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Mega Retailers Close Stores: Hard to Shop “When People Are Just Trying to Pay Their Mortage”

Michael Snyder
February 26th, 2016
Economic Collapse Blog
Comments (137)
Read by 14,782 people

startshopping2

This article was written by Michael Snyder and originally published at his Economic Collapse blog.

Editor’s Comment: This is where the rubber meets the road, and the next collapse isn’t just procedural like the last one. Even the big retail giants are losing out to the bigger trends – that is, many of the Americans who only recently counted themselves among the Middle Class, are finding it more and more difficult just to make ends meet. With tens of millions of people closer to the line between OK and desperate, there just isn’t extra cash to buy lavish novelties and luxury items that help boost profits.

Most are buying only what they can afford, and going for bargains that put pressure on the old box stores of the now failing American dream. As Snyder put it succinctly: “It’s hard to support large-format retail in those suburban areas when people are trying to just pay their mortgage.”

Economic Recovery? 13 Of The Biggest Retailers In America Are Closing Down Stores

by Michael Snyder

Barack Obama recently stated that anyone that is claiming that America’s economy is in decline is “peddling fiction“.  Well, if the economy is in such great shape, why are major retailers shutting down hundreds of stores all over the country?  Last month, I wrote about the “retail apocalypse” that is sweeping the nation, but since then it has gotten even worse.  Closing stores has become the “hot new trend” in the retail world, and “space available” signs are going up in mall windows all over the United States.  Barack Obama can continue huffing and puffing about how well the middle class is doing all he wants, but the truth is that the cold, hard numbers that retailers are reporting tell an entirely different story.

Earlier today, Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert released a letter to shareholders that was filled with all kinds of bad news.  In this letter, he blamed the horrible results that Sears has been experiencing lately on “tectonic shifts” in consumer spending

In a letter to shareholders on Thursday, Lampert said the impact of “tectonic shifts” in consumer spending has spread more broadly in the last year to retailers “that had previously proven to be relatively immune to such shifts.”

“Walmart, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Staples, Whole Foods and many others have felt the impact of disruptive changes from online competition and new business models,” Lampert wrote.

And it is very true – Sears is doing horribly, but they are far from alone.  The following are 13 major retailers that are closing down stores…

#1 Sears lost 580 million dollars in the fourth quarter of 2015 alone, and they are scheduled to close at least 50 more “unprofitable stores” by the end of this year.

#2 It is being reported that Sports Authority will file for bankruptcy in March.  Some news reports have indicated that around 200 stores may close, but at this point it is not known how many of their 450 stores will be able to stay open.

#3 For decades, Kohl’s has been growing aggressively, but now it plans to shutter 18 stores in 2016.

#4 Target has just finished closing 13 stores in the United States.

#5 Best Buy closed 30 stores last year, and it says that more store closings are likely in the months to come.

#6 Office Depot plans to close a total of 400 stores by the end of 2016.

The next seven examples come from one of my previous articles

#7 Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores, including 154 inside the United States.

#8 K-Mart is closing down more than two dozen stores over the next several months.

#9 J.C. Penney will be permanently shutting down 47 more stores after closing a total of 40 stores in 2015.

#10 Macy’s has decided that it needs to shutter 36 stores and lay off approximately 2,500 employees.

#11 The Gap is in the process of closing 175 stores in North America.

#12 Aeropostale is in the process of closing 84 stores all across America.

#13 Finish Line has announced that 150 stores will be shutting down over the next few years.

These store closings can be particularly cruel for small towns.  Just consider the impact that Wal-Mart has had on the little town of Oriental, North Carolina

The Town’n Country grocery in Oriental, North Carolina, a local fixture for 44 years, closed its doors in October after a Wal-Mart store opened for business. Now, three months later — and less than two years after Wal-Mart arrived — the retail giant is pulling up stakes, leaving the community with no grocery store and no pharmacy.

Though mom-and-pop stores have steadily disappeared across the American landscape over the past three decades as the mega chain methodically expanded, there was at least always a Wal-Mart left behind to replace them. Now the Wal-Marts are disappearing, too.

Of course there are many factors involved in this ongoing retail apocalypse.  Competition from online retailers is becoming more intense, and consumer spending patterns are rapidly changing.

But in the end, the truth is that you can’t get blood out of a rock.  The middle class in America is shrinking, and there just isn’t as much discretionary spending going on as there used to be.

