December 30, 2008

Retail Sales Season "Catastrophic;" Some Retailers Already Filing for Bankruptcy Protection, Others Simply Shuttering Up Shops
— Ace

Holiday hangover.

A preview of the the bad economy a-comin':

The fallout from the horrific holiday season for retailers has begun, with the operator of an online toy seller filing for bankruptcy protection and more stores are expected to do the same — meaning more empty storefronts and fewer brands on store shelves.

A rash of store closings, which some experts predict will be the most in 35 years, is likely to come across areas from electronics to apparel, shrinking the industry and leading to fewer niche players and suppliers.

The most dramatic pullback in consumer spending in decades could transform the retail landscape, as thousands of stores and whole malls close down. And analysts expect prolonged woes in the industry as the dramatic changes in shopping behavior could linger for another two or three years amid worries about the deteriorating economy and rising layoffs.

...

A number of stores couldn't even make it to Christmas. Circuit City Stores Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection last month. It plans to keep operating, but toy seller KB Toys, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, is liquidating its stores and will shut down.

...

About 160,000 stores will have closed this year and 200,000 more could shutter next year, said Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of consulting firm Strategic Resource Group. That would be the industry's biggest contraction in 35 years. In March and April of next year, Flickinger expects 2,000 to 3,000 malls to shutter.

Via Hot Air's headlines.


Posted by: Ace at 10:23 AM | Comments (89)
Post contains 281 words, total size 2 kb.

1 Flickinger expects 2,000 to 3,000 malls to shutter.

I can't believe there are that many malls in the US. Wow we buy a lot of shit.
maybe these stores should have carried more Obama products and they would have been okay.


Posted by: Rocks at December 30, 2008 10:26 AM (Q1lie)

2 I'm surprised Circuit City lasted this long.  Such loud, poorly arranged stores selling so much junk.

Posted by: someone at December 30, 2008 10:27 AM (1wXl7)

3 obie obie, our dear leader, please stop playing golf and save us

Posted by: billypaintbrush at December 30, 2008 10:27 AM (oxFRT)

4 No worries: the One takes office in about 3 weeks and once everyone gets their voucher for a free unicorn, the economy should right itself nicelly.

Posted by: ECM at December 30, 2008 10:28 AM (q3V+C)

5 Free Unicorns? Awesome!

Posted by: erik at December 30, 2008 10:29 AM (tyGSd)

6 I used to work at a KB Toys for extra money during the holidays on the night crew.  I must say I'm not surprised by this news at all.  It's got less to do with the economy and more to do with management.

Posted by: Aimsworth at December 30, 2008 10:31 AM (COlx6)

7

Unicorn sales remain strong.

 

Posted by: JayC at December 30, 2008 10:32 AM (5e7C3)

8 It's kinda weird they mentioned KB toys as they have been in the shitter for awhile. Our stone in town closed a year ago.

The one I can't get over is Steve and Barry's. How the hell do you find a way to make money selling $8.88 jeans and stuff, be successful and then go broke?

Posted by: Rocks at December 30, 2008 10:33 AM (Q1lie)

9 Can you get a Unicorn on a rope though?

Posted by: CDR M at December 30, 2008 10:33 AM (TJoU6)

10 It wasn't more than 3 months ago the "truth" was: the recession is a  media conspiracy.

What now? Is it real? Did HotAir say so?

Posted by: joe the plumber at December 30, 2008 10:38 AM (5ERBK)

11 I read this earlier and called BS on it back then.  The fricking media makes it sound like there are soup lines around the block.  It could not be farther from the truth.

Circuit City died from self inflicted asshole wounds.  Best Buy runs circles around them with great customer service, friendly knowledgeable people, and great prices on items folks want to buy.

The reporter must have gone into that section of NYC where every store has been going out of business for the last 35 years.

Posted by: BillyBob at December 30, 2008 10:38 AM (7HyI+)

12 Hope stores that refused to acknowledge Christmas, instead using that mysterious winter season to buy stuff, go under.  Namely J.Crew, Urban Outfitters, the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, etc.

Posted by: free at December 30, 2008 10:39 AM (cFwGO)

13 I work for a company that supports online efforts at Circuit City, Sears, Wal-Mart, etc.  We're seeing some softness but the online components of these companies are doing much better than their brick and mortar components.

Posted by: tachyonshuggy at December 30, 2008 10:39 AM (TXp3z)

14 If we don't bail the retailers out little old ladies in Manhattan will be dying from lack of hideously over priced hand creme from Bed Bath and Beyond!

