"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Pretty Good Question: "If the U.S. economy is getting better, then why are major retail chains closing thousands of stores?"

"I shall create wealth by taking it from others, sayeth the Light-bringer. What could possibly go wrong with spreading the wealth around?"

Tyler Durban at Zero Hedge asked the question, and there's not really a good answer. My bet is that retail stores are closing because of:

1) Online Sales

2) The Cold Weather

3) Greed

4) The GOP

5) Bullying

6) Overweight Children

7) George W. Bush

8) Even More Greed

9) The European Debt Crisis

10) The Tea Party

11) Global Warming

12) ATMs

13) Israel

14) Guns

15) Racism

... and it's mostly because of racism.

From Durban at Zero Hedge:

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 Amazon.com 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.  
#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. 
#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. 
#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.

But don't worry, Obama will make it all better, right? And I bet if you renounce all others in his name, then he'll give you more food stamps and upgrade your ObamaCare health plan to gold...

So can we admit that Obamanomics is a failure yet?

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