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20 Stunning Facts On The US Retail Apocalypse

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

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 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...

#1 As you read this article, approximately a billion square feet of retail space is sitting vacant in the United States.

#2 Last week, Radio Shack announced that it was going to close more than a thousand stores.

#3 Last week, Staples announced that it was going to close 225 stores.

#4 Same-store sales at Office Depot have declined for 13 quarters in a row.

#5 J.C. Penney has been dying for years, and it recently announced plans to close 33 more stores.

#6 J.C. Penney lost 586 million dollars during the second quarter of 2013 alone.

#7 Sears has closed about 300 stores since 2010, and CNN is reporting that Sears is "expected to shutter another 500 Sears and Kmart locations soon".

#8 Overall, sales numbers have declined at Sears for 27 quarters in a row.

#9 Target has announced that it is going to eliminate 475 jobs and not fill 700 positions that are currently empty.

#10 It is being projected that Aéropostale will close about 175 stores over the next couple of years.

#11 Macy's has announced that it is going to be closing five stores and eliminating 2,500 jobs.

#12 The Children’s Place has announced that it will be closing down 125 of its "weakest" stores by 2016.

#13 Best Buy recently shut down about 50 stores up in Canada.

#14 Video rental giant Blockbuster has completely shut down all of their stores.

#15 It is being projected that sales at U.S. supermarkets will decline by 1.7 percent this year even as the overall population continues to grow.

#16 McDonald's has reported that sales at established U.S. locations were down 3.3 percent in January.

#17 A home appliance chain known as "American TV" in the Midwest is going to be shutting down all 11 stores.

#18 Even Wal-Mart is struggling right now.  Just check out what one very prominent Wal-Mart executive recently admitted...

David Cheesewright, CEO of Walmart International was speaking at the same presentation, and he pointed out that Walmart would try to protect its market share in the US – where the company had just issued an earnings warning. But most of the growth would have to come from its units outside the US. I mean, via these share buybacks?


Alas, outside the US too, economies were limping along at best, and consumers were struggling and the operating environment was tough. "We're seeing economies under stress pretty much everywhere we operate," Cheesewright admitted.

#19 In a recent CNBC article entitled "Time to close Wal-Mart stores? Analysts think so", it was recommended that Wal-Mart should close approximately 100 "underperforming" supercenters in rural locations across America.

#20 Retail consultant Howard Davidowitz is projecting that up to half of all shopping malls in America may shut down within the next 15 to 20 years...

Within 15 to 20 years, retail consultant Howard Davidowitz expects as many as half of America's shopping malls to fail. He predicts that only upscale shopping centers with anchors like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus will survive.

So is there any hope that things will turn around?

Well, if the U.S. economy started producing large numbers of good paying middle class jobs there would definitely be cause for optimism.

Unfortunately, that is just not happening.

On Friday, we were told that the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs during the month of February.

That sounds pretty good until you realize that it takes almost that many jobs each month just to keep up with population growth.

And according to CNS News, the number of unemployed Americans actually grew faster than the number of employed Americans in February...

The number of unemployed individuals 16 years and over increased by 223,000 in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).


In February, there were 10,459,000 unemployed individuals age 16 and over, which was up 223,000 from January, when there were 10,236,000 unemployed individuals.

Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate continues to sit at a 35 year low, and a staggering 70 percent of all Americans not in the labor force are below the age of 55.

That is outrageous.

And things look particularly depressing when you look at the labor force participation rate for men by themselves.

In 1950, the labor force participation rate for men was sitting at about 87 percent.  Today, it has dropped beneath 70 percent to a brand new all-time record low.

The truth is that there simply are not enough jobs for everyone anymore.

The chart posted below shows how the percentage of working age Americans that actually have a job has changed since the turn of the millennium.  As you can see, the employment-population ratio declined precipitously during the last recession, and it has stayed below 59 percent since late 2009...

Employment Population Ratio 2014

If we were going to have a "recovery", we should have had one by now.

Since there are not enough jobs, what is happening is that more highly educated workers are taking the jobs that were once occupied by less educated workers and bumping them out of the labor force entirely.  The following is an excerpt from a recent Bloomberg article...

Recent college graduates are ending up in more low-wage and part-time positions as it's become harder to find education-level appropriate jobs, according to a January study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.


The share of Americans ages 22 to 27 with at least a bachelor's degree in jobs that don't require that level of education was 44 percent in 2012, up from 34 percent in 2001, the study found.

Due to the fact that there are not enough middle class jobs to go around, the middle class has been steadily shrinking.

In 2008, 53 percent of all Americans considered themselves to be "middle class".  Today, only 44 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be "middle class".

That is a pretty significant shift in just six years, don't you think?

For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled "28 Signs That The Middle Class Is Heading Toward Extinction".

Despite what the politicians and the mainstream media are telling you, the truth is that something is fundamentally wrong with our economy.

On a gut level, most people realize this.

According to one recent survey, only 35 percent of all Americans say that they are better off financially than they were a year ago.  And according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, only 28 percent of all Americans believe that this country is moving in the right direction.

The frightening thing is that this is about as good as things are going to get.  The next great wave of the economic collapse is approaching, and when it strikes the plight of the middle class is going to get a whole lot worse.


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Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:06 | 4532715 Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture

People just don't have any money left. My ebay account proves this.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:10 | 4532730 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Don't worry fracking will save us all.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:18 | 4532747 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Better than fracking, there are Dollar Stores (in their many permutations) opening up all over the place.  Retailing isn't dying, it's mererly being downsized to match the economy.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:20 | 4532753 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Then to scale things correctly we can expect a -89% GDP print pretty soon.


Nope. No sarc tag.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 06:03 | 4533735 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



I'll take kill Obamacare for a $1000 Alex.


Turns out people with 40 hr/week jobs have more money to spend.


