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Thread: Store Closings in USA hits a record

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    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Store Closings in USA hits a record

    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).
    Walgreens helped vault this year's tally to a new high when it said Wednesday that it plans to close about 600 locations.
    Related: Toys 'R' Us files for bankruptcy


    The drug store chain recently struck a deal to purchase 1,932 Rite Aid stores, and a Walgreens (WBA) spokesperson said most of the shuttered stores will be Rite Aid locations within close proximity to existing stores.
    Other chains that have announced big batches of store closings this year include Kmart, Sears, JCPenney, Ann Taylor, Gap, Banana Republic, Gymboree, Teavana, Michael Kors, Bebe, Perfumania, The Limited, and Staples.
    At the heart of retail's woes is the rise of both online shopping and fast fashion. As e-commerce giants have gobbled up market share from some brick-and-mortar brands, cheaper outlets like H&M and Forever 21 have also threatened clothing brands' business models.
    Related: 200 Gap and Banana Republic stores closing
    By and large, analysts expect this year's final total to be dismal. As many as 8,600 brick-and-mortar stores are expected to close this year, Credit Suisse said in an April research report.
    If that projection is correct, that means America will lose more than 147 million square feet of retail space.
    At least 300 retailers have filed for bankruptcy so far this year, according to figures released by BankruptcyData.com in June.
    http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/25/news...-story-summary

    The internet is killing the bricks and mortar. I have no idea why they have not found a way to fight back. I would think the best marketing tactics would be to emphasize the ability to touch and feel the merchandise coupled with an internet presence to expand on additional colors and sizes. I would think even the Toys Are Us would have figured this out, but all retailers are struggling with the new competition.
    Last edited by NorseThing; October 27, 2017 at 07:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    Quote Originally Posted by NorseThing View Post
    http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/25/news...-story-summary

    The internet is killing the bricks and mortar. I have no idea why they have not found a way to fight back. I would think the best marketing tactics would be to emphasize the ability to touch and feel the merchandise coupled with an internet presence to expand on additional colors and sizes. I would think even the Toys Are Us would have figured this out, but all retailers are struggling with the new competition.

    Because depending on the industry, some simply can't compete. For instance Toys R Us, its impossible for Toys R Us to ever compete with the selection that ordering toys online offers. Often times the toy the kid wants isn't in the physical store. Toys R Us can satisfy the instant gratification shopper but it can never compete with the internet for kids that want a specific toy.
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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    I think that many big chain stores are going to be drastically downsizing if not disappearing. Wal-Mart has sort of cemented its future mostly due to its expanded .com ordering system that ships free to the store for pickup as well as the up and coming online grocery pick-up ordering. But Amazon is only expected to continue its rise to dominance and monopoly across many markets. Honestly, I long for the day when endless strip malls and store chains start to disappear.

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    HannibalExMachina's Avatar Just a sausage
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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    hopefully by that time, the market can absorb all the people in the service industry thatll lose their jobs in retail or other associated fields. or society will be screwed.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    Well, they can thank the leftist loons who claimed that higher minimal wage is a human right. They'll thank them again, when their application for a job in some fast food place is denied, because they got replaced by machines for the exact same reason.

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    paleologos's Avatar You need burrito love!!
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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    Society is screwed.
    It's not only "brick-&-mortar" retail jobs that are under the axe:
    Watch Amazonís Prime Air drone make its first demo delivery in the US
    UPS tests drone delivery system

    Driving a vehicle as a vocation is the only good paying job left for non college educated people.
    This means that the delivery part of the operational model of many businesses is the one with the greatest margin for operational costs compression.
    It is about to happen.
    (No talk about holding back on executives' remunerations as "that would result in the best and brightest being snatched by the competition".)

    Apparently, the economists that were warning the Fed not to raise the interest rates because "growth was weak" and there was "no real threat of inflation" but there was "real threat of a double dip recession" were on to something.
    I am not a marxist -politically speaking.
    I do however believe that marxian critique of current capitalist structures does hold water.
    Even IMF is Worried that High Inequality Could Threaten Global Capitalism.

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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    Well, they can thank the leftist loons who claimed that higher minimal wage is a human right. They'll thank them again, when their application for a job in some fast food place is denied, because they got replaced by machines for the exact same reason.
    Leftists conspired to invent Amazon?

    Quote Originally Posted by HannibalExMachina View Post
    hopefully by that time, the market can absorb all the people in the service industry thatll lose their jobs in retail or other associated fields. or society will be screwed.
    It's about time. Retail is a worthless industry who's sole purpose is to be a middleman that adds "value".