And now that we have entered a new economic downturn, many retailers are finding that there are some local communities that can no longer support their stores.  The following comes from CNBC

Though the shift to online shopping is no doubt playing a role in lighter foot traffic at malls, there’s more to their changing economics than the rise of Amazon. Changing demographics in a town are another reason a shopping center could struggle or fail — for example, if massive layoffs in a particular industry cause people to move away to find employment.

“A lot of people want to try and tie it to the Internet or ‘that’s not cool,’ or teens don’t like it,” Jesse Tron, a spokesman for industry trade group International Council of Shopping Centers, told CNBC last year. “It’s hard to support large-format retail in those suburban areas when people are trying to just pay their mortgage.”

In order to have a thriving middle class, we need good paying middle class jobs.  Unfortunately, our economy has been bleeding those kinds of jobs quite rapidly.  For example, Halliburton just announced that it is eliminating 5,000 more jobs after getting rid of 4,000 workers at the end of last year.

During the Obama years, good paying middle class jobs have been getting replaced by low paying service jobs.  At this point, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

And there is no way that you can support a middle class family with children on $30,000 a year.

We have an economy that is in the process of failing.  We can see it in the explosion of subprime auto loans that are going bad, we can see it in the hundreds of retail stores that are shutting down, and we can see it in the tens of thousands of good paying energy jobs that are being lost.

During the Obama years, interest rates have been pushed to the floor, the Federal Reserve has created trillions of dollars out of thin air, and the size of our national debt is getting close to doubling.  Despite all of those desperate measures, our economy continues to crumble.

We stole from the future to try to paper over our failures and it didn’t work.  Now an economic downturn that will ultimately turn out to be even worse than the “Great Recession” of 2008 and 2009 has begun, and our leaders have absolutely no idea how to fix things.

I wish I had better news to report, but I don’t.  Get prepared now, because very rough times are ahead.


GetPreparedNow-MichaelSnyderBarbaraFixMichael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

If you want to know what is coming and what you can do to prepare, read his latest book Get Prepared Now!: Why A Great Crisis Is Coming.

Click here to subscribe: Join over one million monthly readers and receive breaking news, strategies, ideas and commentary.
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Author: Michael Snyder
Views: Read by 14,782 people
Date: February 26th, 2016
Website: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/economic-recovery-13-of-the-biggest-retailers-in-america-are-closing-down-stores

Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to SHTFplan by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

137 Comments...

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  1. Philosopher says:

    The only things I buy right now are food and household supplies. However, I am looking forward to shopping at my neighbor’s garage sales this spring and summer.

    • slingshot says:

      What happen to the Venezuela article?

    • Kevin2 says:

      We have garage / estate sales 12 months year here in Florida. Need a refrigerator, TV or furniture; cars too. My wife is a brutal negotiator.

    • Yup,
      How do we all like that “Great sucking sound.” of Ross Perot?
      Remember, Henry Ford did not invent the assembly line, what he really invented was something we now call; Disposable income…
      Henry knew he could make more cars, than there were people who could afford to buy them, even with bank loans. This is because what passed for wages in those days were called; Subsistence wages.

      Enough to eat and live indoors, barely.
      So Henry doubled everybodies wages. And the great middle class was born. Even up until the 90’s, The Elite bragged that we here in America had the best standard of living in the world. Now, they complain that wages are too high.

      And we all wonder why things are riding the down elevator?

      PS: Bill Clinton signed the GATT and NAFTA treaties, and Al Gore bragged about the “Information Economy”.
      How’s that Information Economy working out for ya?
      PPS: In reality, this is the fulfillment of Karl Marx’s prophecy about capitalism.

      • Winston Smith says:

        What I find scary is that I am not alone in my thoughts about Marx’s predictions. What is still needed though is worldwide industrialization to put us in the correct position for his worker’s revolution.

        One of the things I wonder about China is if they are not trying the old Bolshevik idea of rapid industrialization to make communism possible from a different angle. Instead of fighting capitalism, they are using it’s power to bring them to the point of rapid industrialization of an agrarian economy in a way the Soviets failed to do with their fully planned economy. Once they industrialize, the hope may be that the people will rise up against the inequalities they see and beg for total state control. All the state has to do then is execute the capitalists that built China and replace them with apparatchiks. I also wonder if that is what Obama was trying to do when he let the excesses of Wall Street go unpunished. Perhaps he saved capitalism in order to let it kill itself.

