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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Last of the Middle Class's picture

What you're seeing is a middle class apocalypse, not a retail one. The gutting of the middle class continues daily as long as QE for the banker elite continues. Common knowledge but you won't find the head of the Fed talking about that. Retail purchasing is in a massive die-off mode. It is the very definition of an extinction level event and the banker keep on QEing. Figure that. 

Scornd's picture

ya i just hit the OC, LA, and the BA on a widget sales trip.... all imports on sparce shelves and retailers dont have money to buy stock for christmas sales...

just the tip's picture

i haven't seen/heard much from that white haired fucker donahue with the chamber of commerce lately.

he had his picture all over the HNIC white house.  threatening congressmen and senators in testimony if they didn't send more jobs offshore they wouldn't be re-elected.


rejected's picture

Mike,,, Everyone knows it's all because of Amazon.con.

Get with the program!

uhland62's picture

I've seen figures pointing to vast overcapacity of retail space, maybe a year or two ago. It's the perfect storm, online and too many shops because too many people thought that the rise of consumerism was unstoppable. The Fed needs to print more money. 

Scornd's picture

keep growing that hemp boyos.... were gonna need a lot of rope.

Erwin643's picture

It's not just brick-&-mortar retail. It's the Gun Shows, and even flea markets. Vendors at both types of events are telling me they've been making less-and-less over the last three years. 

Go to a gun show during the buying season now. Just attended one in Puyallup, WA that has always been considered their "big show." You should have seen the empty tables. The crowd size seemed normal, but hardly anyone was spending. A box of ammo here, a magazine there. That was it.

Scornd's picture

well it was Puyallup after all? ever been to Tacoma flea market?


Erwin643's picture


I heard it used to be good for vendors though, with lots of foot ttraffic.

outsideguy58's picture

The dream is devolving into being just that.

ZeroLounger's picture

I just recently needed to replace my spark plugs on my F150.  At OReilly's, they're $12 apiece ($96 for 8).  If you want to replace the coil packs (newfangled way to get the plugs to 'spark' that most cars are being fitted with now), they're $45 apiece ($360 for 8).  I went on EBAY and found 8 plugs plus 8 coil packs, all for $115 total price,  DELIVERED by postman.  $456 local retail versus $115 on internet.

Which would you rather do, Willis?  People aren't stupid.  Retail is dead if they don't start competing.

MoreFreedom's picture

Snyder is wrong about a "retail apocalypse"  because 6,700 stores closing is about a 0.6% reduction in the number of stores.  Yet he writes of Amazon's 10% of the market as a small number.   With that kind of market share gain from Amazon, you'd expect more like 110,000 store closings.  A growing economy makes a difference. 

William Dorritt's picture

Solve California

Deport 5 million illegals who don't pay taxes and consume every service.

Deport 1 million h1b and other work visas

Housing prices decline, employment for citizens increases, wages rise in CA.... QED

MrBoompi's picture

Going out of business is nothing new and is not necessarily an indicator of a poor economy.  One would expect the competitors of Wall Mart and Amazon to continue to fail.  

Davidduke2000's picture

soon or late the stock market fraud with the plunge protection teams and the central banks unlimited printing of paper money willcrash and burn.

DEMIZEN's picture

sales are down around 30% comparing last season.year end freeze planned. asta la vista baby:) leaving for good.

my new username's picture

America is over-retailed. We do not need all of these stores, which all sell the same Chinese junk at the same high prices, with the same atrocious service. The Mall operators kept opening new malls and taking the cream of the sales from legacy malls, leaving behind barely-profitable retailers to languish, with unsustainable rents in declining neighborhoods. The 60% of Americans who have good credit are moving up market, but the 40% who have no credit are not buying from Amazon - they go to Big Lots! and Dollar General. Just as Main Street America has been hollowed out and is now dead, so the Malls are dying.

Drop-Hammer's picture

Whoa, guess I better go shopping.

dunce's picture

The retail situation must include on line shopping, not just bricks and mortar to be an informative measure.