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    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Piett View Post
    I think that many big chain stores are going to be drastically downsizing if not disappearing. Wal-Mart has sort of cemented its future mostly due to its expanded .com ordering system that ships free to the store for pickup as well as the up and coming online grocery pick-up ordering. But Amazon is only expected to continue its rise to dominance and monopoly across many markets. Honestly, I long for the day when endless strip malls and store chains start to disappear.
    I agree that there is a big shake up coming. The problem is what the world will look like when there is little need for the inner city and also no need for the traffic lanes to the suburbs to be lined with store fronts, shopping malls, strip malls, etcetera. We are losing all sorts of jobs. We are not just losing high paying manufacturing jobs. We are not just losing retail jobs. We are also losing the middleman jobs as sales agents, consultants, teachers, and who knows what. We are living longer and living healthier, but we are also out living the jobs we were trained for. We see a ratcheting down in wages because of the real difficulty of starting anew. Expertise means higher income, but starting anew means exchanging experience for new fields and skills. This also means competing with the youth that are not burdened by knowledge of the old days and old habits.

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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    Educators labor market is quite healthy actually. I'd argue the quality of the education isn't but the labor market is fine. Employment growth in K-12 is stable. Here's useful data to look at.

    https://www.bls.gov/ooh/occupation-f...line&submit=GO

    Note that all of the declining jobs are low-level. On the other hand,

    https://www.bls.gov/ooh/occupation-f...rage&submit=GO

    College degree favored. Now this maybe a sheepskin signaling effect due to the inflation of college education (which is an entirely different discussion), but the fact remains that the US labor market is very healthy at the moment, and that college will almost always give you a net return. Seems to me like we need to empower and fund poor older Americans to return to school, rather than try to reverse market trends. In other words, facilitate a transition rather than fight the transition. Adapt, not resist.

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    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    Quote Originally Posted by Sukiyama View Post
    Educators labor market is quite healthy actually. I'd argue the quality of the education isn't but the labor market is fine. Employment growth in K-12 is stable. Here's useful data to look at.

    https://www.bls.gov/ooh/occupation-f...line&submit=GO

    Note that all of the declining jobs are low-level. On the other hand,

    https://www.bls.gov/ooh/occupation-f...rage&submit=GO

    College degree favored. Now this maybe a sheepskin signaling effect due to the inflation of college education (which is an entirely different discussion), but the fact remains that the US labor market is very healthy at the moment, and that college will almost always give you a net return. Seems to me like we need to empower and fund poor older Americans to return to school, rather than try to reverse market trends. In other words, facilitate a transition rather than fight the transition. Adapt, not resist.
    I agree with your sentiments. However...

    Stability or growth in k-12 employment is a function of many things. The population (births versus deaths) is growing. Net immigration continues. Many immigrants are either children or young adults about to start families. Union and general population ideals of smaller classrooms coupled with even earlier education means more employment as well. This does not mean that things are stable though. There is a great deal of change happening via many avenues to educate the young as well as the old. Some of this is school related and much of this is changing as the general population changes on how to become educated. Just as the internet, computers, mechanization is disrupting traditional retail, it is also disrupting education, manufacturing, medicine, etcetera.

    Please do not take this as disagreement with your post.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    I do not really see a great deal of change in the education labor market, but I am not an analyst in that field. As I've mentioned before, I specialize mostly in telecom (though I am transitioning to public service) and even then I'm not an insider. If you have specific things you want to point out (a link would be helpful) I'd appreciate it. The way I see it, BLS macro stats tell me that the market is stable. My own anecdotal evidence tells me that education in K-12 is actually stagnating despite adoption of technology. Imo, the education system needs a rework but it isn't getting one and the labor market is still the same. as are the teaching methods.

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    mrmouth's Avatar flaxen haired argonaut
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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    Quote Originally Posted by chilon View Post
    Because depending on the industry, some simply can't compete. For instance Toys R Us, its impossible for Toys R Us to ever compete with the selection that ordering toys online offers. Often times the toy the kid wants isn't in the physical store. Toys R Us can satisfy the instant gratification shopper but it can never compete with the internet for kids that want a specific toy.
    It's the fulfillment side of things that they cannot compete with. Even Amazon will source something from a 3rd party to meet demand. And for Amazon they have no problem taking a small loss on the transaction as long as it keeps the customer likely to come back. Lately I have purchased a few things from Amazon that have come in Newegg boxes, etc. Jet.com is the same way. So these etailers have inexhaustible warehouse capacity. Toys R Us can do the same with online fulfilment but are limited by store inventory capacity.

    I still dont think that is the biggest factor, though. Instant gratification is still a thing. Best Buy in particular has been very good at using that.

    I really like Aldi. An Aldi store in the US will employ eight people, pay them well and expect them to do everything. There are no cleaning crews at night, etc. Even overtime for these employees to do those things is less overhead. That is what storefronts have to learn, just as Western consumers have to learn; be smarter with your money. A trip to Walmart is an exercise in watching people in blue shirts constantly appearing to be doing nothing. Part-time crews come in at night to do most the stocking of shelves. Those other people during the day are department heads who are utterly worthless.
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    B. W.'s Avatar Vicarius
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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    Just remember. All those machines will need service people to service and maintain them...until service bots are developed.

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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    I went to Barmes and Noble last week to find a book. The store clerk helped me locate a new book I was interested in reading. I checked Amazon's price and ordered it with one click for half the price and free shipping. Then I left the store. And that's for when I'm in the mood to read a book and not listen to one on audible where I get a free book every month...through my Amazon prime account.