Posted by: Bailoutmania at December 30, 2008 10:40 AM (1g+FW)

15 "2 I'm surprised Circuit City lasted this long.  Such loud, poorly arranged stores selling so much junk."

Thank you!  Just try to go to a Circuit City and find a specific video game, for example.  It's almost impossible.  If the game's on sale?  Forget about it.

Awful, awful store.

Posted by: Kensington at December 30, 2008 10:41 AM (fhJCy)

16 The days of plenty continue

Posted by: toby928 at December 30, 2008 10:42 AM (PD1tk)

17 Can you get a Unicorn on a rope though? No, but I'm sure a Unicorn rope is coming via the bailout money, so it all works out in the end.

Posted by: ECM at December 30, 2008 10:43 AM (q3V+C)

18

"It wasn't more than 3 months ago the "truth" was: the recession is a  media conspiracy."

If you tell everyone the economy is in the toilet long enough, eventually it will be.

Posted by: Sobek at December 30, 2008 10:43 AM (UefZl)

19 The one I can't get over is Steve and Barry's. How the hell do you find a way to make money selling $8.88 jeans and stuff, be successful and then go broke?


From what I can tell, it's a matter of overexpansion and bloated inventories more than anything...  They would put a store in any empty anchor store of a mall that would take them, then fill the bastard with t-shirts, jeans, jackets, Starbury shoes, Bitten shoes, etc.

If they aren't moving stuff in high volumes, it's hard to meet their overhead costs.


I'd have supported them more recently, but it's been hard to find anything there in a size that I can wear.  (And this was at one of the stores that was *supposed* to remain open and was just disposing of extra inventory from other locations.)

Posted by: BrandonInBatonRouge at December 30, 2008 10:44 AM (agO3U)

20

I don't believe the numbers. I believe they are being manipulated within legal bounds to take advantage of the situation.  Tax reporting, divdend distribution, layoff justification, etc.  As others had indicated, a lot of these businesses were on their way out long before.

There was a 3% increase in black friday sales which was spun negatively by the press.  Self fufilling prophesy accomplished.  

Posted by: polynikes at December 30, 2008 10:45 AM (m2CN7)

21 The media have successfully predicted 18 of the last 2 recessions.

Posted by: toby928 at December 30, 2008 10:45 AM (PD1tk)

22 #21 : On another note, has anyone else noticed how real lackluster this years black friday deals were?

Posted by: Aimsworth at December 30, 2008 10:48 AM (COlx6)

23

12 I read this earlier and called BS on it back then.  The fricking media makes it sound like there are soup lines around the block.  It could not be farther from the truth.

I think you're both right and wrong - yeah the examples they sight are poorly run shitpots, and there are alot more of them to go under, but when they do go under in as rapid and numerous as they're going to come, it'll cascade into the property owner/commercial realestate entity and then they'll go *boom*.

So, that nice building you work in: who owns it, who owns the property, and where will you and the relatively heathly company you work for then be working from when you're forced out?  Considering the fact that very few companies actually own both the building they work in or the property they work on, this could indeed be very ugly.

Happy New Year!

Posted by: blogRot at December 30, 2008 10:49 AM (EKMxC)

24 We need a bailout for these guys stat!  Otherwise parents of small children will have to buy shady toys in back alleys from nondescript chinamen.

K

Posted by: Kestrel♠ at December 30, 2008 10:53 AM (HjUww)

25 24 I agree mostly, but you also have to remember that the price for offices may come down as demand for them falls as well.  All these empty property spaces are going to want to be filled ASAP.  There is plenty of room for a whole new breed of stores/companies to move into these spaces that may not have been able to expand as fast when the market was being saturated by poorly run companies.  Just because some the big boys go out of business and disappear does not mean the vacuum can never be filled.

Posted by: Aimsworth at December 30, 2008 10:56 AM (COlx6)

26 I am gleefully preparing my "how can Obama have such a lavish inauguration during time of crisis, look at what FDR did" mass email.  I am basically taking the ones I got in 2004 and inserting Obama for Bush. 

Hey, I am surprised anyone makes any money at the mall.  Well, except for Sbarros.  The recession will be good for shaking things up and cleaning out deadwood.  Hopefully, the swarthy teens trying to put that sea salt lotion on me will be the first to go.

Posted by: joeindc44 at December 30, 2008 10:58 AM (QxSug)

27 Burt P. Flickinger III

That name is cartoonish.

Posted by: el greco at December 30, 2008 10:58 AM (48SnJ)

28

Why can't the places with really stupid names start going?

