Top Retail Analyst: "I Think What’s Going On ... Is That We Are In A Depression For 80 Percent Of Americans"

George Washington's picture

CBS station KNX 1070 in Los Angeles reports:

stores across the U.S. that offer deeply-discounted products are
seeing their sales decline after years of growth amid America’s “Great
Recession” — and one analyst said on Monday it’s another sign of even
deeper downturn.




“I think what’s going on in those stores is that we are in a depression for 80 percent of Americans,” top retail analyst Howard Davidowitz told KNX 1070.


three largest discount chains — Dollar General Corp., Family Dollar
Stores Inc. and Dollar Tree Inc. — all recently missed their quarterly
earnings targets.


Davidowitz pointed to the weakness of the dollar and a gloomy consumer outlook as some of the factors behind the stores’ slump.


those stores, somebody comes in with $12 to do all their shopping,”
said Davidowitz. “The person who used to come in with $12 now comes in
with $8.”


“In other words, the economy is continuing to be worse, the ... depression continues to explode,” he added.

(For more on Davidowitz, see this and this.)

This reminds me of Joe Biden's statement that "it's a depression for millions of Americans", Wal Mart CEO's statement that Wal Mart shoppers are running out of money, and many top economists' assertion that we're in a Depression.

And see this.


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Urban Redneck's picture

Nobody called it the Great Depression during the depression, and Duesenberg & Bugatti did booming business selling to rich while the poor in the cities stood in bread lines (the countryside was worse in some ways, but the historians like to whitewash that aspect).

aerojet's picture

You don't want poor people as your customers, duh!

Rick Masters's picture

A year before I graduated college in 2004, I had just gotten an award (a money award) and i was a happy and I saw this guy stuck outside the parking lot. The school isn't in a great area. But I helped. The guy, who was from Nigeria, said that in the town where he was from that helping strangers was almost second nature because he complained that even the cops he flagged down wuldn't stop to help him. I don't know what the point of this comment is other than to add something to what CD said that it is indeed learned behavior and not this way everywhere. I don't more and more I just want to leave this country. It's not about Obama or republicans; it's the atmosphere. It's filled with hate and fear.

LetThemEatRand's picture

The hate and fear was also trained into us.  There are about 400 people who control most of the world's wealth.  They know we are a largely tribal species.  They have taught us for generations to identify ourselves as "liberal" or "conservative" or a dozen other things, and then we are taught that all of the "others" want to harm our identified group in some way.  Ayn Rand followers think government is the problem.  Liberals think that poverty is the problem.  Conservatives think the taxes and welfare queens are the problem.   Democrats think there are not enough schools and unions.  And so forth.  The MSM is filled with talking heads that give voice to each group, and fuel their hatred and mistrust for the others. Think Rush Limbaugh as the pinnacle of this system.   Very effective theater.  I think even if we have a complete melt-down in our economy it will continue to work, and we'll be fighting each other for the scraps like the vultures who come to feast on the bones after the Lions are done eating the good stuff.


The reason that liberals and conservatives never "win" arguments with each other as evidenced by the endless arguments between different ideologies at ZH, is that neither side actually cares about the facts and figures and arguments made by the other, beyond how to defeat them.  They each want to win because they have tribal faith that their position is correct.  If the facts don't support the position and can be shown to be completely contrary to your position, find some other facts that suggest otherwise and ignore the ones you don't like.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Thanks, GW.  Love your posts.  What scares me sometimes is that I'm just in the "blame the oligarchs/top .1%" tribe, and that is my faithful belief which is immune to all argument to the contrary.  So when I argue with a liberal or conservative or Rander and tell them to back off the left/right crap, I'm merely in another "outside the left/right" camp and failing to see it.  But mostly I just choose to believe my lyin' eyes and my lyin' eyes tell me the world would be a much better place if we could wrestle it away from the top .1%.

Cone of Uncertainty's picture

Watch as WMT puts up another shit ass quarter with negative comps, that is the only retailer that matters.

Special prize for the person who can tell me how many quarters in a row this company has put up negative comps.

Depression bitches.

chunkylover42's picture

going from memory here, but i think it's 8 straight quarters of negative SSS?

what's my prize?  (and don't say 'a depression')

ThirdCoastSurfer's picture

You need look no further than Mexico,  where unemployment is less than 5%,  to see the path that America is headed to. 