Also.....let the global warming crap go as well.....cause that ain't helping either.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:37 | 4532827 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Those things are popping up faster than zits on a teenager around here.  Haven't been in one but it makes you wonder just what kind of cheap-Chinese crap you can get for a devalued dollar these days.  With China imploding and the dollar continuing to be printed at the rate of $1T a year, I suppose you'll be able to by a 5 pack of toothpicks or paper plates soon.  Maybe even a whole book of matches...

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:46 | 4532879 SF beatnik
SF beatnik's picture

Time for the TWO dollar store, because the dollar store merchandise is becoming unacceptably junky - to say nothing of the smaller packages of some items sold.



Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:51 | 4532908 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

You clearly need to have your expectations managed further in the right direction, you first-world grandee!

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:00 | 4532947 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

Walmart killed their own brand when they decided to go after the EBT money.   Stores are full of degenerates now.  I mean even worse than before.  See the people of Walmart site.

Many women are afraid or ashamed to go to Walmart now.   

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:28 | 4533050 Freddie
Freddie's picture

EBT is practically the majority of their business now.  It is like a third world hell hole.  I avoid WMT like the plague.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:05 | 4533172 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

If you haven't noticed yet, take a look at "party stores," "convenience stores" and "liquor stores" in working class and even [former] "middle class" neighborhoods, where cigarettes are sold by 5 packs & even as single items, where the same is true of basic staples - milk, bread, etc. are being sold in mini packs since people can't afford to buy entire loaves of bread or gallons of milk at one time.

Even the dollar stores are essentially doing the "bodega" style thing, selling one liters of soda, odd ounce count containers if juice and dairy products, etc. all to match the ever shrinking disposable income of the continuously shrinking middle class.

I have a client who owns one of the largest regional distributorships for major brand beer, soda and refrigerated products, and he told me over drinks at a barbeque at his house three summers ago that no matter what the MSM headlines declared, his operations showed a clear trend of Mexican style bodega packaging of all products (i.e. smaller sizes and reduced quantities/product count compared to the past), and this would be an you unstoppable, permanent trend.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:07 | 4533180 Shocker
Shocker's picture

RadioShack, Staples, Sbarro Pizza, and this is just in the last week. Thousands of stores

Great recovery

Job Situation;


Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:37 | 4533293 National Blessing
National Blessing's picture

Retail apocalypse?  Every time I go out, people are shopping like crazy.  Bitches.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 00:07 | 4533509 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Hallmark of any third world nation is cigarette singles sold at local corner shacks. Welcome to the future bitchez.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 00:17 | 4533518 Sock Monkey Posse
Sock Monkey Posse's picture

That's been the norm in my 'hood for 30 years.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 06:11 | 4533739 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Cigarette singles......another European fad about to hit America.


Followed closely by a VAT tax.....blame it on Bush.


So when are the new Obamaphone upgrades going to be sent out again?

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 10:02 | 4534086 General Decline
General Decline's picture

I've recently noticed more stores selling single cans of beer as well.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:26 | 4533245 MarsInScorpio
MarsInScorpio's picture

WalMart has apparently decided on a"WalMart" lite approach to competing with Dollar Stores and such.


They are called"WalMart Neighborhood Market" and instead of the familiar blue logo color, they are using a bright lime green and yellow color scheme.


The one I saw was in west Mobile, AL, on Airport Blvd along a renovated multi -mile strip of previously older retail stores and strip centers.


I've never heard of"WalMart Neighborhood Market" before. It is a very downsized operation from their Super Centers.


Obviously WalMart is well aware of the New Normal, and is already implementing a move to reattract higher income customers.


Don't be a dummy and write off the world's largest retailer; it takes years to design all the interlinked components for such a radical change in direction.


They quit buying the Obama Big Lie, the FED's Big Lie, and Bull's Big Lie years ago. Too bad the rest of the world is so far behind facing the truth WalMart has long admitted.



Tue, 03/11/2014 - 00:38 | 4533546 Serenity Now
Serenity Now's picture

I haven't heard of the Walmart Neighborhood Market, but the Walmarts where I lived "downsized" a few years ago by widening the aisles, lowering the shelves and making them less deep, then turning 1/4 of the store into groceries.  I estimate that 1/3 of the store merchandise is gone.  Then Target did the same thing.  I saw the writing on the retail wall a long time ago.  

Costco will be the last store standing.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 04:28 | 4533705 RabbitChow
RabbitChow's picture

just like in the movie Idiocracy. are we there yet?

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 02:23 | 4533641 Freddie
Freddie's picture

I hear part of the WMT klan will be backing Hillary.  I think the Walton sister.  F them.  I hope Aldi/Trader Joes kicks their arse.

Did the Walton's support the Clintons back in Ark?

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 07:46 | 4533826 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

Hillary was on WMT's Board of Directors for six years, when she was First Lady of Arkansas.



... According to the New York Times, Sen. Clinton "maintains close ties to Wal-Mart executives through the Democratic Party and the tightly knit Arkansas business community." The May 20, 2007 article also reported that her husband, former President Clinton, "speaks frequently to Wal-Mart's current chief executive, H. Lee Scott Jr." and held a private dinner at the Clinton's New York home in July 2006 for him.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 07:54 | 4533835 SocDoc
SocDoc's picture

The first WalMart Neighborhood Market I saw was in Indiana circa 2005. So they've been thinking about it a while.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 00:32 | 4533540 TheRideNeverEnds
TheRideNeverEnds's picture

Welcome to Obamas America.


Lucky you get to keep ANY of your salary, you didn't earn that, somebody else made that happen!! 

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 00:51 | 4533569 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

courtesy of jesse and truthout, best short summary of obama i have seen:

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 06:15 | 4533746 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



The next 3 years of the Obama Presidency will be an all out ad campaign of how it seemed his first 5 years sucked....but not really....and here's why,

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 15:12 | 4535318 MTAR
MTAR's picture

 Maybe Walmart sees the writing on the wall and know what future customers will look like? Walmart targeting the lowest fiscal demographic will give them a leading edge in pre/mid financial meltdown. I too avoid walmart!! 