Incidentally, I had never eaten at Steak Escape, because I hate the name.  But one day at an airport I was in a hurry so I grabbed a sandwich from them.  I sat down in a chair, pulloed out the sandwich from the bag they put it in.  It promptly fell out of the wrapping and onto the floor.  So at least I know why they call it Steak Escape...

 

 

 

Posted by: doug at December 30, 2008 10:59 AM (dxxkS)

29 We sell forbidden objects, from places where men fear to tread ... we also sell frozen yogurt; which I call frogurt.

Posted by: nondescript chinaman at December 30, 2008 11:00 AM (PD1tk)

30 This article is heavy on spin. KB toys just finished their first bankruptcy a year or two ago. And you have to read halfway through before getting to any numbers about the horrific holiday shopping season:

Holiday sales fell from 2 percent to 4 percent compared to a year ago, according to SpendingPulse, a division of MasterCard Advisors.


Posted by: slatz at December 30, 2008 11:04 AM (mE0Rl)

31 Burt Flickinger was Dagwood's boss.  Mmmm, Dagwood sandwich.  Stupid ADHD. 

What of all of the elderly mallwalkers?  And malls have become a great setting for horror flicks.

I gotta believe the encapsulation of the society into the home has extinguished mall life--as did the spate of mall shootings/public massacres that occurred over the last few years. 

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at December 30, 2008 11:05 AM (n2eCn)

32 29

Why can't the places with really stupid names start going?

Incidentally, I had never eaten at Steak Escape, because I hate the name.  But one day at an airport I was in a hurry so I grabbed a sandwich from them.  I sat down in a chair, pulloed out the sandwich from the bag they put it in.  It promptly fell out of the wrapping and onto the floor.  So at least I know why they call it Steak Escape...



Talk about places with issues...

I like Steak Escape's food, but their management sucks and they're slower than Strom Thurman (deceased OR living) in a snowstorm.  And that's not at one location, that's at pretty much every Steak Escape I've ever been to.

Posted by: BrandonInBatonRouge at December 30, 2008 11:05 AM (agO3U)

33 We need a bailout for these guys stat!  Otherwise parents liberal parents of small children will have to buy shady toys in back alleys from nondescript chinamen Walmart and that is unacceptable.

Posted by: David at December 30, 2008 11:06 AM (HAdov)

34

To Congress, the investment banking sector, all the lovely people at Fannie and Freddie and most of all to Alan Greenspan:

Thanks.  No really, we couldn't have done it without you.

 

Posted by: Circa (Insert Year Here) at December 30, 2008 11:06 AM (B+qrE)

35 Clearly what we need are higher retail taxes.  Right, governor O'Malley?
Suckers, I bought all my schwag in Virginny. 
Also, what we need is a retail czar to headup a trillion dollar gift buying governemnt program that is dedicated to ensuring that crappy stores in crappy malls will always be able to sell things. 
Think about it, it's like an economic perpetual motion machine.  The government makes crappy products that it sells to itself.  Sort of like how social security works.

Posted by: joeindc44 at December 30, 2008 11:07 AM (QxSug)

36 That's alright --this thing's gotta happen every five years or so -- ten years -- helps to get rid of the bad blood.

Been ten years since the last one. You know you got to stop them at the beginning, like they should have stopped Hitler at Munich,

Posted by: SlaveDog at December 30, 2008 11:07 AM (H6Jyg)

37 37 That's alright --this thing's gotta happen every five years or so -- ten years -- helps to get rid of the bad blood.

Been ten years since the last one. You know you got to stop them at the beginning, like they should have stopped Hitler at Munich,

OK, so how are we going to whack Solozzo, Clemenza?

Posted by: BrandonInBatonRouge at December 30, 2008 11:10 AM (agO3U)

38 Really, the whole food court can leave, except for that Japanese place that let's you get stir fried noodles with your teriyaki chicken.  Oh, and if we can get chik-fil-A to franchise a little more aggressively (like in my living room), I'd be happy.

Posted by: joeindc44 at December 30, 2008 11:11 AM (QxSug)

39

Well, that's it. AP says it's over, so fuck it. Might as well curl up in the fetal position and suck a thumb for the next 10 years. KB Toys, a shit retailer if there ever was one, is done and gone, so that's it, we're through. Guess it's time to start believing our own press.

Meanwhile, if capitalism still works, them that can, will, them that can't, won't.

I'll be in my bunk with what's left of my 401k.

Posted by: mikeyslaw at December 30, 2008 11:12 AM (QMGr1)

40

Instapundit mentioned that one of the jewelry stores in the local mall went out of business. One of seven jewelry stores in said mall.

