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This Is What Keeps Retailers Up At Night

Tyler Durden's picture





 

The government shutdown has removed key algo-dependent headline-making economic data from our daily lives such as incomes, spending and retail sales. However, we have anecdotal signals from trade industry data (pace of dining out has stalled and anyone but the hghest earners are seeing consumer comfort plunge) and from-the-horse's mouth we have CEO comments. Here is what is on the US retailers' mind...

 

Via Bloomberg's Ric Yamarone,

Chico’s FAS [CHS] Earnings Call 8/28/13:

Traffic was our issue in quarter two. In a highly promotional and challenging environment, comparable sales result was a negative 2.6 percent on top of a positive 5.6 percent last year and a positive 12.8 percent in 2011.”

William-Sonoma [WSM] Earnings Call 8/28/13:

The retail environment, it seems to indicate there’s still a lot of uncertainty out there, that the promotional environment has not gone away and that the retail environment in general continues to be choppy, especially with the recent earnings releases and this global unrest, and we just don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”

Zale Corp [ZLC] Earnings Call 8/28/13:

“Overall, we continue to take a conservative view of market conditions in both the U.S. and in Canada. That being said, we do expect to continue to achieve positive top line growth. We expect store closures will impact our overall revenue growth for the year by about 250 basis points. It represents net closures of approximately 50 to 55 retail locations.”

DSW Inc. [DSW] Earnings Call 8/27/13:

We did have a traffic decline in Q2, sort of similar to what just about every other retailer in America has reported.”

Guess? [GES] Earnings Call 8/28/13:

“The Korean business continued to be strong as revenue grew in the high single digits in local currency during the quarter. This was offset with the weakness from China, where we are seeing clear evidence of a pullback in consumer spending behavior because of the slowdown in the economy.”

Aeropostale [ARO] Earnings Call 8/22/13:

“Our business trends in the second quarter did not change materially from earlier in the year, which was disappointing given the level of change we registered with the brand. This performance in the third quarter outlook is being influenced by a challenging retail environment, with weak traffic trends and high levels of promotional activity.

Dollar Tree Inc. [DLTR] Earnings Call 8/22/13:

“In our current economy with customers facing stubbornly high unemployment, unpredictable fuel prices and higher taxes people continue to look to Dollar Tree as a destination for a balanced mix of high value consumer products and a terrific assortment of fun, high value and high margin variety merchandise.”

Hormel Foods [HRL] Earnings Call 8/22/13:

“The weakness for Refrigerated Foods was clearly the most pronounced in the earlier part of the quarter, ending up prompting us to come out with our guidance adjustment that occurred mid-quarter. At that stage, we were seeing some continued weakness in processing margins, but the bigger culprit had been the spike in some of the raw material costs.”

 

and all of this before the government managed to shutdown the government and furlough hundreds of thousands of workers...

 


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Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:42 | Link to Comment DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

So when are retailers gonna put pressure on the Politicians and Banksters to change monetary policies and put people back to work?

Whant to iimprove retailers bottom line? End the FED?

DaddyO

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:48 | Link to Comment Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

Ha!  Havent you heard, furloughed employees get back-pay.  Now they can stay home and go to the mall.  Coupled with EBT/Snap, etc, retailers are having wet dreams.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:11 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Not until they get paid:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/shutdown-drags-govt-workers-seek-174904330.html

 

That story is pretty funny.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:18 | Link to Comment SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Does no one save for a rainy day anymore?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:23 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Almost no one. Prudent people and the 1%, but that's about it.

Did you read the part about that government employee making $100K a year (in the comments someone looked her up because she was dumb enough to give her full name and her salary is public information) selling designer dresses she claims are worth $20K?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:30 | Link to Comment RKDS
RKDS's picture

Besides bankers and other executive takers, who has money to spare on savings?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:30 | Link to Comment RKDS
RKDS's picture

Besides bankers and other executive takers, who really has money to spare for savings?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:02 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

Dup post but worth upvoting twice.

When your competition is idiots with borrowed money, don't expect to buy anything at the auctions. 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:31 | Link to Comment insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

I really would like a reporter to ask one of these furloughed gov workers how their gov job benefits society.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:03 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Fuck these retailers. How many of them use sweatshop labor to make their products? Looks like it was not a good long term plan afterall. As long as they outsource labor to Asia, I hope all of them go bankrupt.  It has more to do with these companies exporting jobs than it does about the Federal Reserve. As long as people can't afford your products, they won't buy them. That is an interesting concept, isn't it? They have some fucking nerve mentioning "stubbornly high unemployment."