      • FreedomFighter says:

        It’s not capitalism as Marx saw it that is killing us. It is excessive debt brought on by fractional reserve banking. They say a socialist is just a patient communist. I would say a banker using fractional reserve debt lending is an impatient capitalist. They are leveraging now the growth and production from the future. Governments do it also when they print money (something most governments including communist ones do).

        The do-gooders in turn believe in wealth redistribution thereby making a malinvestment in a non-productive human resource. (To be clear, I’m not against helping people and I do it all the time. But that should be left to an individual to decide or else you just grow an unsustainable welfare state similar to the way fractional banking grows an unsustainable debt burden.)

        If you can understand the above two concepts you will be way ahead of most college graduates when it come to economics and the path we are headed down.

    • john stiner says:

      You can get some really cool shit at garage sales. Just today I got a Wizard Husky fan made in the 1950s for only $5. A quick turn in the blast cabinet and a new paint job and the fan looks brand new. They are selling for about $75 on E-bay, but I’m keeping this one.

      I also got about 30 dill bits various sizes, all brand new, for $2.

      Garage sales can be a preppers delight.

      • smokey says:

        Last year at various sales I found a nice two-person tent, a new Coleman lantern in wooden box, and a propane camp stove NIB, I think I paid maybe $30 total for all those items.

        Then there was the old, obsolete, dated film camera with the pair of zoom lenses for $100. All Nikon, probably cost around $3,000 new back in the 1960’s. Can’t beat it with a stick.

      • Kevin2 says:

        50s stuff yea. Steel not plastic, built to last.

        We had a late 1940s Fridgadare (Spelling) refrigerator with the oval top and sheet metal ice tray / freezer. It ran continuous with the exception of moving from my grandparents home to our garage in about 1970. It then ran continuous until moved to the Fire House in 1990 where it still serves as a beer fridge. All that has been done to it is cleaning the coils.

        Sometime in the early 60s the quality on US still started retreating. A crew here, a clip there and you have planned obsolesce.

      • Plan twice, prep once says:

        I picked up a old fashion camcorder at a garage sale for $15.

        I pulled the view finder out to wire to an inexpensive see in the dark security camera, instant see in the dark night vision monocular.

        The camera section can act as a security camera and feed to any TV, and it has a great zoom lens. Remove the cameras IR filter and it can see in the dark.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This should make all those people lamenting those “big box” stores forcing “Mom and Pop” stores out of business very happy.

    • john stiner says:

      Nothing new in this article. Sears has been going bankrupt for 30 years.

      • passinwiththewind says:

        Well, you are definitely right about Sears.
        The Craftsman line of products, except for some small hand tools,
        got cheaper made, but the retail cost remained high.

        Their high end, dependable appliances, had to take a backseat to better technology and cheaper prices from the big Home Improvement Stores.

        I had a zero turn radius mower with the Craftsman name, a few years ago. It was nothing more than cheap Asian made crap, with several factory defects that Sears Customer Service would not stand behind.
        They said unless there was a safety issue they had no obligation to recall or adjust replacement costs or continual repairs.

        I said i had no obligation to buy from Sears ever again. Evidently, the majority of people feel the same way. A couple years ago the local Sears had to shut the doors. My ex-wife and her spoiled, silver spoon, hubby, were the owners. The word on the street was; they had such snotty attitudes towards average looking customers, that many spread bad PR through the town about them.

        They tried to intimidate and screw me over for years while my daughter was young, so I felt no remorse for their loss.
        What goes around comes around, and they both deserve every inch of bad juju that comes their way.
        They are the worst kind of fake christians, that only go to church to make a show and try to screw people over the other six days of the week.

  3. Liberty says:

    This entire story must be nonsense, Americans should have more money available then ever, just from the savings from their health care costs. With ObamaCare taking hold, health care costs should continue to plummet, allowing more disposal income to be spent on luxury items.

    • john stiner says:

      I dont know about anybody else, but I am getting taxed to death.

      I figured it up while doing my income taxes. I paid 65% of my income to taxes. Federal, states, county and city level.

      65% !!!!!!

      WTF…..

      • Silent Eyes says:

        Wow…….you need a better tax planner and CPA. With all the options available to legally shelter your income there is no reason anyone in the US has to pay 65% of their income for taxes. You are screwing yourself out of your own money if that is truly your own tax rate…..

        • TnAndy says:

          Stiner didn’t say 65% income taxes, he said 65% of his income went to taxes. If you’re self employed, it’s not hard to reach that level if you factor in ALL taxes.