Only 6 jewelry stores remain!!1! The sky is falling.

Posted by: MamaAJ at December 30, 2008 11:13 AM (X6Zdh)

41

Instapundit mentioned that one of the jewelry stores in the local mall went out of business. One of seven jewelry stores in said mall.

Only 6 jewelry stores remain!!1! The sky is falling.>>>>


Not to mention that each of the 5 anchor department stores also sell jewelry.  Damn you bUssh!!!!!11!!!@

Posted by: joeindc44 at December 30, 2008 11:19 AM (QxSug)

42

Oh, wait, I wasn't quite through. This country is being overcome with a bunch of whimpering, simpering, suck-egg cry babies, sobbing incoherently and begging for the government to take over their no down, no interest, no doc loan, and prop up their badly managed, badly run, businesses that are dependent on credit card purchases from people with 40 credit cards, all over the limit. Jesus Christ, it's a recession, not a depression! My grandmother told me all about the Depression, and this ain't fucking it.

And soon, Glistening Abs will save us all anyway, so buck up. It will all be over soon.

NOW I'm going to my bunk and wait for hill and bill to drop a few million on the poor in New York while they drop the ball. Again.

Posted by: mikeyslaw at December 30, 2008 11:21 AM (QMGr1)

43 41

Instapundit mentioned that one of the jewelry stores in the local mall went out of business. One of seven jewelry stores in said mall.

Only 6 jewelry stores remain!!1! The sky is falling.


In all fairness, jewelry stores are hurting a bit... a friend of mine works in management for a regional chain and says that the high-priced and low-priced stuff is still moving, but the middle-priced stuff ($500-$50,000+), which is the bread-and-butter, has been hit hard.


The really expensive stuff isn't being hurt because the kinds of people who can afford it can weather the hit, at least if their money wasn't all tied up in AIG stock.

Posted by: BrandonInBatonRouge at December 30, 2008 11:23 AM (agO3U)

44

We need a bailout for these guys stat!  Otherwise parents liberal parents of small children will have to buy shady toys in back alleys from nondescript chinamen Walmart and that is unacceptable.

Yeh, right now they can sneak into Walmart and pay less for the same Fisher Price toys found elsewhere, but if everyone starts going to Walmart, they'll get caught by their friends!

 

Posted by: MamaAJ at December 30, 2008 11:24 AM (X6Zdh)

45 24

...

I think you're both right and wrong - yeah the examples they sight are poorly run shitpots, and there are alot more of them to go under, but when they do go under in as rapid and numerous as they're going to come, it'll cascade into the property owner/commercial realestate entity and then they'll go *boom*.

So, that nice building you work in: who owns it, who owns the property, and where will you and the relatively heathly company you work for then be working from when you're forced out?  Considering the fact that very few companies actually own both the building they work in or the property they work on, this could indeed be very ugly.

I doubt healthy companies will be getting kicked out of their buildings, regardless of how the owners of those buildings fare with their other tenants.  In fact I'm guessing the owners will bend over backwards to retain their healthy tenants.

Posted by: buzz at December 30, 2008 11:26 AM (kwhut)

46 >>OK, so how are we going to whack Solozzo, Clemenza?
Posted by: BrandonInBatonRouge at December 30, 2008 04:23 PM <<


With a red stick.  It's as cold as they come -- impossible to trace, so you don't worry about prints.  I put a special tape on the trigger, and the butt.

Posted by: SlaveDog at December 30, 2008 11:28 AM (H6Jyg)

47 yeah, you don't understand, without KayB-toys, the whole furry robotic animal that bumps into walls industry will be destroyed, thereby causing you to lose your job.

It's quite simple.  damn you boooosh!!!1212!2121

Posted by: joeindc44 at December 30, 2008 11:28 AM (QxSug)

48 My prediction is any retail sector with 3 big competitors, one or more will go under. And it's probably not hard to predict which one.

Staples, Office Depot, Office Max - Staples will survive.
Costco, BJ's, Sam's Club: Bye-Bye BJs
Dick's, Sports Authority, Modell's: Dicks will survive, and maybe Models.

Target and Wal-Mart will both survive, but Sears/K-Mart is in trouble.

Department stores in general are in trouble. Their shopping model is still largely based on women who treat shopping as an enjoyable experience in and of itself. But this cuts out men who just want to find it and get out of there and busy working moms. Plus very few of them have a professional and well-trained staff who actually make shopping an enjoyable experience.