 

Some foolish private equity company will probably buy them anyway..

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:48 | Link to Comment NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Retailers can't afford US labor, meanwhile US labor can't afford their products. Yet, in spite of this, you give the party that has stolen the purchasing power of both a pass. You need to learn a little bit more about how this stuff works before blaming the wrong party.

 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:05 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

I did not give the Democrats a pass. I was saying what DaddyO said was oversimplistic and childish. It's not all the Fed's fault, TPTB have a lot more tools than the Fed (two party system, multi-national corporations, MSM, etc.)

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 11:21 | Link to Comment roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

You are wasting your time clarifying your post. You are now a terrorist on ZH.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 12:42 | Link to Comment 11b40
11b40's picture

Which one is the "right" party?  Please answer with a good explanation, as I sure want to join up with that one.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 14:33 | Link to Comment scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

You're in it already.

There's the money party, and then there's the rest of us.

It's just a question of sticking with your own interest.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:55 | Link to Comment Eeyores Enigma
Eeyores Enigma's picture

Summary - People are slowing down their consuming due to having less household income. This coupled with ever increasing input cost means we as a major retailer need to cut costs buy laying people off, cutting wages, outsourcing labor to the cheapest third world location and substitute for cheaper inputs… until things get better.

Yeah that make perfect sense.

Assholes!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 14:08 | Link to Comment scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

Much of the savings has been from subsidies to export businesses in local currency. Compared to the dollar, the world reserve currency, local was play money and could be printed with abandon. Now that the US dollar's eroding, the advantage isn't nearly as great.

The power of subsidy has been known since the 1980's, when unions figured out the wholesale price of a Korean TV was less than the sum of costs of its components. They knew their members were up the creek.

Are foreign governments less willing to print up local to subsidize our consumers? Dunno, but it's probably part of the trend.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:11 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

It's all good.  Now certain zillionaires will learn that their wealth came from the middle class, they may have a little concern about losing that middle class.  And they might realize that they are not part of the "Too Big To Go Broke", and there is no room for them on the lifeboat that they themselves have helped the elite to board.

Aaah well, I can dream....

WAKE UP RETAILERS!!! IF YOUR WEALTH DEPENDS ON THE MIDDLE CLASS THEN YOU WILL GO BROKE WITH THEM.  THE ELITES WILL BE SAVED BUT YOU'RE NOT ONE OF THEM!!!  

I don't think they heard me.  Maybe I shoulda used a bigger font. 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 14:11 | Link to Comment scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

Good luck. Corporate management self-identifies with the rentier elite. It must be something to do with the suits.

The Rotarian Rage of small retailers is also well-known. I hear a lot of it on these pages.

So, not only are the American workers lazy, overpaid, drugged up, and stupid, they haven't got the moral fiber to spend money in stores. Too busy buying vodka with food stamps. If they were decent, Christian patriots, they'd have larger incomes and sign contracts. Bad! Bad! Bad!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 13:10 | Link to Comment alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

You think Americans want these jobs ? How would they afford a Lincoln Aviator and a McMansion operating a forklift ?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 14:16 | Link to Comment scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

Which jobs are we talking about? The union jobs that pay a middle class wage and benefits, or the minimum wage part time jobs that require owning a car and buying uniforms?

And, yes, a lot of them are the same jobs.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:04 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

don't pitty the billionaire retailers... they don't give a fuck about you when they charge a 200% margin on their food products.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:09 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

DaddyO seems to believe that only if the Fed didn't exist, everything would be OK. Oh and I'm sure add the Democratic Party to the list.

So, basically a gold standard and the Republicans and everything is fine..

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:18 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Red arrow me all you want, the Tea Party has been compromised by the Neo-Conservatives like Boner. The government shutdown is all for show. The government employees are all being promised back pay for sitting home for a week. It's not that hard morons. The two party system is fucking you over. Mega corps are fucking you over.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:35 | Link to Comment DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

You've been here almost three years and you have the audacity to tell us all about the red/blue battle?

And the megacorps are the enemy?