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:21 | 4533228 Amish Hacker
Amish Hacker's picture

A TWO dollar store? Who could afford it?

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 02:27 | 4533643 capitallosses
capitallosses's picture

I thought Trader Joes dominated the $2 market years ago with "two buck Chuck".

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 04:31 | 4533711 RabbitChow
RabbitChow's picture

i was there this past weekend. its been three buck chuck for years now. bottling costs much more tthese days.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:59 | 4532935 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

You can buy good stuff in ours, like 4 potato chips or 6 milk duds.

Actually it's fun.  The 99 cent store has reading glasses, denture cleansers, pregnancy and pot test kits.  You can learn a lot about Merica in a dollar store;)

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 01:00 | 4533580 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

I dont no Y folks knock the $ Store. I bought all my Christmas gifts for my Mother-in-Law there last year.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 00:19 | 4533522 Greenskeeper_Carl
Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

You would actually be pretty surprised. Went in there to buy paper plates and cups one time, ended up spending about 20$ on random shit. They have OTC heartburn pills there for a dollar for 8 pills, I swear it works just as good as Zantac. I take one about once a week. Also, the dish washer detergent works as good or better than the shit you pay 5 or 6 dollars for a t publix. I used to be embarrassed about going in them, just because it used to be the dregs of society in them, but this one really isn't bad. I am lucky in that I have a decent paying job, but why spend 4 or 5 times as much when it's probably all the same shit anyway

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:39 | 4532845 Bunker Boy
Bunker Boy's picture

Yes the economy is on the verge of tanking. Yes good jobs are very difficult to get. The job I now have there were 400 applicants for. However, things won't get truly terrible until food stamps and unemployment benefits are cut off. The end will then come in a matter of days or a few weeks after that event.

This article is a bit misleading in that retailers are simply retooling to match the poor current economic environment. But we haven't seen anything yet.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:36 | 4533067 nightshiftsucks
nightshiftsucks's picture

"However, things won't get truly terrible until food stamps and unemployment benefits are cut off. The end will then come in a matter of days or a few weeks after that event" And thats why they will print to the bitter end. Dow 100000 ?

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:04 | 4533168 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

"Yes the economy is on the verge of tanking. Yes good jobs are very difficult to get. The job I now have there were 400 applicants for. However, things won't get truly terrible until food stamps and unemployment benefits are cut off. The end will then come in a matter of days or a few weeks after that event."


Optimist.   We're 3 missed meals away from mass rioting.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 23:01 | 4533355 Abi Normal
Abi Normal's picture

I believe it is '9 meals from anarchy'...the average pantry has that many meals in it...just sayin'

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 23:23 | 4533418 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

If SNAP/EBT Cards were shut off for 72 hours or more, there'd be true RIOTS & MASS, MOB VIOLENCE in the USSA.

In fact, if SNAP/EBT Cards were shut off for a month, the Army National Guard, with armored vehicles & attack helicopters, would be required to suppress the mob violence, looting & mass arson.

Does anyone doubt this?

If not, what does this tell you about the "state of the union?"

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 23:30 | 4533436 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

There's a reason for Homeland Security buying all that ammo and FEMA preparing so many 'evacuation' camp sites.

OF COURSE TPTB know what can happen - they were told this would happen if they didn't pass TARP and are scared to death

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:43 | 4533090 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

It is so strange isn't it?  You can see the problem.  You understand they are all victims.  Still, you cannot do what is necessary to free them because they are dependent on their chains and will fight you for them.  They are too many and you cannot win.  The only real solution is for the system to collapse.  Such an event would break their chains but that will probably lead to a very horrible reality for everyone. 

It's like your car died on the RR tracks and you can't get out.  The train is bearing down on you and there are 165M people strapped to the front.  Sigh.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 01:03 | 4533583 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

I hear ya Bunker. There were 365 applicants for 4 positions in my company last month. The HR lady told me most had top grades from good schools. The company had to form a "committee" to select from the cream of the crop. If I had to apply now I'd be scared sheisless.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 07:24 | 4533805 fattail
fattail's picture

Warm body hire here.  Lucky for me I had very specific skills when they were desperate.   All my young co-workers beat my gpa by half a point.  We had 14 4.0s apply to be summer intern.  I don't know how many others with a lower gpa didn't even get a look.  It's tough out there.  Who do you know?  Is more important.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 08:30 | 4533891 CoastalCowboy
CoastalCowboy's picture

Wow, nearly a 100:1 ratio now that's what I call green shoots. 

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:38 | 4533074 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Don't forget the "Cash for GOLD" signs that are becoming more common all the time. 

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 08:34 | 4533902 CoastalCowboy
CoastalCowboy's picture

I've always thought those "Cash for Gold" places would be a great spots for criminals to hang out and wait for victims.  They could rob them coming or going.  When you live in my city, you have to learn to think that way.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 08:25 | 4533879 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

I mentioned this to my brother on a trip and it was like the scales fell from his eyes.

He and his wife are childless and have earned mid to low 6 figures for years. He never has to shop at Walmart and when I mentioned Walmart is dying and is being succeeded by the dollar stores, he suddenly started seeing them and literally said, "Holy sh1t, these fuc3ing stores are everywhere!"

If he, an upper middle class skeptic, is so unaware of things on the street, bet your bottom dollar that the people at the top have not a clue in the world. We really are approaching a "let them eat cake" moment.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 14:29 | 4535098 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

Negative, sonny, your brother is sooo far removed from the top, he is as clueless as you appear to be.

The elites know EXACTLY what is transpiring, as they engineered it.

Why do you think that the number one landlord in the USA today is the Blackstone Group, kiddo?