Posted by: Eric J at December 30, 2008 11:30 AM (7t+Ws)

49  This country is being overcome with a bunch of whimpering, simpering, suck-egg cry babies, sobbing incoherently and begging for the government to take over their no down, no interest, no doc loan, and prop up their badly managed, badly run, businesses that are dependent on credit card purchases from people with 40 credit cards, all over the limit.

Actually, this description fits 52% of the population. There's no need to say which 52%, we all know who I mean.

/I hate hippies and liberals and people who don't understand economics

Posted by: shibumi at December 30, 2008 11:32 AM (tZB/c)

50

I wonder how much of the sales drop was caused by people paying cash for their presents instead of putting stuff on credit? If sales are weak because people are making smarter financial decisions, then I can't help but think that it's a better road to take, even if it hurts more.

I did not see a single store in that article that I will miss. Of course, I hate shopping in the Christmas season anyhow - this year I did mine (what little there was) all online, at used book/clothing stores (trade credit!), or at the grocery store. Oh, and Figi's. Can't miss out on the petit fours...

 

Posted by: Bridget at December 30, 2008 11:36 AM (VzAs+)

51 I put a special tape on the trigger, and the butt.

Just make sure its there.  I don't want my brother coming out of the toilet with just his dick in his hand, alright?

Posted by: sonny at December 30, 2008 11:37 AM (PD1tk)

52

Here in San Francisco, Market St has an area of sleazy crap stores that have been "going out of business" for decades. Most of the sales staff look like they belong to Hamas, and can't speak English worth shit. They also smoke in the stores in violation of local and state laws. (I don't think you can surgically separate an Arab from his cigarette....must have learned it from the French).

I hope these guys actually DO go out of business so we can get some real stores that don't cater to the welfare/homeless crowd. These are the places that sell jeans for $30 that they bought wholesale for $2. I always laugh when I see the black "youth" in there buying cheap plastic "sportswear" with team logos selling for $50.

Posted by: Scott at December 30, 2008 11:43 AM (r/NTY)

53 all those businessess closed and jobs lost and yet total si;lence from Dems about bailing them out like they did their union cronies. Apaparently every business can and will fail, unless they stuff the Democrats ballott box-then they  it's catastrophic if they are not saved. Good news is Dems get the lion's share of the blame when the big 3 blow what they have and come begging for more with nothing to show for it.

Posted by: bullshit at December 30, 2008 11:45 AM (lFi0+)

54

If sales are weak because people are making smarter financial decisions, then I can't help but think that it's a better road to take, even if it hurts more.

That's the thing. I'm not sure that 7 jewelry stores in one mall is really the natural order of things.

--Meanwhile, 17 million Christmas toys are sitting idle in my house while the kids rake and jump in piles of leaves.

Posted by: MamaAJ at December 30, 2008 11:45 AM (X6Zdh)

55 The weather around Christmas about killed the holiday season in Western Oregon. We had an inch of ice in two layers with eight to twelve inches of snow in the middle in Salem and the shops just were deserted, along with the roads, for the last week before Christmas. That hurts stores.

Posted by: CHristopher Taylor at December 30, 2008 11:47 AM (PQY7w)

56 Plot those closing stores on a map for me, I'm betting most of them are in the blue counties.

Posted by: dr kill at December 30, 2008 12:03 PM (JWAjn)

57 discounters were 7% ahead of last year.

department stores 10% worse.

so the picture is mixed - NOT CATASTROPHIC.

REMEMBER: sales figures are calculated in $, not units; therefore - when one takes into account that merchandise was marked down 20-30-40-50-60-75% reporting sales down 10% is not as gloomy as it sounds.

IOW: stores of ALL types MOVED A LOT OF GOODS.

and discounters sold TONS to working class folks and middleclass folks  who saved a BUNDLE.

so - as is always true in economics -  there were winners AND losers, not just losers.

it's a buyers market now; buyers are winners now - in retail and real estate and equities.

Posted by: DANNY at December 30, 2008 12:06 PM (Q5iJT)

58 The intertubes will kill malls just as they're now killing newspapers.  The malls have been dead to me for 10 years, but I'm a guy.

Posted by: East Bay Jim at December 30, 2008 12:18 PM (ocHBO)

59

I went into a Walmart supercenter to buy a BluRay (or Blue Ray, whatever)DVD player. All gone, vanished, the shelf was empty.And those damn things were stacked to the ceiling before Christmas. And, a week before Christmas, I was in a Sam's Club, and it looked like every other basket had an LED television in it. I have a feeling Walmart didn't do all that badly this Christmas.

