The Economy Is Okay?! U.S. Retail Store Closings Hit New Record High As West Coast Homelessness Soars

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

If the U.S. economy is doing just fine, why have we already shattered the all-time record for retail store closings in a single year? 

Whenever I write about our “retail apocalypse”, many try to counter my arguments by pointing out the growing dominance of Amazon And I certainly can’t deny that online shopping is on the rise, but it still accounts for less than 10 percent of total U.S. retail sales.  No, something bigger is happening in our economy, and it isn’t receiving nearly enough attention from the mainstream media.

Back in 2008, a plummeting economy absolutely devastated retailers and it resulted in an all-time record of 6,163 retail stores being closed that year.

So far in 2017, over 6,700 stores have been shut down and we still have nearly two months to go!  The following comes from CNN

More store closings have been announced in 2017 than any other year on record.


Since January 1, retailers have announced plans to shutter more than 6,700 stores in the U.S., according to Fung Global Retail & Technology, a retail think tank.


That beats the previous all-time high of 6,163 store closings, which hit in 2008 amid the financial meltdown, according to Credit Suisse (CS).

Just within the last week, we have learned that Sears is closing down another 60 stores, and Walgreens announced that it intends to close approximately 600 locations.

Overall, about 300 retailers have declared bankruptcy so far in 2017, and we are on pace to lose over 147 million square feet of retail space by the end of the year.

Oh, but it is all Amazon’s fault, right?

Meanwhile, mainstream news outlets are reporting that homelessness is “exploding” out on the west coast.

For instance, we are being told that there are “400 unauthorized tent camps” in the city of Seattle alone

Housing prices are soaring here thanks to the tech industry, but the boom comes with a consequence: A surge in homelessness marked by 400 unauthorized tent camps in parks, under bridges, on freeway medians and along busy sidewalks. The liberal city is trying to figure out what to do.

But I thought that the Seattle economy was doing so well.

I guess not.

Down in San Diego, they are actually scrubbing the sidewalks with bleach because the growing homeless population is spreading hepatitis A everywhere…

San Diego now scrubs its sidewalks with bleach to counter a deadly hepatitis A outbreak. In Anaheim, 400 people sleep along a bike path in the shadow of Angel Stadium. Organizers in Portland lit incense at an outdoor food festival to cover up the stench of urine in a parking lot where vendors set up shop.

Over the past two years, “at least 10 cities or municipal regions in California, Oregon and Washington” have declared a state of emergency because homelessness has gotten so far out of control.

Does that sound like a healthy economy to you?

The truth is that the financial markets have been doing great since the last financial crisis, but the real economy has never really recovered in any sort of meaningful way.

With each passing day, more Americans fall out of the middle class, and the homeless populations in major cities all over the nation continue to grow.

We truly are in the midst of a long-term economic collapse, and if we don’t find a way to fix things our problems will just continue to accelerate.

So don’t be fooled by the mainstream media.  They may be trying to convince you that everything is just wonderful, but that is not the reality that most people are facing at all.

*  *  *

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on

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NAVIGATOR0832's picture

Didn't you hear, bitcoin mining isn't green an requires over 50 barrels of oil to produce.  

Shocker's picture

Yeah it is not pretty out there.

Hope for better days ahead

Full Layoff / Closing List:


JRobby's picture

Dead as shit.

Waiting for the falsified " Holiday Shopping " numbers in January.

Prices at the grocery stores go up weekly.

Fisted middle class. No Crisco

yogibear's picture

For sure, to keep the fantasyland economy going.

More Maseratis for the Wall Street boys. 

Escrava Isaura's picture

What did you expect with a Republican President?


shovelhead's picture

Ship em all back to Mexico?

Ristretto X4's picture

He is not part of the uniparty, but thanks for your misunderstanding.

Escrava Isaura's picture

So let’s try this:

U.S. Retail Store Closings Hit New Record High As West Coast Homelessness Soars.

Now reconcile that with the slogan Make America Great Again.

Now tell us which one is irrelevant.


RedBaron616's picture

The LEFT COAST does it to themselves. Tax everyone to death and then take hundreds of thousands of miles out of circulation and so housing prices are astronomical. And they wonder why things aren't booming there. Can't imagine. Why does anyone stay there that doesn't have an absolutely stellar paying job?