Because they, along with the others, helped bring about the global economic meltdown, and now they buy up everything at bargain basement prices, just like they did during the Great Depression, after the Mellon-Morgan-Rockefeller-Harriman-duPont engineered Great Crash of 1929!

The Blackstone Group --- not coincidentally --- was one of the three business entities which profited directly from the horrible events of 9/11/01 (the other two being AIG and Veritas Capital).

There are no coincidences. . . .

Catch a clue!

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:01 | 4532953 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

We're fracked!

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 14:26 | 4535085 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

That is (fracking will save us) what the pundits say, after all?

Seriously, though, even CNN (about 7 or 8 months ago) finally reported the latest stats from the Census Bureau that one out of every two Americans rates as poor.

That ain't indicative of any middle class, chums!

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:13 | 4532732 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Firstly, I would never open a US small business (red-tape, lawsuit threats, etc.).  And (secondly) especially not retail stores or restaurants.

Our business here in Peru is doing just fine though.


Could better governance in Peru be possible now than in the USA?  Wow, just thinking about that makes me kind of sad...

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:34 | 4532811 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

They have bearing retail stores in Peru?  Sweet.  I need an inch-bearing (non-metric) of a particular size for the mowing deck of my 72 Bolens Husky 1256 Hydrostatic lawn tractor.  You have that on the shelf?


Better governance in Peru?  Doubtful.  LESS governance, though, is the same as better.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:51 | 4532905 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Next time buy a Korean tractor, and we´ll more likely be more able to help, smile,,,

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:24 | 4533240 infinity8
infinity8's picture

Can't wait for full-on mowing season. Last year, a good friend's neighbor bought a big riding mower. I was over there and this guy was trying to do his back property and obviously didn;t know how to drive/steer the thing and it was like he was chasing his tail trying to get the last spot in the middle. We ended up inside watching thru a window laughing our asses off. Week or 2 later I was over and we were going to grill. Out back and here he emerges on the rider.  Comes over and is all " you gotta drive this! it's like a go-cart!" We looked at each other and I said "who wants a beer?" so I could go inside and commence to laugh my ass off. Grabbed a beer and a window seat while my buddy hotdogged around his property for a few showing by example how to fucking do it. Dumb ass got back on and still couldn't figure it out.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 00:32 | 4533539 infinity8
infinity8's picture

Meh. Start with a vespa or something. Or, just don't be afraid of losing your man-card by asking for a little advice instead of being a dooooosh. There's friendly, happy people out there - that might give you a beer AND help you out at the same time. Don't try to Tom Sawyer Tom Sawyer, for fuck's sake.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:40 | 4532852 MrButtoMcFarty
MrButtoMcFarty's picture

Generalize much?

I'm glad your business is doing well....but making blanket statements about subjects as broad as "US small business" is rather silly.

Governance? I start with the premise that all politicians are lying sociopathic fucks. The rest is math.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:49 | 4532897 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Of course I was overgeneralizing.  It is almost impossible for non-experts (with good statistics) to keep abreast of "US small business".

I wrote that partly due to my own experiences in opening small businesses (two by myself, one with two partners).  All three failed.  And this was a long time ago, when the legal environment was a little lighter and .gov compliance was easier.

It looks to me like only someone with a very valuable skill-set (or product range) could have much luck in today´s US retail environment.


"Governance" of course was irony.  There is more than enough corruption in Peru.  But, Peru may be cleaning its act up somewhat, but I think almost everyone here would agree that is not the case in the USA.  Relatively speaking, Peru is trending better than the USA is.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:18 | 4533018 indygo55
indygo55's picture

We are a manufacturer of precision custom and standard tooling and we are balls to the walls busy. We are on the DOD quarterly questionarre for strategic companies because everything requires tooling in one way or another. Peru is one of the few places we do not ship too so I was wondering if you guys have any demand for metal (steel, aluminum, etc.) machining and manufacturing support. Been thinking about Peru for a while. Got a friend who says its a great place to be.  

Hey sooner or later someone somewhere has to actually make something instead of pushing paper and keyboards all day long.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:19 | 4533023 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Any chance we could ship that billion square feet of retail space to China?  


Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:42 | 4533088 epicurious
epicurious's picture

You're kidding of course!  Wandering around China my wife and I went into many giant malls with no customers at all!  Totally empty!

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:58 | 4533135 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

So.  They wouldn't notice some extra.


Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:15 | 4533209 Freddie
Freddie's picture

China has their own ghost malls.  Maybe we can send them some Trayvons to occupt them.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 04:24 | 4533704 Independent
Independent's picture

How did you end up in Peru DoChen you are an American guy, and well there are so many other Latin countries closer to us?

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:14 | 4533004 infinity8
infinity8's picture

A strange thing happened to me this year. I'm getting a (small) tax refund from the state. That has never happened, EVER. I always owe. This sounds like good news but is really just proof that I'm just one more broke-ass crackah.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:53 | 4533332 Freddie
Freddie's picture

The Wal Mart klan is lining up behind Hillary.  Like it matters.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 23:55 | 4533485 StupidEarthlings
StupidEarthlings's picture

Okay..the answer is soooo frigin clear..yet we all want to just post clever retorts on some website (of which we mostly agree on )


We know what the problems are..we mostly agree.  The low info voters are the ones that need to be reached. 


Can somebody please point the low info crowd.. (in FCkn laymans terms) to what is really going on?..

I cant do it.

Every time I start trying to explain. .I get a deer in the headlights look.



Somebody MUST break all this sht down so the common folk can get it.?!


THAT is the only prob IMO. Some of us get it..some dont. 


WHO can break this all down for the sime folks?


If we can do this..we will win. Its a game of knowledge all know im sure u tried to explain actual facts to somone who is just..well just a "normal person" 


Help me find the way..Please. 