49 Eric J

My prediction is any retail sector with 3 big competitors, one or more will go under. And it's probably not hard to predict which one.

Staples, Office Depot, Office Max - Staples will survive.
Costco, BJ's, Sam's Club: Bye-Bye BJs
Dick's, Sports Authority, Modell's: Dicks will survive, and maybe Models.

Yep, I agree with you. Don't know BJ's (guess that doesn't stand for what I think it does, if it did, their business would be booming, so to speak.)

Sports Authority is getting the crap kicked out of it here in Dallas. Sears is already in trouble, big trouble. Probably already making overtures to the government.

Posted by: mikeyslaw at December 30, 2008 12:20 PM (QMGr1)

60 I wonder how much of the sales drop was caused by people paying cash for their presents instead of putting stuff on credit?

I was going to mention this. Almost everyone I know (acknowledging that anecdote does not equal data) made this a cash-only Christmas. It forced a lot of people to shop smarter, and go for quality (by seriously considering gifts), rather than go for quantity.

People (for the most part)are paying off the credit cards, not using them.

Posted by: CrankyProf at December 30, 2008 12:22 PM (waYsO)

61

I'm just glad to hear that my local independent toy/manga store did OK this season. He tells me he's a bit down from last year, but did better than he expected to, so he's not in trouble.

 

Posted by: Anachronda at December 30, 2008 12:24 PM (1OYcp)

62 Also:

Staples, Office Depot, Office Max - Staples will survive.
Costco, BJ's, Sam's Club: Bye-Bye BJs
Dick's, Sports Authority, Modell's: Dicks will survive, and maybe Models.

In our area (S PA), BJ's is actually doing well, and Modell's is kicking Dick's ass. I don;t think we even HAVE a Sports Authority.

Posted by: CrankyProf at December 30, 2008 12:25 PM (waYsO)

63 This is just my guess...but people are fed up with the Black Friday crap for shopping (standing in line, fighting over shit in the stores, stores not keeping enough of the "hot items" in stock, etc...).  I do some shopping online, and my wife is the Queen of the Online Shoppers (the UPS and FEDEX guys know her by her first name...she better not be giving it up to those cocksuckers!!!)....

I'll be glad to see some of these "specialty" store go out of business...don't understand the reasoning behind spending $75.00 on a pair of jeans or $50.00 for some t-shirt that has some stupid saying on it....

BTW - the unicorn on a rope thing...better be careful using it when you wash your ass...that horn probably can do some damage to your squeakhole...unless you like sticking things up the old squeakhole...

Posted by: Buck Naked - Pron Star at December 30, 2008 12:26 PM (gNXjy)

64 Why should I go down to Circuit City when I can buy the exact same merchandise on Amazon without sales tax?  I don't have to go anywhere, I can shop at 2am in my underwear and not get arrested for it.  Who needs Circuit City or KB Toys, etc.


That is why Amazon had their "best year ever".

Posted by: crosspatch at December 30, 2008 12:31 PM (cT4BE)

65 #61--yep, I think you have an excellent point. Certainly true for us, and a ton of our friends.  Makes me wonder how widespread that is.

Posted by: irongrampa at December 30, 2008 12:36 PM (ud5dN)

66 Amazon even offers free shipping if you can wait a week or so.

Posted by: eman at December 30, 2008 12:41 PM (O8KSM)

67

There may be seven jewelry stores in a mall, but chances are they are owned by two or three companies.  Sterling Inc. owns Kay's, Jared's, JB Robinson, Belden, Marx and Morgan, Friedlanders, etc. Zales owns Bailey Banks and Biddle, Zales, Gordons, and most of those gold chain kiosks you see in the middle of the mall.  And then there's Helzberg Diamonds which also owns a good share of mall stores.  The theory behind a jewelry company having two or more stores in the same mall is that it's more cost effective and that customers have brand loyalty when it comes to jewelers, so the local/regional chain name is kept after the buy out.  None of them have posted their sales figures as yet, but what may have hurt their sales as much as amything is the price of gold. 

Posted by: Deanna at December 30, 2008 12:43 PM (k1gry)

68

I'd like to express my sympathy for those in retail . . .

(y'know, those people who open their stores late, who close them early, who never vacuum a rug or sweep a floor, who make their customers dodge the dog shit in front of their shops, who display empty fixtures in their windows, who gripe about "the economy" to their customers, who always fulfill their need to bitch about the local government and the state government and the federal government, who paste alienating political messages on their doors, who blame everybody else for all their woes and who show general contempt for everyone and everything)

. . . but I can't.