Who woulda knew?

Moron!

DaddyO

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:57 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Dear dumb dumb,

This what you wrote:

So when are retailers gonna put pressure on the Politicians and Banksters to change monetary policies and put people back to work?

Whant to iimprove retailers bottom line? End the FED?"

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is no "h" in want. When you write: "Whant to iimprove retailers bottom line? End the FED?" It leads people to believe you believe the problem is the Federal Reserve and not the outsourcing of labor/wealth to Asia. While the Fed certainly makes everything more expensive, the fact that there are not jobs, would make it very difficult for the average consumer to purchase goods. So even if the Fed didn't institute QE, the economy would be in the gutter for a few years, because of the corporate rule over our economy. Deflation would occur, but as long as the unemployment rate stayed "stubbornly high," Consumerism would still die it's slow death (possibly at a slower pace).

If you don't want your statement ripped apart, don't post overly simplistic solutions to problems, while misspelling basic words (want).

 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:04 | Link to Comment DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

OMG, the brutality of reading such mis-spellings!

I had no idea I was inflicting such horror on the readers at ZH.

Please forgive my mindless ravings and low brow approach.

So simplicity has no place in our overly complex financial system?

The very complexity that the FED has inflicted has led to our rosy economic outlook?

I'm sure you and the Krug can really set us on a path to financial stability, eh?

DaddyO

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:07 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Try reading what I wrote before responding:

"While the Fed certainly makes everything more expensive, the fact that there are not jobs, would make it very difficult for the average consumer to purchase goods. So even if the Fed didn't institute QE, the economy would be in the gutter for a few years, because of the corporate rule over our economy. Deflation would occur, but as long as the unemployment rate stayed "stubbornly high," Consumerism would still die it's slow death (possibly at a slower pace)."

 


Mon, 10/07/2013 - 11:17 | Link to Comment Too Big 2
Too Big 2's picture

Dear Bobbyrib,
If you think either party has a better solution then you aren't paying attention. BOTH PARTIES, TOGETHER, HAVE FUCKED THIS COUNTRY IN THE ASS FOR 100+ YEARS. Don't get sucked into their talking points if you want to sound credible here on ZH.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 13:07 | Link to Comment DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

I did read what you wrote and take issue with the whole premise that QE saved us and that the evil retailers are to blame etc, etc., just more statist trash.

I am a simpleton in that I focus everything back down to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The FED is unconstitutional, the IRS is unconstitutional and we can undo all of this through Nullification.

We didn't get in this mess overnight and we are not going to get out of it in a hurry.

More likely, the current system will collapse under its own weight, but I'm not going to lay dawn and take it because someone says its futile or what have you.

This fight begins at a grassroots level and I'm trying to start a small grass fire that grows into a full scale conflagration.

If you take issue with the simplicity of that approach, so be it but I'm not going to sit idley by and let those who call for the status quo or try to misplace blame or even try to trash the messenger.

Peace

DaddyO

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:25 | Link to Comment ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

Helpful hint: Signing your login name to every post makes you look like a narcisstic noob. Your login name appears at the top of every post. We can all read it. You don't need to sign your name at the bottom.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 13:26 | Link to Comment cornflakesdisease
cornflakesdisease's picture

Hey idiot, you try typing on a smart phone on a bus going into work on Pencil-vania's roads.

Ps when you were born, they didn't know what to throw away; you or the after birth.

 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:31 | Link to Comment yogibear
yogibear's picture

That's right, billionaire relailers have no interest in the well being of the country, just themseleves. Buying cheap goods from Asia and reselling them here for a 200 to 500 percent markup, who cares about them. F them!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 13:38 | Link to Comment Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

And they support every single government program to insure food safety because it kills off their smaller competitors. All of this food safety yet half our produce comes from Mexico or south America.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:46 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"....from-the-horses-mouth....."

Mr ED says BTFATH

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:51 | Link to Comment Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

 

 

"....from-the-horses-mouth....."

Wrong end?

 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:59 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Can there ever be a wrong end when it comes to sage advice from a horse?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:15 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Yes, if it is John Kerry's mouth..

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 11:32 | Link to Comment NeoLuddite
NeoLuddite's picture

Some prankster turned the saddle backwards and the rider was too drunk to figure it out.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:41 | Link to Comment Scarlett
Scarlett's picture

Default!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:44 | Link to Comment Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

I'm going to Dollar Tree right now!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:50 | Link to Comment GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

I hate that place....it takes like 30 minutes to checkout. It's got longer lines than the DMV!