In fact, around 60% of Mexicans do OK, government services/intervention, other than military, are minimal, the citizens who can afford it have private schooling, generators for power shortages, a personal water filtration system and gated housing.

It's only the remaining 40% that are totally screwed. 


mt paul's picture

use to drive in to town every day

3 gal gas ..10 $  coffee newspaper muffin  5 $

taco salad lunch  5 $... tavern coffee pool  tip  10 $

economy pissed me off i went on strike

drive to town once a week now ..spend 0$ ..of the above

close to 200.$ a week..10 thousand $$ a year 

i no longer spend in the ponzi economy ...

you want to play hard ball ..ponzi masters ...

bring it ... this consumer has got your number..

Agent P's picture

Earnings misses were because they ate cost increases rather than raise prices to protect sales.  DG's sss were +5.4% and total revenue was +11%.  If it's true that shoppers now only have $8 instead of $12, there must have been a lot more $8 shoppers.

oldmanagain's picture

Obviously, we are taxing the rich too much.

It is also amazing that I must say this is sarcasm.

IQ 145's picture

 I'm a Republican and a conservative; but I'm ready to vote for anyone who can get GE and Exxon-Mobil, and so forth to pay a straight no-nonsense percentage of the take every year; I mean they are the rich.

LetThemEatRand's picture

The game -- and the deceipt -- is that the wealthiest pay no taxes or very little, yet they make sure that the middle and upper-middle classes are taxed to death to 1) line their pockets with corporate welfare (see the bloated military industrial complex and the direct and much larger indirect bank bailouts); 2) continue to fund the infrastructure that supports the economy so there are consumers left to buy the stuff they are building in China.   The MSM spin machine keeps the people divided between Republicans and Democrats, when in fact the only real fight should be between the top .1% and everyone else.   It is interesting, isn't it, that in all of these debt ceiling debates no one in power is proposing that we stop spending trillions of dollars each year marching around the world so we can sell heroin and secure oil fields for BP.

HungrySeagull's picture

We don't touch dollar stores. Morale is poor, no one has time to pick stuff off the floor, no one has time to unload the truck, sort and price the stock and certainly no one has time for anything holding up the irate customers whose forms of payment other than cash fail to work because the shitty cheap credit/debit card reader isnt working anymore.

linrom's picture

It's by management choice. It shows what they thing of their customers.

ThoughtCriminal's picture

I nominate Howard for the Nobel War-is-Peace Prize for Economics - forever!

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

But things are G-R-E-A-T for the top .1%!

If you listen to the sociopaths and their various supporters, enablers, hanger-ons and pure money grubbers and lovers, this is the way nature intended it to be. There are the Gods, who rule the Earth and all they survey, and then there is everyone else. 

Learn to love your slavery and your master GW. And whatever you do, don't struggle when they put you inside the rape machine. It just makes it that much more painful.

Just smile and say (government) cheese.

Max Hunter's picture

That's what's always amazed me the most about all of this. How can we be so willing to accept it all? How could we not tell the difference between freedom and slavery because of a box in our living room with nicely dressed pretty people telling us how everything is normal, maybe tough, but normal..

Congrats George!! You've monopolized the top row.. Couldn't happen to a better guy!.. ;)

treemagnet's picture

Its like when you're driving and you see somebody broken down/walking....nobody stops.  Later, you're car stops and nobody cares.  It seems like the game is to not ever put yourself at the mercy of a strangers kindness.

csmith's picture

"It seems like the game is to not ever put yourself at the mercy of a strangers kindness."


the Oracle of Omaha always says: "Never, ever put yourself in a position where you have to rely on the kindness of strangers."



Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Learned apathy born of perceived helplessness and emotional exhaustion.

The key is the word 'learned'. Humans can be trained just as easily as rats. And we care for ourselves, including cleaning out our cages twice a month. Or more often if the stench gets too bad.

CrimsonAvenger's picture

Fry: Psst! Leela! You've got to get me out of here! It's horrible! Eating scraps; letting my waste drop wherever it falls, like an animal in a zoo!

Leela: Animals go in the corner.

Fry: The corner! Why didn't I think of that?