Posted by: FireHorse at December 30, 2008 01:00 PM (5KNeJ)

69 Sounds like they're culling the herd, picking off the sick and the slow elderly.

KB Toys? You've got to be kidding. They shut down most of the chain a few years ago and the rest has been circling the drain ever since. The economy would have to be booming spectacularly for this company to have any chance of a comeback.

Circuit City? They've been in serious trouble for a long time. The nicest thing I can say about Circuit City is that they've had some fantastic blow-out sales on video games in recent years. I've probably spent about $3,000 there in the last four years but this was for stuff originally intended to bring in closer to $20,000. Not a good indicator.

Just a couple days ago, I went by the Burbank CC and got 6 PS3 and Xbox 360 games for what any one of them was supposed to cost. Great for me, while it lasts.

Posted by: epobirs at December 30, 2008 01:04 PM (hZFDS)

70

Ah, Amazon! I bought a BluRay player for Christmas, got free shipping and paid no tax. That's just another 8.5% I won't be giving to the State of California this year. (CA actually has a convenient form on the state tax site so you can list all the stuff you bought online and voluntarily send in the state sales tax - BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)

No rude sales person who knows dick about the product, no attitude, no lines to check out.

 

Posted by: Scott at December 30, 2008 01:09 PM (r/NTY)

71 Anyone remember CompUSA?

I was getting some great blow-out buys there until the whole chain went belly up.

Now the brand is used for an online operation and they have some pretty  good prices, too. I'm currently awaiting delivery on a Toshiba DVD deck with upconversion to 1080i and Divx playback support, and 4 GB (2x2GB) of OCZ brand PC6400 RAM. I'll be able to put whole seasons of obscure shows on a single disc for my mother to watch and max out the memory on my sister's PC. All  for about $65 shipped.

I could have gotten the same thing at Fry's for a little more cash without waiting over a week for delivery but I'm spared the cost of driving to Fry's and having to spend time inside a Fry's.

The online CompUSA will probably die after a while when it can no longer sustain the deals. When that time comes I'll just have to rely on the competent companies that have been there all along. The deals won't be as sweet but reliable existence is an important feature in a retailer.

Posted by: epobirs at December 30, 2008 01:14 PM (hZFDS)

72 None of them have posted their sales figures as yet, but what may have hurt their sales as much as amything is the price of gold. >>>

Oh God, now the idiot lefties will blame gold speculators.

Posted by: joeindc44 at December 30, 2008 01:19 PM (QxSug)

73 As mentioned partially above, KB Toys has been in the shitter at least a couple of times since 2004.   You can trust Wikipedia on this one.

They are definitely not a casualty of this particular 4% downturn, the "nastiest" 4% downturn since, like, 1958 or something.

Posted by: vinman at December 30, 2008 01:23 PM (idc+/)

74

FireHorse

As someone who has worked in retail I'd like to show sympathy for those customers who let their children destroy the displays, open the packages, smear food all over everything, climb on counters, use the aisles as urinals, and generally act like brats.  And what the hell are they thinking bringing toddlers into a store after 8:00PM anyway?  And  I'd like to feel sympathy  for the customers who gather up things and then drop them off in another part of the store, who can't do math well enough so they have to keep everyone waiting while they decide what to put back, who berate the sales clerk for things they have no control over, who think they can get a discount on everything, who come in two minutes before closing and then don't buy anything, who bring food and drinks into the store even though there's a sign prohibiting it, who also open boxes and bubble packages themselves instead of asking the clerk, who leave clothes on the floor in the fitting rooms,  who come in drunk and procede to be loud and rude and then puke all over, who make a pigsty of the restrooms(what do they do in there anyway?),  who try to hit on the clerks, who have disgusting personal habits(wiping boogers off of shelving and even clothes is not a fun job),  who get in the express line when they have way more items and want to write a check(and the clerk has to listen to the complaints from everyone in line), who buy, wear, and return(we call them renters),who try to return merchandise past the date or destroyed or even from a competitor and then getting angry when they can't,  and for all those customers who think getting loud and obnoxious will work....well it might just once... but trust me it won't ever work again. 

 So retail is a two way street and  I just can't gather up much sympathy for at least some customers.   And I don't give a crap if they do "pay me" as many often like to say...I get paid for doing lots of things but wiping up puke and babysitting kids, among other things,  weren't in my job description.

Posted by: Deanna at December 30, 2008 01:31 PM (k1gry)

75 Meh. I'm sitting on Christmas money waiting for some of these great deals to show up from stores going out of business.

