End of an era – Retail Apocalypse

Discussion in 'Serious Discussion' started by Katzenfreund, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    The Internet has brought about yet another far reaching end of an era, namely online shopping is leading to the closure of traditional giant stores.

    So after Woolworth, British Home Stores and HMV have already disappeared in the UK, now USA giants can’t survive either.

    Three major companies - Payless, RadioShack, and American Apparel - have all filed for bankruptcy in the past year.

    And four more plan to close in the coming months:
    •The Limited – 250 stores
    •Wet Seal – 171 stores
    •Abercrombie & Fitch – 60 stores
    •Guess – 60 stores

    And now even…
    Sears is one of America’s oldest companies. It opened its first store in 1886
    The company later pioneered the mail-order catalog business. At one point, it was also the world’s biggest retailer.
    Those were the good ol' days. But they're never coming back.

    On Wednesday, Sears management shared its dire outlook in the company’s latest annual report:
    “Our historical operating results indicate substantial doubt exists related to the company's ability to continue as a going concern.”

    And yet more major retailers are fighting for their life:
    J.C. Penney (JCP) is down 94% since 2007 and plans to close 120 stores in the coming months.
    Macy’s (M) stock price is down 56% over the last two years and plans to close 100 of its stores.

    http://www.clark.com/major-retailers-closing-2017

    Some will call it sign of the times or even progress, I call it a depressing development that will reduce options and make conditions for many consumers more difficult.
     
  2. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

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    #2 gorski, Mar 26, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017


    There are 5 parts... If it helps... whomever hasn't seen it...
     
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  3. JFKI

    JFKI MDL Expert

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    It is too bad that Wal-Mart is not on the list.
    If that went away the old "mom and pop stores" which Wal-Mart put out of business could make a comeback.
     
  4. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

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    When I was in the States, Walmart was the place recommended to me. Probably it's the best, so it's not (yet) on the list.
     
  5. JFKI

    JFKI MDL Expert

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    #5 JFKI, Mar 26, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    Best for whom ?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXmnBbUjsPs

     
  6. JBenal

    JBenal MDL Senior Member

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    There's a mom and pop store about five minutes from my house. I shop there when I need something in a hurry. Nice people, but they charge two dollars for a can of beans I can get at Walmart for under a dollar. The employees at the mom and pop store make minimum wage and get no benefits (one of them is my friend). The store is a little dirty and they probably sell food past the expiration date. How's that better than Walmart?
     
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  7. JBenal

    JBenal MDL Senior Member

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    But to answer Katzenfreund, it's evolution. Commerce is constantly evolving. I'm sure Sears looked like the future when it opened. They haven't kept up with the times. Whatever can't be sold online will continue to be sold in bricks and mortar stores (milk, for instance).
     
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  8. JFKI

    JFKI MDL Expert

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    One question.
    What was that mom and pop store like prior to Wal-Mart ?
     
  9. JBenal

    JBenal MDL Senior Member

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    It was exactly the same. Hasn't changed in decades. A better question would be "How has it survived since Walmart opened?" It's in a convenient location.
     
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  10. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
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    I can say that they were nice. You knew the owners, they cut you deals, and you just didn't deal with the nasty ones.
    Plus you get to examine whatever it is and walk out of the store with it.

    Our current mayor is unfriendly to WalMart in the 5 boroughs. But they are on Long Island.

    http://www.newsday.com/news/new-york/de-blasio-walmart-unwelcome-in-new-york-city-1.8351414

    Yeah the one side is that they consume jobs and eat small businesses. The flip side is that the prices are very low and frankly, small shops just can't compete.
    All retail businesses are being adversely impacted by web based sales. That's what the people seem to want.

    I can't believe that Payless is closing :(
     
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  11. JFKI

    JFKI MDL Expert

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    One thing which you didn't mention...
    Where is the majority of the money going ? China.
    In the old days it went back into our economy.
     
  12. PointZero

    PointZero MDL Addicted

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    Walmart may consume jobs, but in Arizona, they're the largest private-sector employer. They're the largest in 18 other states as well: https://qz.com/924056/walmart-wmt-is-the-largest-private-employer-in-19-states/

    In AZ, they pay well above minimum wage: http://ktar.com/story/818830/walmart-arizonas-largest-retail-employer-to-raise-wages/ And they donate a lot of money to local charities here and probably in other states.

    All big chain stores (not just Walmart) now sell product from China.

    Walmart launched an initiative to source more product from American companies: http://blog.walmart.com/us-manufacturing/20160616/walmarts-investment-in-us-manufacturing-explained

    Ironically, Walmart's revenue is now being seriously impacted because of Amazon's increasing sales and more efficient business model. So even Walmart may ultimately be pushed aside, as many have said that Walmart itself did to mom and pop stores.

    It's the essence of free-market capitalism.


    Katzenfreund: whoever recommended Walmart to you when you were here, they were giving you good advice- it's the biggest, cheapest, most convenient shopping place around (at the moment).
     
  13. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

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    Well, where I am, "mom and pop stores" were already being displaced by super- and hyper-markets offering multiplicity, low prices and, what is often underestimated, anonymity. By the last term I mean, you can walk around at your leisure without anybody watching over your shoulder (except the security cameras), examine and compare and even walk out again without buying anything and feeling embarrassed about it. (They then introduced store cards that took away some of the anonymity, though not the part described above).

    What’s now happening is that the big guys are suffering similar fortune in the face of competition from online shopping offering similar advantages, plus convenience and even lower prices. So you might say, "what they did unto others is being done unto them".

    I wonder what the next phase of the retail scene will be…
     
  14. JFKI

    JFKI MDL Expert

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    There you have it.
    The reason America's economy will never again be what it once was.

    That only becomes clear once you start following the money trails, ALL of them...
    Instead of thinking the world revolves around you and being forever stuck in the "me" state of mind.

    I find it extremely sad.
     
  15. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

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    It really comes down to competition, and how can U.S. workers compete against Chinese/other foreign workers that only make 12 to 17 cents per hour or less? We are not using a level playing field when it comes to import/export and you can blame the U.S. govt for selling out the U.S. people with it's "fair trade" policies
     
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  16. MysTikAL3

    MysTikAL3 MDL Senior Member

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    Exactly!...and that 'playing field' is going to be leveled this year!...and it's decades overdue...:yes:
    Competition is always welcome, and benefits consumers and the economy alike, but only when ALL have to play by the same rules.
    :)
     
  17. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

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    @JFKI: Do you think that Tax Avoidance strategies are a new thing? They've been around for 40 years.
    And the US government has been trying to get their fingers in the pockets of the businesses for that many years.

    People here are always looking at it from the perspective of the poor consumer. Try looking at it from the perspective of the small business, where every penny counts and you're just trying to stay alive and meet your monthly expenses.

    The more you grow, the more you pay. Up to a point. When you get big enough, you can take advantage of tax "incentives" designed to allow big businesses to thrive in the USA.

    It's only about the people on a personal level. On a Corporate level, it's all about the money, and the promises you make to your stockholders.

    It's -always- been about that. This hasn't changed in over 100 years.
     
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  18. JBenal

    JBenal MDL Senior Member

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    This? Amazon Go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrmMk1Myrxc
     
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  19. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

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    #19 Michaela Joy, Mar 27, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    And then there's this. :D

     
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  20. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

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    Doing away with checkouts is a big step forward. And it may even fight shop-lifting - or encourage it when workarounds are inevitably discovered. But it doesn't solve the whole problem, which includes traveling to the store, carrying the shopping and paying more than thru the Internet.