          Say for example, your spouse is employed and her income puts you right at the end of the 15% income tax bracket. Every dime you earn is then taxed for Federal income tax at 28%…..plus you pay another 15.3% ‘self employment’ tax (social security/medicare)…that puts you at 43.3% before you factor in any State income tax, or (lucky you)county/city income taxes. You could easily hit 50% in some areas.

          Then factor in property taxes, fuel taxes, sales taxes, and God knows how many other/hidden taxes, and guess what….65% ain’t out of the ball park at all.

          I used to build spec houses and sell them. 43.3% of my income gone. Not a huge inspiration to get out of bed in the morning.

          I finally got to the point I saved enough to self finance my houses (because if you have a construction loan, the clock is ticking….you have to sell them ASAP)and began to rent them for ONE year.

          Once you hold them a year, you can sell, and pay capital gains tax (15% in my case) instead of ordinary income (28%)….and you don’t pay the self employment tax (15.3%)…..so the Federal tax dropped from 43.3 to 15. PLUS, the rental income for that year is not subject to self employment tax….it is considered ‘unearned’ income (investment income). If you looked at my annual SS statement, it looks like I died about 15 years ago, because year after year, it reads “0”….ahahahaaaa.

          I didn’t figure this out from using an accountant, because most of them are ‘box-fillers’…you give them your figures, they know the right box to put them in on the form….as far as giving you advice, most of them aren’t worth a shit…because they don’t know you or your business….they just know how to fill in boxes on forms.

          I figured it out by doing my own tax returns and studying the “what if I did this, or that….how would it affect what I pay ?” and applied it to my business so it gave me with the most leftovers.

          And the second thing I did was choose a lower tax place to live. In Tennessee, we have no state income tax….we do have a high sales tax, but I can control much of that by lifestyle….cut your own firewood, or raise much of your own food, for example, and you pay zero sales tax instead of paying an income tax up front, and buying those with after tax dollars. Our property tax is far lower than many places. I pay $1500/yr on 108ac place that would sell conservatively for a million bucks.

      • rednek101 says:

        Dude. You must have made a million dollars last year. Even a lousy accountant could have gotten you down to 35%.

      • smokey says:

        Ouch, I paid about 20% for all mine, federal, property, sales, etc.

      • greasemonkoid says:

        You’re getting taxed more than that in reality – Taxed when you earn, taxed when you spend, taxed annually if you own, and taxed again via inflation if you save. A man could never buy a home in cash today, if he did, it would cost about twice the actual value. The slavery age is upon us. It’s about time to apply for gubt. assistance to buy lead and storable food.

      • Lorie says:

        We are a small trucking company (and I do mean small, one tractor, three trailers,) my husband drives and is out on the road 25 or so days a month. We grossed just over $1200 last year, with a gross of about $90,000 (oil field for the first 6 months) Between, taxes (about 60%,repairs & fuel,) we liked to starve to death….and this year is worse……….we pay TWO fuel taxes, at the pump & quarterly…….not to mention tax in our home state BUT also EVERY state he drives in

        • BeagleMom says:

          i soooooo understand what you’re saying…..we used to run one truck, and i was a company driver for someone else…. if not for what i made, we would’ve gone under….. i think after irp, ifta, 2290, ucr, fuel and repairs, i think we ended up at like -$8.oo …..and everyone thinks truckers make so much money…..the ones with the big pretty supersleepers are driving their homes down the road!!!!

    • BeagleMom says:

      BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA . . . when i find all that money i’m saving i’ll go make a down payment on that yacht!!!!!

    • DontCensorMEBro says:

      HEALTH CARE HAS BEEN PLUMMETING???
      QUIT SMOKING THE CRACK DUDE
      But most of all STOP WORKING FOR THE EFIN GOVERNMENT TO SPREAD DIS-INFO

  4. .25 bases points. Says it all.
    Car repossessions 12.5 % delinquency rate
    Food stamps at an all time high.
    96 Million out work of a total of 315 million Americans.
    Government arresting citizens for defaults on student loans.
    Bundy’s are terrorists but black youth are good citizens.
    IRS auditing anyone who criticizes government.
    Oh yeah, a black man in the white house.

    Yep, sounds like a third world government.

    BigB

    • Gonetoolong says:

      Friday’s weekend words of wisdom-
      “Get your freak on”.
      Setting up for a fine year out there.

      • passinwiththewind says:

        Yea, and that 96 million out of work, or underemployed is bad enough when you compare it to the total USSAG population of 315…legal citizens.