Tue, 03/11/2014 - 10:19 | 4534125 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

They (common folk) don't want to understand.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:11 | 4532729 chemystical
chemystical's picture

"That means that the amount of disposable income that average Americans have continues to shrink, and that is really bad news for retailers."

...and it's not really bad news for the average American??

Lagging indicators versus leading indicators.


Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:12 | 4532734 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

We don't call them "average Americans" anymore. They are called "consumers".

Consumers are having a really hard time.

Nobody knows anything about what is happening to Americans. Those might even be extinct. Regardless I don't think anyone cares.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:21 | 4532758 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

I was often reminded by my friends from south of the Rio Grande that they too are Americans.  At the time I took that to mean that they, as Central and South Americans, resented our use of American as excluding them ... now I realise they really meant that they were planning on joining us.  What is happening to Americans?  They're allowing themselves to be dumbed down to second or third world status.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:26 | 4532778 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Please do not imply that the dumbing down had anything to do with illegal immigartion or any permutation of that. Whatever your stand on the topic, those people didn't do anything to the nation America.

What was done, we did to ourselves. Fat and lazy, over entertained, distracted, advantaged and exceptional, over medicated, welfare-dependent. Any of those in any combination.

We did it to ourselves. Because there was money to be made, so someone did it to us and we let them.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:35 | 4532818 balanced
balanced's picture

Why aren't you doing something?!

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:40 | 4532854 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Oh I am very busy doing something. In fact doing something occupies nearly all of my time and creativity. It is the work of the moment, the only work that matters, and I enjoy it immensely. We'll see later if I've done enough, and enough of the right kinds of things, and in a way that will matter.

But I did what I could and even if it was not enough I will become happy dust for my efforts.

Can't ask for anything more than that.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:56 | 4532921 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

I used to hear, "Love it or leave it."  I never thought i would have to make that choice.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:59 | 4532939 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

It's worse than that.

It's nobody's fault.

Oil scarcity drives the deflation engine.  Lubrication for that engine comes from automation.  The lower IQ folks have had their jobs automated away, and the real problem is they can't get the jobs building the machines that eliminated them.  55 year olds of whatever IQ don't become computer science majors.

They do what they must.  They go on govt benefits.  And they stay there.  The rest of the workforce has to pay for them.

Forever.  There is no fix for this.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:21 | 4533029 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

There is a fix.  Bring the jobs back from China.


Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:22 | 4533038 MrButtoMcFarty
MrButtoMcFarty's picture


It really isn't brain surgery. It's just hard work.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:21 | 4533032 MrButtoMcFarty
MrButtoMcFarty's picture


Eeyore....the generalization machine.


Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:33 | 4533275 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Yeah, Mexicans are funny. If you call their language "Mexican" they get upset. However, if you say that you are American, they get upset.

To learn Mexican properly, one has to find books that are not oriented toward Spain, Spanish (Castilian) so why not "Mexican?!" I know that I speak English, but I don't get upset when someone says "American" in reference to my dialect. I understand that the English dialect that I speak is obviously a bit different than what they speak over in the UK. No problem. It's all good.

And I am American not US or United Statesian anymore than they are United Mexican Statesians. They will just have to go back to the founding fathers, the Conquistadors or something and take it up with them, but I am American. If they want to be Latin-American, Mesoamerican, etc., part of the bigger Pan-America, knock yourselves out.

Sorry, you are Mexican and you speak Mexican. I am American and I speak English or American or Ebonics when I am drunk.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:10 | 4532731 Carl Popper
Carl Popper's picture

We have about ten years of demand pulled forward in terms of storage rental units and junked up houses filled to the brim with redundant items.  


Resale shops pawn shops, craigslist, free cycle, classified ads  and garage and estate sales are big business now.  Many of us middle class and higher are now happily shopping at resale shops for everything, even artwork and furniture.


You are a fool if you buy a new pool table when you can get "as new" for half price.  


This is killing retail. 

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:15 | 4532741 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I think it was James Kunstler called it garage sale America.

Add to that the copper strippers plundering the power grid and you have all that remains of the once mighty US economy.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:23 | 4532765 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

What amazes me in watching US TV being exported these days is that everyone in the US seems to think they are going to get rich buying other peoples' crap.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:28 | 4532785 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

That is the happy, stupid face of delusion.

All the little children will be wearing it as a mask next Halloween.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:39 | 4532847 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

It's called picking the bones of the dead carcass.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:16 | 4532743 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Yet the "Cash-4-Gold" places are dying...  Why?  Many Americans have sold off their gold.

Something wicked this way comes.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:03 | 4533160 seek
seek's picture

Only strong hands remain.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 15:55 | 4535506 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

I sold some big gold chains I'm now too old to wear. Bought 'em 12 years ago. Nice profit.

The other stuff I lost in a boating accident.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:20 | 4532754 Ban KKiller
Ban KKiller's picture

EXACTLY! Add in a few of us that no longer go to restaurants as we did before. If we do go it is NOT for fast "food". EVER.

We buy and sell into the used market for financial reasons but...ethically it makes sense too. I like being an anti consumer...sort of off the books. AKA, the dreaded "GREY" market of peer to peer. Yeah!

Now, if we can get the PUBLIC bank model off the ground....the banksters will be truly fucked. 

I do not own a nail gun. 

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:40 | 4532856 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

<----- You can borrow mine.  Just give it back when you're done, OK.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:16 | 4533009 Ban KKiller
Ban KKiller's picture

Yes. After I nail myself say, five times, I will put the nail gun in a package, address it, go to Fed-X come home and expire.

I may take a plunge if I have time. 

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:28 | 4532786 1fortheroad
1fortheroad's picture

I hear you bro!


One mans junk is another mans treasure!

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 05:01 | 4533051 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

Dumpster diving, bitchez!