Ms. Erable's picture

You expect that, in the space of 10 months, one man can fix all of the fuckupedness of the last 24 years? You're truly a bigger moron than I previously thought - and I already thought you were a fucking idiot.

Which one is Irrelevant? That'd be you, dumbshit.

Darkman17's picture

Solution: Move the homeless into the abandoned Sears stores, let them set up camp and their own societies in there. 

The illegal jobs that would spring up would generate more GDP than Sears has for the past 20 years. 


HoyeruNew's picture

24 years? Shrub jr was Republican pa and he was just 8 years ago. So as his daddy and before that was the Awesome Ronny. Try some Real Facts pal.

SilverDOG's picture

You actually have the ability to rationalize, that the President controls the economy ?


Bwaaahhh haaaa haaaa !

Hari_Seldon's picture

In office for ten months and it's Trumps fault?

You sir are an idiot.

Bunga Bunga's picture

What? they told here Bitcoins are made out of nothing!

Caloot's picture

I'd counter a bit and say that I buy a ton of stuff on the internet now.   I just started getting awesome lingerie for my lady.  I've been getting my undies there too.   Weight equipment, books, clothing and my shaving set.  I've read articles about robots filling food orders in 5 minutes.   I hate going food shopping.   Sure I hit Walmart for my light bulbs but... Seems like the online marketplace is freaking awesome to me,  and I never see storefronts compete in price or amount of choices. And If I want quality, I can go on the internet and find the very best.  And make that decision on my couch..   If I need it right now, sure I'll go to a store. Or need to try it on... But honestly, how much has my purchases moved online?   20 percentish.  Maybe even more.   Multiply my experiences by 100 million and you have a huge trend.   A realization of the dotcom bubble.   And yes I agree, folks are getting poorer.   But that will lend even more to online sales when you don't need transportation, and the internet is sooo  muchcheaper anyway.    Seems like retail apocalypse is a given.   Like horse drawn carriage apocalypse was a given.

shovelhead's picture


Down by the river in a tent doesn't qualify as an address for Amazon.

They have to buy their Crocs knockoffs at Walmart.

Why do homeless people love Crocs? Is it because urinating on them wont dissolve em?

BeansMcGreens's picture

Check this out. Amazon is really doing away with the middle man. Direct deposit of welfare check into a nifty amazon card. (last part is my idea)

Offthebeach's picture

I'm a big Orwell fan, S.I., these are not "Homeless".  A house ia not a "home". You and yours can live in a tent, a sod house, a tee-pee, and it can be a home.  A home is relations, not the structure.  You can buy a house in America for $1.  I bet you can rent a room in San Fran for a grand/mo.  You could work at McDonalds and bank money.  "Homelessness" is not a problem.  Not societay.  It is a personal choice.   You want to be a moder day Theroux, more power to you.  Just, get off my lawn.  As too cities commanding their property...well, they ...epic fail.  Big surprise there.


MisterMousePotato's picture

I lived in a tent for three years. Nice, big ol' old school Coleman canvas wall tent.

I installed a wood stove. Blow up queen mattress. Cooler for the eggs and butter. Oil lamps and a hammock outside.

Lived well. Went fishing twice a day, every day. Read the Harvard Classics. Taught myself diatonic harmony and developed sufficient vituosity to be offered a gig as a studio musician some time after.

All in all, I lived about as well as if I were rich.

MisterMousePotato's picture

"You could work at McDonalds and bank money."

p.s. I have been explaining/arguing here for years about how, in fact, I have arranged my (our) life(ves) so that me and my family of three do, in fact, live on an income equivalent to that which would be earned from a part-time gig at McDonalds.

We live well, I think. Certainly, we are warm, safe, dry, and comfortable. Well fed. Beautiful furniture and furnishings (a young friend of my young daughter once asked me, "Are you rich?" I kinda laughed, said no, and asked him why he asked me that. He looked at me funny, looked around, and said, "Because of all this."

John T. Malloy once wrote that anyone could get the right look in a shirt for twenty dollars, but it took real genius to do it for five.

I paid $13,900 for my house three and a half years ago.