        Take out the nearly 100 million that are not even available for the work force; kids under 16, elderly, disabled, and fully retired…plus add back in the number of illegals that work for cash and never pay taxes, and it is a real sick economy.

        An economy that is one catastrophic event away from a melt down into turd world status. If it were not for the boomers and their savings from hard work for forty plus years, of which I call “old money”, the system would have already imploded.

        Take all that “old money”..aka inheritance and investments that the boomers own; out of the system entirely, and there would be more than just “major retailers” shutting the doors for good.
        The list of Restaurant owners shutting up shop would be devastating.

        If, not if, but when, WW3 goes full on, and fuel prices escalate back up and eventually triple; the restaurant business will start dwindling like the tourists heading into Syria.

        The Service industry is now employing about 60% of the work force in our city, since Nafta and International outsourcing eliminated tens of thousands of jobs in our county.

        About 30% appear to be under employed,retired,disabled,on welfare, or just worthless users sucking food and petty funds off their parents and grandparents and would not hold a job regardless of the availability of jobs.

    • laeagle says:

      The times they are achangin’! Major budget deficits here in Louisiana. I am surprised we have gotten this far without a collapse. I expected the collapse 6 years ago! As some doors close, others will open. Stay calm, cool, and collected. “The meek shall rule the world!”

      Louisiana Eagle

    • The Road Worrier says:

      I remember a time when I used to play the ” Moses drinking game” with friends whenever we got together to watch the movie ” The Ten Commandments”. Whenever somebody said ” Moses” during the movie, you had to take a drink. Now I think a new version of the game can be added called the Snyder ” Apocalypse” game, where every time he says ” apocalypse” in one of his articles you have to take a drink.

    • Kulafarmer says:

      Wait till they suspend elections! Then we really be rocking the third world status

    • Kevin2 says:

      If your old enough you may remember the Bachman / Turner Overdrive song; “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”.

      I think about Sir Winston Churchill’s statement at the start of the Battle Of Britain.

      “This is not the end, its not the beginning of the end, it is however the end of the beginning”

      We’re just at the beginning of this baby.

      • buttcrackofdoom says:

        PFFT!….we still parkin’ the CAR…..a friend the other day suggested we are in the 7th inning of this collapse….and i say we aint even parked the car yet….oh, by the way….did they mention…..it’s a double HEADER!

    • john stiner says:

      Have you ever seen a country run by Black people that wasn’t totally fucked up?

      Why do you think Africa is a total piece of shit?

      South Africa was great until Blacks took over, now it has reverted back to 3rd world status.

  5. durangokidd says:

    Someone here said in SEPTEMBER that the FED would raise rates in Dec/Jan by 25 bp and that would mitigate the “froth” in the markets.

    Someone here said at the end of NOVEMBER that the business cycle was over and that investors should realize that by MARCH 1ST.

    Who was that masked man ??? Its in the archives. 🙂

    • Jacknife says:

      Are you that masked man? Shucks can I get yer autograph?

      • durangokidd says:

        Jacknife: You want my autograph ??? How much money you got Willis ??? There is no free lunch.

        Did you want to subscribe to my monthly newsletter ??? 🙂

        • Jacknife says:

          All the info you post on here, I don’t think I need a subscription. Most of what you say is good stuff, if I come across any different it’s just cause I’m an old hard ass I’ve been lurkin here for a couple of years, just started posting a couple months ago.

    • Kevin2 says:

      DK

      I’ll hand it to you, you accurately predicted a lot that has come true.

      Now what do you have for say this time next year regarding the economy (or lack of one).

      • john stiner says:

        How is that a prediction? The news has been saying that over almost a YEAR.

      • durangokidd says:

        K2: I expect the decline to continue in the economy. I said early last fall that I expected the markets to be “choppy” for the next two years, with a bias for prices to spiral to the downside reflecting declining earnings.

        So far the PTB have managed to hold it all together, but I anticipate further “unravelling” which is customary for the year before and after a Presidential Election. I do not believe that war will come this year as China and Russia will want to see what happens with “regime change” in the United States.

        World War is not in the interests of the three great powers. None of them. Both Russia and China are not yet ready for war anyway, and by the time they are, defensive technology for the USA will dominate.

        This coming “depression” was INTENDED to give the next POTUS an opportunity to grab sweeping new powers to deal with the coming economic crisis on behalf of the NWO PTB. Unfortunately for the NWO PTB it will not be either JEB! or Hillary holding the reigns of power.