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    swabian's Avatar igni ferroque
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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    Audible is glorious you bloody elves.

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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    I think the move of brick and mortar stores will be to a smaller space with less inventory system. Brick and mortar will basically become storefronts with knowledgeable employees who help you make a selection.

    Like a shoe store with all the shoes on the shelves so you can look at them and find the right size but it's delivered to your door or the store. Brick and mortar companies could compete with Amazon's free shipping model here.

    On a kind of related note, I'm interested to see what happens to Amazon prime free shipping if gas costs keep rising. Their model has had the benefit of operating in a low gas cost environment till now.

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    B. W.'s Avatar Vicarius
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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    Quote Originally Posted by tgoodenow View Post
    I think the move of brick and mortar stores will be to a smaller space with less inventory system. Brick and mortar will basically become storefronts with knowledgeable employees who help you make a selection.

    Like a shoe store with all the shoes on the shelves so you can look at them and find the right size but it's delivered to your door or the store. Brick and mortar companies could compete with Amazon's free shipping model here.

    On a kind of related note, I'm interested to see what happens to Amazon prime free shipping if gas costs keep rising. Their model has had the benefit of operating in a low gas cost environment till now.
    Don't forget print on demand. There lots of independent publishers these days who have lots of books on file and just print them as sales develop.

    Another possibility, therefore, is that publishers license the brick and mortar stores to simply print the books on demand. This would mean less floor space and greater profitability, less overhead for all parties involved...no more excessive print runs on estimated sales.

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    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    POD is not yet competitive with traditional printing for mass distribution. It has a place in a niche sort of way though.

    Many traditional small presses have replaced their traditional printing equipment with POD equipment or contract their printing to POD service providers. Many academic publishers, including university presses, use POD services to maintain large backlists (lists of older publications); some use POD for all of their publications.[2] Larger publishers may use POD in special circumstances, such as reprinting older, out of print titles or for test marketing.[3]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Print_on_demand

    Low volume and high mark-up will be threatened. Of course the low volume an high mark-up is already threatened by the internet. All POD will do is split a small niche between two competing distribution channels. Sorry. I do not think this is ready to replace big hit hard back book sales let alone the paperback market. The solution to the brick and mortar problem will only come by attacking effectively countering the threat of internet sales and direct parcel delivery directly.

    In the end, there will be a mix of internet sales, brick and mortar sites, and who knows what else. Get the bulldozers ready. The square footage and formats of brick and mortar will be changing regardless of what happens in the future. The real estate (re-)developers will get rich off of the transition.

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    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    Quote Originally Posted by Pontifex Maximus View Post
    I went to Barmes and Noble last week to find a book. The store clerk helped me locate a new book I was interested in reading. I checked Amazon's price and ordered it with one click for half the price and free shipping. Then I left the store. And that's for when I'm in the mood to read a book and not listen to one on audible where I get a free book every month...through my Amazon prime account.
    College students trying to cut costs by getting books online, through rentals, or via comparison shopping are taking the bite out of profits for a major campus bookstore operator.
    Shares of Barnes & Noble Education plunged Wednesday after the company reported first-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street forecasts ó in part due to lower textbook sales.
    The stock closed down 17.7% at $5.61 as the company reported its latest disappointing news in efforts to deal with students shifting to online, rental, and other sources for their textbooks and course materials.
    The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based company reported a net loss of nearly $34.8 million, or negative 75 cents a share. Financial analysts surveyed by S&P Capital IQ has forecast narrower losses of $25.97 million and negative 59 cents a share.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/money...iss/615691001/

    Barnes and Noble spun off the education unit a few years ago. It is a money loser which is why it was spun off. College bookstores will be like the dinosaur in a few years. Whether that means the same for Barnes and Noble is to be seen.

    Your experience with comparison shopping is not unusual. The problem to compete with the internet cannot be solved based upon price nor on availability of specific items. The survivability has to be based upon some sort of immediate gratification that cannot be provided by an internet / truck delivery service to your door. A business model that can survive will in some ways probably look a bit like a sit down restaurant where prices a bit higher than the fast food drive thru but offering a better shopping experience in some other way. Other here have suggested a print on demand. That may be part of a future solution, but not a real and complete solution for book store, but not even a bit of a solution for retail in general. What that way is, I do not know. If I knew, I would not be posting here. I would be worth billions and living on my own private island.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Store Closings in USA hits a record

    Somehow I doubt it. College textbooks and the people who print them have adapted wonderfully. There's clearly a lot of promotion and contracting going on to promote certain publishers in college campuses. More and more college textbooks are switching to DRM style "CD Key" data passes that are required to access information available only on their cloud. New editions are released frequently, and more and more publishers have opened up online stores to compete with Amazon. In addition to that, professors have little incentive to lower the cost to their students besides their good will. Their job security could potentially be at stake depending on who their employer is, and the professors that teach using their own textbook probably have an economic incentive to keep selling new editions to earn royalties.

    So no, I don't see textbooks going anywhere in the next few years. In 30 years? Maybe, information access has been evolving so incredibly fast that it's hard to predict where it'll be in the 20-30 years.

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