NAVIGATOR0832's picture

Easy answer.  Turn the abandoned malls into homeless shelters.  The central green area of the mall can become an organic garden where they can defecate freely.  

Bastiat's picture

The malls actually have bathrooms.

shovelhead's picture

And the mallcops can train them how to use one.

cbxer55's picture

Who's gonna take care of them though, stock up the tp, etc? Most of them homeless people are bums anyway. Imagine the smell inside an abondoned mall full of homeless peeps? EEK!!!!

Bigly's picture

Sears died when they discontinued their awesome catalog.

NAVIGATOR0832's picture

Porn for teenagers at that time was the Sears Catalog looking at pictures of women in their bras.  We've come a long way baby.  

hotrod's picture

I used Rich's catalog for that. Showed a little more skin. Man We were desperate

vulcanraven's picture

I remember flipping the scrambled cable channels back and forth to try and catch a glimpse of wavy purple titties.

mvsjcl's picture

Ahem... Guilty as charged, your Honor.

Hal n back's picture

And if forward thinking could have been amazon with profits

Bigly's picture

Could you imagine if they brought back quality kit houses?

Those places have held up and are decent!


They are too dead now that they sold off craftsman.

If they want to try to come back... Kenmore,  diehard, Kit houses

And they should grow a new niche: off the grid stuff.  Ex. Greenhouses, diy solar, etc.  They would need to upgrade their website. Reduce store sq ft. Make depts smaller. Best quality stuff for cheap. More on website.

aliens is here's picture

IDK but if Synder is running for congress he should stop writing those doom and gloom articles. People don't like downers they like up beat talk not someone who constantly tells them the economy sucks.

Freddie's picture

The white middle class has been destroyed on the west coast by open borders, endless freebies for illegals, spiraling taxes to pay for gold plated govt workers pensions, jobs being offshored and more.

If you are white and middle class and illegals start moving in and taxes go insane - you have to get out.  California is a prime example.  If you don't get out when you can , you are toast.

just the tip's picture

actually, as i read this, i thought michael was sort of mild in the this article.

sounds as though you read a lot of yeb.

Late onset ADHD's picture

valuations of the sugar plum fairies... so what's the problem?...

Seasmoke's picture

Wow   ..... even Walgreen is closing 600 stores.... Doomed for sure. 


Feels like we are reliving the scene in The Big Short, where the guys know they are right, but each day passes and  nothing happens, It just continues onward ,thus their anxiety and pain increases

Freddie's picture

I used to shop at Walgreens.  Their prices are crazy high and CVS is much lower.  CVS came out with their card first for discounts on sale products.  Walgreens slowly added their own. 

Also Walgreens business model was perscription drugs. This is pretty much all they cared about.  Too many people got in that business including Wal Mart, Costco, grocery stores and others.

cbxer55's picture

I don't know about anywhere else, but I think Walgreens has a few too many stores to begin with. I mean, in my small town, there are three of them, all a few blocks apart. WHY??? In this town, one would be plenty. Cause we also got numerous CVS Pharmacies, also all a few blocks apart, competing with Walgreens. 

yogibear's picture

Hope they close all the Walgreens.

Ever since being with Boots they have been jacking up their prices.

They charge $1.50 more than Walmart for the same toothpaste tube and size.

All their nice (Walgreen s) brand were increased 100% in price this past year. 

CoCosAB's picture

It's TIME for the OWNERS to start their favorite game: WAR!


It'll get rid of all those fucking homeless...

adolphz's picture

Maybe the handouts on Westcoast are dried out. 

FreeShitter's picture

Niggas are just broke these days.

Stroke's picture

Malls need to become repurposed into medical facilities, or condos.....


Brick & mortar retail is going the way of the buggy whip

shovelhead's picture


People need 8 Wet Seals in a 10 mile radius.

Hugh Mann's picture

There are more vacant, abandoned and foreclosed houses than there are homeless people. We waste more food than we consume. So why there are homeless and hungry people when we have so much abundance? Because greed and corruption.

shimmy's picture

I love the alt media at times. So many in the alt media say people buy too much stuff and spending money they don't have. Once people stop buying so much stuff and stores start to close, they then bitch that people aren't buying more stuff and not spending money they don't have.