        If TRUMP is elected and that seems reasonable now, then a new burst of FREEDOM is coming to America: in our markets; education system, our politics and our economy. TRUMP has called for an audit of the FED. That should be enough to get the majority of votes from the readers here.

        The TRUMP REVOLUTION will be several magnitudes greater than the Reagan Revolution, because times will be tougher and the Establishment which has enslaved Americans is more firmly grounded; and in both parties. The Great Unraveling over the next few years will give Americans a chance to RESET the Nation back upon its TRADITIONAL ROOTS.

        REBOOT !!!

        Patriots must seize that opportunity. I cannot emphasize it enough. Patriots must seize that opportunity. They must be vocal. They must be loud. They must be ACTIVE and AGGRESSIVE in demanding their Constitutional Rights and the PROSECUTION of those who have abridged our freedoms. A few dozen examples will go a long way to righting the “Ship of State”.

        Make no mistake. There will be CHANGES. America and Americans can emerge from these CHANGES: stronger, healthier, wealthier, more productive, and more powerful: with more FREEDOM than ever before. Life is plastic. We have an opportunity now, in this day and time, to put our “stamp” on it and make an indelible expression.

        It’s a great time to be alive !!! 🙂

        • passinwiththewind says:

          “World War is not in the interests of the three great powers.”

          Bullsheet! When you say Russia,China, and USSAG, you are making a reference to the gov/political powers of those countries. The people of those three never have wanted war of any kind.

          All three have an industrialized war complex that has the desire to make war and proliferate war as to further their profits.
          News flash….All three are already engaged in WW3 now. The war machines are in full production and increasing their output exponentially.

          Syria is base for the Proxy war of all three, and spreading fast into all Middle East Countries. The last piece to that WW3 puzzle is troops…and they are amassing right now.

          I won’t go so far as to say it will go full on this year; but the stage is setting for the political apple cart to be overturned if it becomes apparent that Trump will get the victory in November. The liberals will not hand over the reigns of power without an insider at the helm.

          A martial law supporting event may be in the cards for this Fall, in order to suspend the potus election.

          If the majority of people wake up enough, to cause a majority of consensus towards taking a chance on Trump, and the election cannot be spoiled…then we may see that temporary reset against more nwo strongholds. If it happens, it will be temporary, because; it will take more than just a majority of supporting citizens to raise hell at establishment politicians, it will mean a complete overhaul of the house and senate and a “throw the bums out” mentality.

          And…if that were to happen; it would take a nation wide revolt against abortion/homosexual marriage, and a revival of repentance and acceptance of Godly biblical values, and acceptance of those same values and principles as they were used as the backbone of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

          As of right now…it seems like a pipe dream, but one can hope.

          • durangokidd says:

            Passing: Its one thing for the three major powers to proliferate regional conflicts through proxies. Its an altogether different thing to start shooting at each other directly.

            That’s what they want to avoid. 🙂

        • Kevin2 says:

          Speaking of Trump I see Christie, a polar opposite of Trump has come out for him. A political opportunist. If he get a VP nod I sense LBJ to JFK one heart beat from the Presidency.

          I hope Trump can see the people he is messing with and get defensive. Want a NWO nightmare? Put Rand Paul as VP. Trump can say, “Get me and you get him”. The NWO themselves will closely guard Trump.

          The amoral bastards will start wars with false flags and for ostensible reasons killing millions to achieve their goals. I just can’t see them rolling over.

          • durangokidd says:

            K2: I don’t think Christie gets the VP nod. Certainly not Ron Paul, although Paul would be a great choice for head of DHS.

            Personally, I would like to see a next generation Patriot for VP. Someone who could carry the TRUMP REVOLUTION forward. Someone just a bit more moderate,like former US Tea Party Senator Scott Brown in the General Election.

            Brown is considered a moderate because he voted for ObolaCare, but you have to remember that Kennedy had brainwashed Massachusetts for 40 years that health care was a right. A Senator should respect the values of his voters when he votes for them.

            TRUMP would be the decider, but someone like former Speaker Newt Gingrich could be helpful to TRUMP negotiating the ends and outs of DC. He is connected, conservative, articulate, experienced, and highly intelligent.

            Newt could be useful. Maybe Secretary of State. 😉

            • Kevin2 says:

              DK

              Trump’s primary need in a VP isn’t advice as his cabinet and the various departments have that in abundance but rather protection. He needs someone that is absolutely unacceptable to TPTB.

              JFK messed up picking LBJ. Obama kept bucket mouth Joe Biden for that reason.

        • Jacknife says:

          This is exactly what I mean. After reading this, who needs a subscription?

