"If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character...Would you slow down? Or speed up?" — Chuck Palahniuk

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"Technology, Manufacturing & Now Retail - UPDATED!"

While at work yesterday I heard on the radio that two stores in the area were closing. This particular chain just recently opened in the Baltimore area only a couple of years ago and now I hear they are going out of business. The chain I am referring to is Boscov's. I will be the first to admit while I have seen a couple of commercials of there's I have never been inside one of their stores. From the Baltimore Sun:
Regional department store chain Boscov's Inc. Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it would close 10 stores, including anchors in three of the Baltimore area's largest malls, as the company suffers from slumping sales amid the housing and credit crunch.

Boscov's, based in Reading, Pa., will begin liquidation sales immediately and will close those "underperforming stores" when the entire inventory is sold, which officials estimate will take one to two months. About 1,400 employees, including about 400 in the Baltimore area, will lose their jobs.

Officials from the 49-store chain said in court filings and interviews that the collapse in the housing market, skyrocketing energy prices and higher food costs cut the discretionary spending of its shoppers and in turn put pressure on the company's finances. The decline also emerged after the 87-year-old privately held company began an aggressive expansion strategy into new markets two years ago.

"There was no way that we could have ever anticipated these tough economic times," said Maralyn Lakin, Boscov's senior vice president of marketing and public relations. "So many people were affected with their mortgages and high gas and food prices. This is beyond what anybody expected." MORE!
After I finished eating and getting myself together I went over to Crooks and saw this:
So Much for Our Retail-Based Economy…

The Centre for Research on Globalization (Canada) has some very un-pretty numbers. I’ll be watching for another announcement from the President that we’d all better go shopping. But where, Mr. President?

**I then went to globalresearch.ca and snagged this:
Note the scale of the following store closings across America in recent weeks:

Ann Taylor closing 117 stores nationwide.

Eddie Bauer to close more stores after closing 27 stores in the first quarter.

Cache, a women’s retailer is closing 20 to 23 stores this year.

Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Catherines closing 150 stores nationwide

Talbots, J. Jill closing stores. Talbots will close all 78 of its kids and men's stores plus another 22 underperforming stores. The 22 stores will be a mix of Talbots women's and J. Jill.

Gap Inc. closing 85 stores

Foot Locker to close 140 stores

Wickes Furniture is going out of business and closing all of its stores. The 37-year-old retailer that targets middle-income customers, filed for bankruptcy protection last month.

Levitz - the furniture retailer, announced it was going out of business and closing all 76 of its stores in December. The retailer dates back to 1910.

Zales, Piercing Pagoda plans to close 82 stores by July 31 followed by closing another 23 underperforming stores.

Disney Store owner has the right to close 98 stores.

Home Depot store closings 15 of them amid a slumping US economy and housing market. The move will affect 1,300 employees. It is the first time the world's largest home improvement store chain has ever closed a flagship store.


Macy's - 9 stores closed

Movie Gallery – video rental company plans to close 400 of 3,500 Movie Gallery

and Hollywood Video stores in addition to the 520 locations the video rental

chain closed last fall as part of bankruptcy.

Pacific Sunwear - 153 Demo stores closing

Pep Boys - 33 stores of auto parts supplier closing

Sprint Nextel - 125 retail locations to close with 4,000 employees following 5,000 layoffs last year.

J. C. Penney, Lowe's and Office Depot are all scaling back

Ethan Allen Interiors: plans to close 12 of 300 stores to cut costs.

Wilsons the Leather Experts – closing 158 stores

Bombay Company: to close all 384 U.S.-based Bombay Company stores.

KB Toys closing 356 stores around the United States as part of its bankruptcy reorganization.

Dillard's Inc. will close another six stores this year.

For anyone familiar with American shopping malls and retailing, this represents a staggering part of the daily economic life of the nation, from furniture stores to clothing to video rentals to leather. The process has only begun and neither major party Presidential candidate has dared to mention this on the ground economic reality, because they evidently have no solutions to offer that would not jeopardize their campaign finances. Obama is tied to not only Pritzker but also to Omaha billionaire, Warren Buffett and George Soros. McCain depends on the traditional money contributions of the Republican Party which demand permanent tax reform for highest income earners and a pro-bank laissez faire treatment of millions of homeowners facing home foreclosure and asset seizure by banks.

Banks across the country have severely cut back on loans, fearful of bad debts. That has aggravated the consumer collapse documented above. Hundreds of thousands of real estate brokers, small and large bankers, furniture workers and salespeople, and construction workers are unable to find work. Jobs are being cut wholesale and those working are often on reduced hours. Car sales in June plunged by 28% for Ford, 18% for General Motors and even 21% for Toyota which will mean more layoffs in coming weeks. This will be the next wave of unemployment.

The economic reality is not reflected in official US Commerce Department or Labor Department statistics. There the data is constantly being "revised" to hide the grim reality in an election year. MORE!

So our manufacturing sector has been all but dismantled here and sent to China. Our technology sector has been outsourced to India. Now our retail sector is in the toilet!

Welcome to New America!

Where It Just Keeps On Raining!
The New Defenders of Old America!

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