Posted by: Arthur at December 30, 2008 01:54 PM (bHYGF)

76 The media says that the Christmas shopping season is in the crapper every year, for as long as I can remember.

I spent Christmas in Fresno this year.  Fresno's Dec 24th newspaper had an article about retailers agonizing over dismal sales.  Dec 25th's newspaper had another article about retailers agonizing over dismal sales.  Dec 26th's newspaper had an article saying that retailers were hoping that post-Christmas shopping would save them.  I gave up reading the paper after that; Christmas is supposed to be a happy holiday.

My sister-in-law is a shop-a-holic.  She went over the huge stack of ads that accompanied the fish-wrap.  Lots of stuff, no real bargains, and nothing that she could not live without.  For that matter, I wasn't impressed with the so-called "deep discounts" before Christmas.  So much for the media going on about retailers cutting deep to move stuff.

In the end, we spent about what we did the past few years.  We didn't spend that much in December, as we tend to shop for things during the year when a good sale comes along, and we didn't have to wait in line for a so-called bargain.  Also added a little to the oil company coffers for our road trip.  I don't envision doing things much different next year (except we will likely stay home). 

Posted by: John C at December 30, 2008 02:14 PM (gN6Pi)

77 The past few years, everytime I would go to a mall I noticed yet another new store going up.  It was usually a clothing store and those were usually teenager clothing stores.  I kept wondering when enough would be enough.  I guess it's finally arrived.

Posted by: katya at December 30, 2008 02:39 PM (oRJZj)

78 This is just a hint of the coming 0bamaconomy.

Posted by: gmsc at December 30, 2008 03:43 PM (AMrHH)

79 How 'bout an Obamanectomy, instead? I mean, has the Office of the President Elect ever considered that constantly telling the country it's the Great Depression Part II and we're all gonna die might not be the best way to promote consumer confidence, duh?

Posted by: CoolCzech at December 30, 2008 06:02 PM (iafWn)

80 A big factor in this is the recent bump in the minimum wage.  Those operations that were marginalized by the increase in labor costs, got hammered by the structural credit problems, held on for xmas sales, then punted. 

Investors are moving out of brick and mortar retail and the associated real estate trusts, thus contraction. 

Posted by: Jean at December 30, 2008 07:07 PM (xCBQ4)

81 I thougt Steve and Barry's was a gay kitchen store.

Posted by: HawaiiLwyr at December 30, 2008 08:26 PM (SEBPF)

82 John C at December 30, 2008 07:14 PM
<quote>...Fresno's Dec 24th newspaper had an article...  Dec 25th's newspaper had another article...  Dec 26th's newspaper had an article...</quote>

Don't tell me you're reading articles in dead-tree newspapers about how bad things are in other dying businesses. Reminds me of Pots calling Kettles "Black!".

Posted by: azlibertarian at December 31, 2008 04:13 AM (q6Lb+)

83 To do a block quotation, you should use the < and the /> brackets to surround the words "blockquote" to achieve the following effect: Hopefully this works on this site....

Posted by: CoolCzech at December 31, 2008 06:11 AM (iafWn)

84 Hmmm.... I see that it did NOT work... it does work on rightwingnews.com's site. I wish these sites were all a little consistent.

Posted by: CoolCzech at December 31, 2008 06:12 AM (iafWn)

85

Deanna,

Wow. For what it's worth, I've been there but thankfully I haven't done most of that. My rant was directed toward a small-but-growing minority of retailers, and I'm sure yours was about a not-small-enough-and-growing minority as well.

It's definitely a two-way street. My peeve is the attitude of entitlement going both ways: Customers increasingly act as though they're supposed to get anything they demand, regardless of how unfair, unrealistic or illegal it is. And too many merchants/managers have unreasonable expectations of certain levels of sales and profits, however well or poorly they manage their stores.

I sincerely feel for the people who give their all in doomed chain stores like Circuit City and Borders. And for anyone who has to clean up vomit. Puke happens -- but boogers are above and beyond.

Wow.

Posted by: FireHorse at December 31, 2008 06:17 AM (5KNeJ)

86 People in US never thought that sending jobs to China and other underdeveloped countries could wreck the economy!! Now is too late to fix the problems no matter how much money they spend in 2009... No one, even SEC controlled Wall Street firms and look what happened...Banks are in deep trouble, retail stores, colleges and much more... More recession, unemployment, foreclosures, failed business and look, Paul Krugman and Nouriel Roubini were warning American people in the last two years and no one paid attention to them!!

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