        • laura m. says:

          DK: Some are concerned about Trump being assassinated (go to:thecommonsenseshow.com) Dave Hodges has an article on it. If the Elite feel threatened, there is no telling what they’ll do. Since W. Wilson, the Elite began their control, here it is 2016, why haven’t they made and end run touchdown yet? plenty of opportunities to take us down over these many decades. Many are over 90 and won’t live much longer.

    • Curious Yellow says:

      durangokidd, so tell me, who is our next POTUS?
      Prediction time ……………

    • Curious Yellow says:

      DK – who will be the next POTUS?

  6. Sgt. Dale says:

    The only stores that are having good years are, gun stores and they have even slowing down some.

    The rest of 2016 is interesting!

    We knew this was coming. That is why we Prep!

    Sgt.

    • old geezer says:

      Sarge, I think the only reason gun sales are slowing is because they are running out of guns to sell. I am constantly visiting gun stores and the sites on the net and about all the popular brands are always out of stock. The guy behind the counter told me last week they just can’t build their stock back up. Looks like more and more people are waking up.

  7. Less money, less shopping
    not rocket science.

    • Charley Waite says:

      Don’t forget the feral packs of thugs roaming many malls. Even if you had money, is it worth the risk?

      • laura m. says:

        Charlie: Thugs and losers definitely hang out at malls- females that want to be picked up, men looking for a pick up. Mall hanging is so ’70’s and ’80’s (passe). Cool folks incl retirees shop at Academy Sports/outdoors or order online from llBean, etc. Some go into Dept Stores like Belk or Dillards from the street entrance and leave same way. Malls really suck in 2016.

  8. rellik says:

    I live in a third world state that happens to be in America. I know the middle class is reallying taking a hit. But stores on the list provided looks like more of bad management and over expansion.
    We have a Sears here it is nearly empty whenever I go in, same for Sports authority, Office Depot, and Kmart, The problem is corporate buyers dictating inventories not taking into consideration of local tastes and incomes. A few years back Macy’s, J.C. Penny up and left. Prices were too high for the local economy.

    • Kulafarmer says:

      Same here Rellik
      Empty stores.
      We have 3 main commercial spaces (malls) almost all have huge vacancies and the retailers that are there are sucking wind

    • laura m. says:

      Rellik: Sports Auth. is bankrupt, K mart is for losers, Sears has closed here and elsewhere, incl some K Marts. Kohl’s has declined in sales. People I know hate Dick’s we quit shopping there, they quit selling guns they are PC.

  9. Rodster says:

    Yup, my rent just went up $100 starting March 1st to $725.

  10. Billy in VA says:

    A nation’s economy WILL NOT and CANNOT be viably sustained without a healthy middle class-period. Otherwise, quoting statistics is irrelevant. Secondly, when the middle class has dramatically diminished in size and wealth there is political change. If political change fails to rectify the economy then society changes, and when there has been sufficient social change there is revolution. The ONLY question is the severity of conditions that determine how quick this process can plays out.
    A middle class is the backbone of a nation’s health, society, culture, morality, economy, skills, etc. If you want to see the state of health of a nation merely look at its middle class. As it deteriorates so does all these other things; and we can see gross deteriation.
    Let’s be honest here, things that occur of this magnitude just don’t happen. Most elected officials, bureaucrats, and government in general despise us. Mainly because we are the least dependent of them, we distrust them the most and are generally intelligent enough to de see what they are doing, another is that we still have sufficient power to render them unimportant in most aspects of our lives. Our numbers are still great enough that if we would unite we could easily nullify anything we don’t like. THAT is why we are constantly being barraged and split with all kinds of issues. As long as the middle class is not united we can be dealt with in small groups. If the power we potentially possess can ever be concentrated into a single force it would be too great for any entity to oppose.
    Working in conjunction with government in general, the major corporate interests also detest us. They moved jobs to third-world countries, create GMO food, make products so cheap it is junk, and invest their money overseas. This are not merely “just doing business”, they truly could not care less about the working people. High-tech. industries collude with government to spy on the citizens.
    I believe if the middle class united, the TPTB would see it with alarm; propaganda, a raft of new rules, and new police powers would be set in motion. Of course that would tip their hand and only therefore prove what they are all about

  11. Stars & Bars says:

    Whew, as long as “Sex World” and “Porn City” stays open I’m good. (sarcasm)

    Saw an article yesterday where Citi Bank is saying that the drop in Corporate Profits is signaling a coming worldwide recession. ( It was NOT on a paranoia/survival site either)

  12. TEST says:

    Good news? Here’s some more. Yes we ARE having an affect!