The prices aren't that bad though.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:04 | Link to Comment moonstears
moonstears's picture

You go there for $3 worth of stuff and come out having spent $30. Like to see what neat chinese crap they have for a $1, though.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:46 | Link to Comment Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

I really like the chinese food products. Where else can you buy pepper that looks like shot peen media?

 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:44 | Link to Comment rguptatx
rguptatx's picture

so bullish? or bullshit?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:46 | Link to Comment RSloane
RSloane's picture

Yes! Its both.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:47 | Link to Comment asdfgt27v
asdfgt27v's picture

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Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:53 | Link to Comment Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

 

 

Je ne comprends pas...

 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 12:14 | Link to Comment Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

...and fuck off

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:54 | Link to Comment GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

The universal language of business is english....learn it chithead.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:11 | Link to Comment lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Hey, don't insult the French. We may need them over here again to fight off the Kingfish.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:24 | Link to Comment MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Judging by more recent history, about the only thing the French are good for is participating in wars and getting our dumb ass to bail them out...  maybe they could at least make us some good pastries...

PS, why lakecity55 instead of 62?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 13:28 | Link to Comment cornflakesdisease
cornflakesdisease's picture

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Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:48 | Link to Comment asdfgt27v
asdfgt27v's picture

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Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:10 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I think what you said was "My wife's sister's brother-in-law earns $85/hour working at home from his computer."

Do I have that about right?  My French is a little rusty.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:26 | Link to Comment Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

I think its a long winded version of him saying that he has a shoe fetish. :-).

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 12:16 | Link to Comment Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

more like a ZH version of setting yourself on fire on the national mall

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:27 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

I might understand it if he prints it again underlined, in all caps, with bold font, and if I read it slowly.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:18 | Link to Comment mvsjcl
mvsjcl's picture

It really DOES read better the second time!!!!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:35 | Link to Comment Oleander
Oleander's picture

Sacre Bleu!!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 12:41 | Link to Comment zuuma
zuuma's picture

asdfgt27v,

ma réflexion n'a rien de condescendante, et ce n'ai pas mon caractere de denigrer l'autre, mais j'ai remarqué que tes poste sont parfois brouillons , confus,surement est-ce du a ton caractère passionnel !!! mais quand un texte est rédigé correctement, cela evite les malentendus, les confusions. Faire un texte simple, concis et claire donne envie, et fait gagné du temps sur le déchiffrage, au profit de la discussion. J'essaie toujours de te lire, mais, et ne le prends pas mal, des fois j'ai du mal a suivre et ta pensée, et ta redaction. ON communique par ecrit, donc soigné la rédaction c'est trés utile pour l'étude, et la discussion!sinon on tombe dans les "discussions du FED"! IL ne s'agit nullement de faire "la leçon" de ma part!!

So fix it!

Ciao

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:50 | Link to Comment Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

Tabernac! 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:54 | Link to Comment NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Maybe the consumer is looking at the news and has shifted away from these retailers and is instead buying beans, rice, bullets, and bunkers...

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:03 | Link to Comment moonstears
moonstears's picture

Dollar tree should be OK, and Mmmmm, Hormel chili.(The "beans" part you mentioned)

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:05 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

GMO Chili makes your mouth water?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 11:13 | Link to Comment tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

Makes your ass water too.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:13 | Link to Comment Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

Dollar Tree is fascinating. Where else can you get a 12oz can of 100% Fat for $1.00?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 13:32 | Link to Comment cornflakesdisease
cornflakesdisease's picture

Oprah's popped pimple?  (and it's free, too)

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:53 | Link to Comment enloe creek
enloe creek's picture

corn chips and bean dip refugees

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:05 | Link to Comment virgilcaine
virgilcaine's picture

Wonder if they have an algo for Boehner's changing skin colors? Lit Orange = Sell? or Kerry's Rubber Mask Face?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:12 | Link to Comment Dubaibanker
Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:15 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

So will the clothing that they sell be made in the US?