You would be amazed what the Dumpster Gods have given me:  Morphine, oxycontin, at least $600 worth of booze, a salvageable computer, thousands of dollars of food, a chest freezer, a broken but possibly salvageable gun safe, a surfboard, a big stack of medical books, water tanks + pipes for a rain cachement system, heaps of building supplies and scrap metal.  Didn't feed the Beast with any of it.  The Dumpster Gods hate TPTP as much as we do, and the enemy of their enemy is their friend!

Here are a few tips.  I haven't had to resort to these but I hear they work:

If you absolutely must have the iCrap 3, go to some stores that sell it and ask when they will get the iCrap 4.  That same night, you might find the display iCrap 3 in the dumpster, minus its packaging which the clerks probably lost.

If you are hopelessly addicted to Twinkies, find a supermarket (preferrably Wal-Mart) with an accessible dumpster, then go and damage the packaging on a bunch of Twinkies.  They are legally required to throw them out.  Enjoy!

Try googling for dumpster diving websites in your area.  Join a group of Freegans on  Find your nearest Food Not Bombs.

If you know someone who works in a store, you could get a dumpster key which opens hundreds of dumpsters.  You will know which ones because they will have the same company name on them.  You might get really lucky and find a key in a locked dumpster.  Best to copy the key with a file and get it back the same night. 

Hang around universities around graduation time.

Hold a bake sale or sausage sizzle to benefit Mothers Against Welfare Reductions (MAWR) or Liberals for Food and Agriculture "Safety" Controls Intended to Support Monsanto (LiberalFASCISM).  "Please think of the children while you eat my deliciously overpriced sausage that is fresh from the dumpster!"

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:11 | 4532733 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

I'm betting on a roaring recovery!

Any of you high-net-worth investors out there willing to get in on the biggest play to capture the return of the American consumer?

I plan to raise enough capital to purchase all outstanding shares of Radio Shack, J.C. Penny's and Sears Holdings to form one-stop megaplex shopping centers!  The CRE is certainly out there to support this, and at the right price too!

In the back will be a food court replete with Sbarro's and Quiznos.

Gotta hurry though, Big Lots goons are already starting to pick over the JCP inventory!

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:33 | 4532806 stormsailor
stormsailor's picture

whatever will you do with the rest of your dollar?

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:48 | 4532894 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"whatever will you do with the rest of your dollar?"

Buy Staples?  I hear it's pretty easy.......

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:08 | 4532978 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

I'm taking some empty beer cans down to the recycle yard.  I can chip in half for those shares.....

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:13 | 4532737 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

This has got to be the longest running apocalypse without an apocalypse in modern history........

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:17 | 4532748 El Hosel
El Hosel's picture

Why?..... The 99% shop at Ross Amazon Ebay and the liquor store, Bitchez.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:18 | 4532750 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Since when was 5 years a long time? I might even allow, it's been 25 years.

Either way still just a blink of the eye of history. You gotta wrap yourself around the magnitude of what is going down. You do not unplug 300 years of roaring growth in less time than we have seen pass. Though I do get the feeling that the metal is about to fly as this thing tears itself into pieces.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:27 | 4532779 Jreb
Jreb's picture

Spidy senses have been going wild lately. Something big is afoot me thinks.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:31 | 4532799 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

And it is going to be glorious.

Bloody and stupid and evil and sad and tragic and yet glorious because it is always memorable when we end any of the great ages of man.

Suck it up. Pay attention. Bask in the glory of the radiant explosion of all this blazing greatness.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:20 | 4532752 Tasty Sandwich
Tasty Sandwich's picture

How did you go bankrupt?

Two ways.  Gradually, then suddenly.


I admit that I underestimated the power of the printing press though.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:23 | 4532764 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

They bought a few years of pretend, for a very small group of people, at a truely astronomical price to everyone else.

That's kind of easy to do, when you think about it. I think a trained monkey could have done that.

The trick was convincing the American public that this was a great idea.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:37 | 4532825 Tasty Sandwich
Tasty Sandwich's picture

It wasn't a great idea.

It was the only option.

At the time I vehemently opposed the bailouts, TARP, etc.

Once I began to see the US as an empire, understand the dollar's role in international trade, and, most importantly, began to understand peak oil and the petrodollar system, I changed my mind.

Buying time is all that matters because there is no solution.

Complete collapse now or complete collapse later.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:42 | 4532864 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

... said one Roman citizen to another in the year 470 AD.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:48 | 4532889 Tasty Sandwich
Tasty Sandwich's picture

History repeats, or at least rhymes - I agree.

Romans hadn't figured out how to use oil though.

That's what makes our time unique.

The Oil Age is a small dot on the very short line of human existence.

Human beings have a short-term view because they don't actually live very long.  Delaying pain is the name of the game - always has been and always will be.  Of course, that ultimately results in a day of reckoning involving much greater pain.

But, in the long run we're all dead...

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:00 | 4532945 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Try 409 ad, just before the infamous sacking.  Up to that point, the Romans seemed to believe that importing cheap, unskilled labour was their salvation from a tax base that was declining due to a declining marginal utility to produce.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 16:04 | 4535542 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Didn't Constantine pass the DREAM Act?

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:21 | 4532755 chemystical
chemystical's picture

#2 Last week, Radio Shack announced that it was going to close more than a thousand stores.

Pathetic business clinging to the 60's.  Good riddance.

#3 Last week, Staples announced that it was going to close 225 stores.

Walk into any Staples for the last 5+ years.  Even at Christmas they're a ghost town, yet they remained open.  I'd wager that most of their sales were deliveries to of office supplies to local businesses.  Our Staples truck stops by at least once/wk.  That being the case those retail stores (located amongst pricey commercial real estate) are essentially distribution centers, and as such would be better served by following the model of Amazon and others.

#14 Video rental giant Blockbuster has completely shut down all of their stores.

