories soaring, means liquidation sales have to surge, while profits and cash flows crater.
Simeon Siegel, an analyst with Nomura Equity Research, looked at the inventory carried by those and other specialty-apparel retailers at the end of the third quarter and compared it with his projections for the chains’ fourth quarter sales. He found that in most cases inventory growth far outpaced sales growth. Normally, the two should be growing about the same. “The ratios are the worst we have seen in quite a while,” Mr. Siegel said. Continue reading »
– Wow – The Holiday Shopping Season Is Off To A Horrible Start (Economic Collapse, Dec 2, 2013):
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent an average of 4 percent less over the four day Thanksgiving weekend than they did last year. Overall, that means that approximately $1.7 billion less was spent at U.S. retailers compared to last year. It had already been projected that this holiday shopping season would be the worst for retailers since 2009, but if these numbers are any indication it may be even worse than expected. So why is this happening? Well, basically the American consumer is tapped out. The unemployment crisis in this country is actually getting worse, poverty is absolutely exploding and the middle class is being systematically eviscerated. In other words, you can’t get blood out of a stone. Many retailers are offering extreme discounts in a desperate attempt to lure more shoppers, but the money simply isn’t there.
– Black Friday Sales Tumble 13% On Thanksgiving Thursday Opening Scramble (ZeroHedge, Dec 1, 2013):
Update: more data trickling in from the NRF, and since it is not pretty, so expect much more blame to fall on the weather.
- U.S. consumers spent $57.4b over Black Friday weekend, down from last year’s $59.1b, National Retail Federation says
- Consumers spent avg. $407.02 (planned), down from $423.55 in 2012
* * *
If somehow the scramble to open stores earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving day, until such time as the very Thanksgiving dinner had to be interrupted early for the annual rush out to the (un)friendly neighborhood Thug-Mart (Toys’R’Us opened at a ridiculous 5pm on Thanksgiving day) and punching people in the face just to get that 42 inch, 2010-model Plasma TV for $99, was supposed to boost overall sales instead of merely pulling them forward (see cash for clunkers), it didn’t work. According to ShopperTrak, total Black Friday traffic plunged 11% and total sales fell 13.2%, the second consecutive year of declines following last year’s 1.8%. The reason, as largely expected, is that a substantial portion of Friday shopping was pulled back to Thursday: as ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said, “if retailers continue to promote Thanksgiving as the start of the holiday buying season, he thinks the holiday will eventually surpass Black Friday in sales. “We’re just taking Black Friday sales and spreading them across a larger number of days,” Martin said.”