De-Globalization my ass. They don't want to invest in the infrastructure to build stores there, because they don't believe the investment will pay off.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:34 | Link to Comment RKDS
RKDS's picture

And yet these "smart" people can't see how the same low returns will follow once western labor is as marginalized as labor in those countries.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:57 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

I believe it was a short term plan, so that the current CEO could cash in right away (bonsues for record profits). The new CEO is the one left holding the bag.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 11:47 | Link to Comment RKDS
RKDS's picture

And that's why I laugh so hard at fools who use "business experience" against political opponents.  This is exactly the kind of thinking those mooks are shouting for and they don't even realize it.  If you think government is a trainwreck now, put another golden parachute looter in the driver's seat.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:46 | Link to Comment Dubaibanker
Dubaibanker's picture

There are 2 things here:

1. Most clothing and retail stuff like toys or electronics etc will continue to be made overseas, for sure. It will move from China/Bangladesh/India to elsewhere such as Mexico, Vietnam or even some come back to the US where costing works out. Many reasons for the same, laws are changing in India and Bangladesh, China is getting expensive, political turmoil at home in US and Europe makes it harder for large corporate CEO's to open new businesses overseas with sales plumetting etc. Weak overseas currencies don't help and neither do suicides in Apple factories in China or rickety buildings falling apart in Bangladesh. 

US and European buyers and all of us ultimately want 'good shit at rock bottom prices' which is what makes these companies go to the developing world in the first place! Who is willing to NOT use mobile phones or laptops OR pay 3 times the price for it?

2. De globalsation is already at work BIG time in all sectors. Partly due to reasons above and partly because of the coming debt tsunami in the years ahead with defaults galore and rising interest rates. Political aims in China and India and across Asia and Latin America ensure that large western corporates indeed build base there but they can't invest much due to problems back home. Interest rates keep rising locally everywhere while - aside from China - currencies keep plunging. All in all, a bad story to sell to shareholders. Large banks like Credit Suisse and Barclays have recently announced major closures globally and Starbucks continues to shrink globally along with Mcdonald's in China. Macy's and Walmart are not the first. Kempinski is leaving India this month as did Thomas Cook last year. In China, BMW was not allowed to expand. In Middle East major banks are leaving. French left the Greek shores like the Russians left the Cypriot shores. De globalisation is not a US perspective alone.

De globalisation is happening globally due to 'self survival' and 'self growth' mode in which all countries/companies find themselves in. Currency wars where all currencies have plunged anywhere from 15% to 50% over the last 3-4 years speak volumes where US and European corporates have lost billions and cannot handle any more losses on their USD/EUR balance sheets. Only companies with lot of cash on their balance sheet will survive the next few years and those busy expanding abroad will go under, with debt burdens. The Bernanke has given sufficient warnings that rates will keep rising so any corporate that does not build up cash reserves NOW (and keeps expanding overseas with debt), can only blame themsleves.

 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:20 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

The beginning of the end of geographic wage arbitrage.  Still plenty of poor workers, but starting to lose rich customers.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:25 | Link to Comment MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

It's just the end of the beginning...  china is outsourcing to X because china is getting too expensive, etc.  From the american perspective, it will only be "the end" when the jobs return here...  I don't see that happening for quite a while, at best.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:38 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

When the US consumer is so poor that the Chinese get a better return by selling to their own.  China only needs to trade with countries that supply it with resources (no I haven't bothered trying to find out which countries are on that list).  When there is no wage arbitrage, US will be forced to produce again.  Just hope that the US manages to hold onto it's knowledge and capital until then.

Many years ago I read an article that claimed that if the rest of the world wanted the same standard of living as the US, then we would need nine planet earths.  If this is true, then things won't quite be the same. 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 14:46 | Link to Comment MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

As if the chinese haven't thought about selling to their own?  It isn't just about money, there are also cultural norms, etc.  I'm not sure any country on earth can be as filled with mindless consumers as america, but maybe that's just my american exceptionalism shining through.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:36 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Well, I would argue to your first point, that while prices would rise for products (if they were made in the US), wages would be able to rise as well (more people working means less people to fill vacant jobs). To what degree wages would rise versus prices rising, I couldn't say. The US consumer has already been gutted. The Heyday for Consumerism has passed. So even if these companies go to Bangladesh, there is no guarantee that US consumers would be able to purchase slightly cheaper electronics. The standard living for the average American is going down, which means the average person will own less iCRAP.