Geez, there's a shock.  No one saw that coming.  I thought that hard copy media would go on forever (sarc), and that it could never be replaced by $7.99/month Netflix. (double sarc)

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:24 | 4532768 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

These articles are so awful they are not even worth making fun of anymore.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:40 | 4532826 chemystical
chemystical's picture

It's not as if I'm glibly cheering on the loss of those jobs, but the iceman and the coal man and the buggy whips were replaced by things more efiicient.  Sometimes so are we.  And sometimes we realize that we don't need a lot of new junk (no matter how much Madison Ave tells us that we do).  It's easier to resist the urge, and the epiphany comes more easily when your pockets are empty.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:06 | 4532970 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Well, the coal man and buggy-whip might just be on the verge of a comeback as cheap, relatively cleaner energy dries up.  It might actually also be more effective to cut frozen ice off rivers, like the Niagra, and use those to cool things, rather than to continue to rely on electricity that might add to Antropogenic Climate Change... Ugh!!! On second thought, let's arm up Iran and embrace the nuclear holocaust that will likely make our lives a bit easier to contemplate.

/sarc, for the sake of NSA and my eventual time in the docks.

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 02:56 | 4533665 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

Frozen ice is the best ice.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:12 | 4532995 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Looks good at first glance.

But now, when the ice man, coal man, milk man and buggy whip maker guys lose their jobs, there are no others for them.  They go on govt benefits and burden those who work.


Tue, 03/11/2014 - 06:06 | 4533740 Leraconteur
Leraconteur's picture

That's a rational assessment, except that this time nothing more effiient has arrived to replace the losses.

Parts of the planet are reverting.

Apollo, SST, Concorde, Space Shuttle, Harrier, A-10, SR-71, - all gone.

But we have FaceBook and Social Media and that means our society is more advanced than in 1969! /sarc 

The USA is at a technological point, for many industries, that pre-dates my birth.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:06 | 4532972 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

It's Michael Snyder. It's always....Michael Snyder.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:29 | 4533052 Leraconteur
Leraconteur's picture

All great points, but where is everyone going to work?

Every job I ever had since 1976 has been eliminated or outsourced, except for the financial end and that's moving to Hangzhou asap.

Wait tables? Pump gas? Work in a restaurant? Work retail? DJ? Mow lawns? Drive mall workers in vans? Deliver or sell newspapers or magaziness? Work the video counter?

No one under 25 has any work experience, no one works AT ALL anymore before they get their first, and sometimes second, degree.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:25 | 4532771 Jreb
Jreb's picture

Retail is dying. Except gun shops. Go figure.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:39 | 4532850 yogibear
yogibear's picture

You have a point. You want to see and touch a gun. Go long guns and ammo.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:43 | 4532865 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

You forgot check cashing and payday lenders.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:43 | 4532866 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

I had to go to Orlando to pick up some Ebay items I won and met the guy at Bass Pro.  Place was like Disneyland for outdoor-type for Chrissakes.  Packed to the hilt.  I didn't go in but couldn't believe the scale of the place and how many people were walking out with stuff.  As for the items I bought, retail about $700 and I paid $200 and they were new.  Felt kinda bad but the deal was the deal. Stopped on the way home at a gun shop and it was fairly busy and still no .22LR.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:57 | 4533130 pursueliberty
pursueliberty's picture

That is the middle class you see at that place.  Opry Mills in Nashville TN is always crowded, as is the bass pro, and all the eating establishments there, even on week nights.

All this talk of extinction, they sure don't know it.  As far as business goes, mine is better than last year, and way better than 12 YTD.  Guess it depends on how you see it.  The economy is fickle, home prices are too damn high in middle TN, and still trying to push them up.  American Homes4Rent is buying a shit ton of them here.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 23:06 | 4533374 pursueliberty
pursueliberty's picture

That is the middle class you see at that place.  Opry Mills in Nashville TN is always crowded, as is the bass pro, and all the eating establishments there, even on week nights.

All this talk of extinction, they sure don't know it.  As far as business goes, mine is better than last year, and way better than 12 YTD.  Guess it depends on how you see it.  The economy is fickle, home prices are too damn high in middle TN, and still trying to push them up.  American Homes4Rent is buying a shit ton of them here.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:26 | 4532773 FightingtheFed
FightingtheFed's picture

Look at the bright side... at  least Wall St bankers are thriving with their QE to infinity.

Just open your mouth wide... The crumbs will eventually fall..

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:35 | 4532820 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Careful, that might be a banker falling from a height.

And no I do not have a recipe. Besides they tend toward fatty.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:26 | 4532775 Atticus Finch
Atticus Finch's picture

"The truth is that there simply are not enough jobs for everyone anymore." Yes there are, but they have been sent overseas.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:42 | 4532860 yogibear
yogibear's picture

The reason Social Security Disability lawyers are busy. The government knows all about the Social Security scamming. It's their long-term unemployment insurance.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:27 | 4532781 shutdown
shutdown's picture

After buying meth, more tattoos, cigarettes and beer  the typical American adult simply can't afford anything else. It's really sad. 

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:14 | 4533006 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Surprising tidbit.  Meth used to be the low life drug of rural America.

Now it has swept San Francisco and other cities.  A new production method south of the border has done away with meth labs.  Now it's cheap poison and the urbans are consuming.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:22 | 4533230 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

Heroin is seeing a resurgance as well.   High quality stuff - lots of overdoses in the news.  Suburban high school teens from well off communities as well as the rich and famous like Phillip Seymour Hoffman.   Oxy has gotten a bit harder to get with crackdowns on prescription mills so there's a changeover to heroin by those users as well.

Imagine how tight supplies would have been if the Taliban had stayed in control in Afghanistan........ just a coincidence, right?

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:28 | 4532784 gatorengineer
gatorengineer's picture

Now I understand AMazons P/E.... / sarc

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:33 | 4532805 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

I do not believe a 'recovery' is possible. The USA is hugely burdened by debt. Only with relief from that debt (and all the pain that entails as 'one man's debt is another man's savings') can we have some form of recovery.