To your second point, I don't understand your definition of globalization. To me, it would seem globalization is the reliance on other countries to provide products and services. To me, moving from China and India to countries with cheaper labor cost is not de globalization. Deglobalization to me, would be if countries started to rely on themselves to produce their own goods and services. Nothing from your post, or anything I have seen leads me to believe that this will occur.

Make no mistake about it, China's laws are to get a larger slice of the pie when it comes to globalization. Whether they want to raise "fees" (which go to communist bureaucrats), or outright deny expansion in the country (don't be shocked if China starts to produce its own brands [oh and don't forget when you produce a product in China you have to provide them with a blueprint]), they are trying to get more out of globalization. Why allow the 1% in the West to gain most of the products when you have the future "consumer base" (look at companies plans back around 2004 until recently) and the infrastructure to do it yourself (thanks dumbass multi-national corporations)?

I don't believe that TPTB are having Ben and many other central banks print money to cheapen their currency to bring production back to their respective countries. They are printing money to prop up a bankrupt banking system. So while they may not want to issue bonds in the future, they could use cash reserves to move their operations to countries offering cheaper production costs and to me that is not deglobalization.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 14:59 | Link to Comment MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

More products being produced in the united states does not necessarily mean that we'll have any material increase in standard of living.  I'll posit that we're slated for a decrease in our standard of living regardless of off-shoring or on-shoring.  If I can sit at home and earn the equivalent of ~$75k, then how the hell is earning $8/hr. at a sweatshop going to benefit me?  Now, if you completely eliminated all government subsidy, then I would say there is a great chance that bringing businesses back to the U.S. would mean an increase in our standard of living, presuming of course that whole pesky capital vs. labor debate manages to even out a bit...  which is unlikely for the foreseeable future as labor has no bargaining position.

A classical economic analysis has nothing to do with the world wide economy at this point...  we're off the map in many respects.  You're probably better off looking at anthropology/sociology than an economics textbook for what's ahead.

PS, people keep asking why china doesn't do everything itself, but then also wonder why china has to steal all its IP...  the reality is that it's incredibly difficult to manufacture local demand when the culture demands something different...

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 11:57 | Link to Comment RKDS
RKDS's picture

Yeah, well, come hell or high water (working hard to save up the capital right now) I will have my projects produced here in the States because it's about damned time somebody actually shows some faith in America instead of just talking about it to score points.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:54 | Link to Comment auntiesocial
auntiesocial's picture

The rising moon faces the sickening sun,
as the lights in the tower blocks go on, one by one,
A big shot, overlooking this black iron skyline--
Surrounded by his symbols of prosperity--
Sits back in his new leather chair
ripped off the back of some unfortunate beast.
I'm smiling through my teeth.
Anybody can be a millionaire,
so everybody's gotta try
but by the laws of this human jungle
only the heartless will survive.
& down there--but for the grace of god
--go I.

The smoke & the steam,
& the broken down dreams,
the hope, & the hunger,
frustration & anger,
the little drunken lives,--
drivin' through the traffic lights
& away from who they are!

But I've been thinking of you--
In this great city of great solitude.

Crossin' the central reservation, of my imagination,
Searchin' for the world I ... left behind.
A shadow hunting shadows of childhood life.
It's all I want--& all I miss--
But how can I return
to a place that don't exist?

from Mombasa to Miami, Beirut to Bangladesh,
I've flown around the world standing
on the wing of a jet.
Tryin' to salvage my emotions
from the bottom of the oceans--

Y'see I sold my soul, to pay for my dinner.
My stomach grew fatter, but my heart grew thinner,
I ain't foolin' I'm fallin', 
I wasn't wicked, just weak,
I ain't lyin' I'm dyin', 
Crippled by deceit--

Oh the hand that wrote the agony
has just begun--
Will be the hand that pulls the trigger
--of this gun!!!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 17:17 | Link to Comment 11b40
11b40's picture

Original work?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:14 | Link to Comment adr
adr's picture

Chico's, William Sonoma, Guess, and Zales aren't exactly mass retail. Thanks to the stock market, the rich can afford better, the middle class doesn't shop there.

Booming business at Dollar Tree can only be seen as bullish by Wall Street investors that don't even know what a Dollar Tree looks like.

How about mass market trends? Oh, those don't get reported because they might break the full retard spike of stocks like Best Buy and Target.

Things like, internal sales figures being down 30% don't really make it out of closed rooms. Nothing is selling without discounts, which means nothing is being bought without hammering for more margin.

Thanks to massive increases in component costs it is becoming impossible to make a profit from selling actual products.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:28 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

The funny thing about the rich is that while they get richer and richer, they tend to spend less as they watch the middle class decline into poverty. So even though their wealth is most likely growing, they get stingy with all their new wealth.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:53 | Link to Comment Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

You may want to revist that idea.

They are spending like drunken sailors in the elite enclaves of south Florida.

Luckily some is coming my way, because my well to do middle/proffesional  class customers are

becoming very budget consious.

Same turnover different clients.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:33 | Link to Comment MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Isn't this the inevitable conclusion to any glorified middle man?  Isn't this what competition necessarily entails?  For an incredible amount of products, the manufacturers can market directly to the end user.  For an incredible amount of products, the world has already produced so many, that they can be found at second hand stores or otherwise on the used market for significant discounts.  For an incredible amount of products, the manufacturer not only had to manufacture the product, but manufacture demand for the product because it is so far from a "need." 

Every retailer has to do what walmart is doing...  cram down costs as much as you can on the manufacturer and then do your best to obfuscate decreases in quality/quantity to the consumer.  This plan, like the virtual entirety of all plans at the moment, only buys us more time...  and has a limited lifespan.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:38 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

I agree withthe first half of your statement.

I will say that part of why Bernanke is printing is to help create artificial demand (through more credit bubbles) is that the economy is so gutted that there is nothing else to do.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 14:29 | Link to Comment scraping_by
scraping_by's picture

Save that most of Ben's Largess stays with financial operators. That trickle down is, in the management textbooks, called 'waste' 'nonproductive spend' and 'savings opportunities.'

A lot of older folks are flush with money from selling the family house. The hedge funds expanded their REO to rent model to buying houses on the normal residential market. The seminar monkeys chimed in with Fed money (by way of mortgages from banks financed by MBS bought with Fed printing) chanting flip-dat-house and following the landlord plan.

While to the buyers it's debt, to the sellers it's cash in hand. So, there's going to be some of that money making its way to Wally. But not much.

 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 14:16 | Link to Comment auntiesocial
auntiesocial's picture

usd reaches the point of no return and then ask the world for forgiveness and a "do over" button. 

think about that for a minute. when the dollar is devalued to the point of no return...

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 09:15 | Link to Comment geno-econ
geno-econ's picture

What, no quote from retail industry expert Davidowitz ? Of coarse you would need a language interpreter, but no doubt he would have the same comments on overall weakness. Another sector showing first signs of weakness is auto sales with a bloated supply chain fed by sub prime loans. Certainly seems a perfect consumer storm is gathering that will spill over onto entire global economy during and after Holiday season.
Big Ben is watching clock tick until end of January when he retires and it becomes Yellin's problem. In meantime Ben will keep purchasing $85 billion monthly and jawbone in attempt to keep stock market buoyant. Early 2014--- KA KA BOOM

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:26 | Link to Comment Zombie_Economics
Zombie_Economics's picture

As you read through the quotes, you'll finally get to the Dollar Tree, er, I mean China Tree.  Looks like the only one still kicking ass is the China Tree and it's cheap, low quality, single use junk shop products, free lead and "mystery" toxins with every purchase!  You like free round-eye?

So, the commies are still getting paid while the fascists have been sucking wind up their bored out assholes.  Isn't the slow disassembling of the Western world a fun show?  Next stop, Third World status.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 13:49 | Link to Comment Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

How many shiny trinkets did the Indians trade for Manhatten again? I wonder if there are any living relatives of those Indians still alive and holding their box of "treasure" waiting for the market to return so they can get their island back?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:43 | Link to Comment Bob Sacamano
Bob Sacamano's picture

Let's go to quarterly data releases -- all on the same day.  It would reduce the short term trading focus and put a dent in CNBC. 

 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 13:44 | Link to Comment Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

But economic data is the fertilizer that keeps them growing. A little here and a little there. If you dumped it all in one place at the same time it would just make a rotting heap of dung.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 11:49 | Link to Comment Trimmed Hedge
Trimmed Hedge's picture

By this point, they'd be better off shutting down the US stores & focusing solely on India & China...

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