As things are now there can be no true stratification of wages. Everyone has to make minimum. In that environment many traditional jobs at the lower end are eliminated. If the dollar died tomorrow and a new currency were introduced, and if all government borrowing were curtailed, and if there was only the government and the regs that could be supported by a tax base.....then we might see something change.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:38 | 4532814 yogibear
yogibear's picture

If you look around you'll find better deals than what Amazon is offering,

I usually shop online. Just more convenient and I get what I want. Brick and mortar stores are show rooms for on-line shoppers.

"As you read this article, approximately a billion square feet of retail space is sitting vacant in the United States"

Kiss a lot  of the commercial real estate goodbye.

Maybe people will figure out how to cook a decent meal and won't spend $25/day on eating out. 

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:37 | 4532830 Wizard of Ozman
Wizard of Ozman's picture

How are Sears' Foreign outlets in China doing? This article stated how much of Walmarts only remaining Growth was from outisde. What about the JC Pennies in Dubai, They got got to be slanging mad Levi's! No???

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:46 | 4532872 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

I much prefer to buy online and love no sales tax (although that loophole is closing thanks to the parasites) I started selling high end used clothes on eBay and my sales growth and no overhead blows all the b&m stores out of water.

There is no way that business model can continue. DOA.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:48 | 4532890 yogibear
yogibear's picture

THe government pays for Soical Security Disability, Welfare, food stamps, Rent (Section 8's), healthcare and cell phones.

Next government stores... Obamaland. The US is becoming the old Soviet Union.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:22 | 4533035 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

we (or our taxes) are the government.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:48 | 4532893 fleur de lis
fleur de lis's picture

So where did Victoria Nuland find the billions to send to Ukraine?  That same money could have been spread out among Americans but the State Department thinks it would be better squandered on foreign rioters who will never reimburse us a dime. There has to be a way to hold these reckless, irresponsible morons to account. 

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:13 | 4532999 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

The fish rots from the head.....

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:24 | 4533043 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

It was conjoured out of thin air, of course, just like the billions in QE.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:14 | 4533204 samsara
samsara's picture

How about $1 Trillion because of an outright lie by a President to the American people.

Remember WMDs?

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:52 | 4532906 Darkman17
Darkman17's picture

All those stores suck. None of the stores made me think "ohh no I love shopping there" they all sell cheap shit from china that nobody needs. I would say the problem was that those stores ever existed not that they are going away. The true problem is what the employees of those stores will do next for a living. I feel bad for them because the more hip edgy trendy stores will not want to hire them if they provide the Target or Sears level of customer experience I have seen.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:46 | 4533100 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

Sears has been around since 1886. It actually used to be a mail order business. They would mail out catalogues and people would order things from them. Most people lived on farms well outside of major cities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and had little access to shopping other than the local dry goods store, which didn't carry everything their hearts desired. You could order just about anything from Sears and Roebuck or Montgomery Wards and Well Fargo would deliver it. I think my grandmother ordered her monsterous cast iron kitchen stove from one of those catalogues. It was a georgeous thing with brass curliques, 6 burners, a huge oven and a reservoir to keep water hot - the latest thing in kitchen convenience. I have very fond memories of the yearly Christmas catalogue they sent out during the '50s. My sisters and I would fight over them. We spent hours pouring over the toys. When Loretta Lynn sang of being a coal miner's daughter and getting a new pair of shoes each year for school, those shoes were ordered from one of those catalogues. 

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:29 | 4533257 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

And everything in those catalogues was actually MADE in the US.

THAT is more telling than anything else.  Nothing is made in the US anymore and all the jobs that used to exist making things are gone.  We're now offshoring accounting - following the manufacturing, call centers, software and systems..... and the list goes on........ REAL unemployment is close to 25% in the US.  We're WORSE off than at teh height of the Great Depression.  Food Stamps, SS Disability and long term unemployment have kept peopel off the streets but the lines at food pantries are getting longer these days.

'Free Trade' was a means to kill off the middle class in the western democracies.  No job base.  Doesn't matter how cheap things are if nobody is working and making any money.  The sad thing is that the 'savings' in labor costs have gone to a VERY FEW - who are racking in hundreds of millions.  

The money to pay people is there but going to a few execs instead of thousands of workers.  

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 23:57 | 4533487 Rock On Roger
Rock On Roger's picture

We still get the Sears Christmas catalogue.

There is no junk I need to buy via the internet.

Or from the Sears Christmas catalogue for that matter.

And I don't need no stinkin app to read zh on my phone.

I guess I'm too old to realize it is not a mobile friendly website.


Stack On


Mon, 03/10/2014 - 23:16 | 4533397 Reckonball
Reckonball's picture

Yes..You could literally order a house,from the Sears catalog,50 years ago..

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:58 | 4532933 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

no jobs, no money, no sales - how hard can that be to understand?....

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:25 | 4533046 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

Maybe that explains why real estate is in a funk and Loan Originators are laying people off.

Listened to  a real estate show over the weekend. Theme of the show was "why aren't you buying a house right now?"

it was a call in, nobody mentioned there are no jobs and 25% of children are living in poverty.

this is the soft landing, rather than let the plane crash, bernanke landed it on the backs of the middle class.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:00 | 4532949 dobermangang
dobermangang's picture

The only things selling well are: Guns, ammo, lotto scratch-off tickets, Duck Dynasty T-Shirts, Grand Theft Auto V, some high-end luxury automobiles and ....... snow plows.  Douglas Dynamics(PLOW) just reported a great Qtr and raised future guidance.  Weather was not a problem for truck owners that wanted a snow plow.

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:31 | 4533261 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

One of the few businesses with a low entry cost.  Buy a plow for your truck and you can make money - a good storm and you can pay off the new plow right away.  Been a good winter for that.


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