    Yet, there IS some good news, and we ARE having an affect:

    The University of Missouri (Mizzou) Board of Curators voted to fire former Professor Melissa Click Wednesday with a 4-2 vote. http://www.bizpacreview.com/2016/02/26/controversial-prof-melissa-click-fired-from-mizzou-310276#ixzz41JNvUl7T You remember her. Click was the subject of a viral video last fall that showed her calling on nearby students to forcefully evict a student journalist attempting to document the public protests on campus, and while the public outcry led her to resign a courtesy appointment in the journalism school, she retained her normal position as a communications professor.

    US Judge Orders Discovery to Go Forward over Clinton’s Private Email System – Washington Post. A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that State Department officials and top aides to Hillary Clinton should be questioned under oath about whether they intentionally thwarted federal open records laws by using or allowing the use of a private email server throughout Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. The decision by U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington came in a lawsuit over public records brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal watchdog group, regarding its May 2013 request for information about the employment arrangement of Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/us-judge-weighs-deeper-probe-into-clintons-private-email-system/2016/02/23/9c27412a-d997-11e5-81ae-7491b9b9e7df_story.html?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_daily202

    Need more? Charges filed against UAlbany students who claimed bias attack – Black women faked claim of attack by whites, police say. http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Charges-filed-against-UAlbany-students-who-6854003.php#item-38491

    More good news: Blue Cross Plans Hit Hard By Obamacare Losses Once Obamacare loses its milk cow, it’s goodnight Irene!
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2016/02/26/blue-cross-plans-hit-hard-by-obamacare-losses/#626cb41f2192

    Abortion mills are closing at the fastest rate ever was the news last week. In part, due to presentations like this, from an ex-abortionist: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/02/24/former-abortionist-uses-medical-animations-to-show-what-happens-to-baby-and-mother-during-abortion/

    And the ever-ready Ben Shapiro takes on the leftist fascists at another California university http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/02/25/ben-shapiro-lights-up-csu-la-with-diversity-speech/

    Just so you don’t get too giddy… No Hate Crime Charges for BLM Teens Who Allegedly Assaulted Marine – “They targeted me because of my skin color.”
    http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/no-hate-crime-charges-blm-teens-who-allegedly-assaulted-marine

  13. Frank Thoughts says:

    The problem is simple to understand but the government does not grasp it. The abundance and efficiency being created by the IT revolution is itself leading to a revolutionary transformation in the economy. The future will be an economy and society profoundly split between the centre – a technology elite and creative thinkers who drive all change and innovation – and the rest, who will need to work in the pleasure and human care economy. The pleasure and human care economy will not pay well but it will pay. What is causing the pain is the legacy – the national debts, the consumer debts, the mortgage debts, the too-high taxes to pay for too-much government, the boomer pensions and healthcare. All having to be paid for one or another from the majority earning low income. The solution is to address this imbalance – to shrink government, to jubilee debt, devalue the dollar massively, negate the boomer pensions and healthcare, and instead let the economy be run by the efficiency machine that will provide the abundance.

    The pleasure economy will exist to ensure the population are fed, entertained, pleasured and generally kept occupied. Over time, it will be necessary to right-size the human population to the actual available resources on the planet. That means getting down to less than a billion people – the natural balance rate. Sterilization must take place for anyone without a high IQ or who is not able to work in the centre. Those in the pleasure economy who will be allowed to breed will need to be exceptional – no ugly, useless eaters. These are the hard choices we need to make.

  14. Ack! Ack-ack! says:

    I refuse to buy crap made in third world countries, when the retailers start stocking and promoting made in America socks, T-shirts, furniture and electronics then I will be back in the stores..

  15. aljamo says:

    All these stores losing sales need to lower their profit margin, yeah that’ll never happen.

  16. Jose says:

    I work at Kohl’s. They have very few full time employees. The management is incompetent. They cannot even schedule correctly. Most of the time you have one person trying to cover multiple departments. The customer service scores are bad and employees leave every week. I cannot find other work even though I have a college degree and great experience.
    Living paycheck to paycheck. Cannot “prep” when you are poor. Must be nice to stock up with all that disposable income you people apparently have. Enjoy.

    • Jose,
      Many people, including me, do not have the income we once had. More every day are losing their incomes. You are in front is all.

      • Genius says:

        My income is way down from 10 years ago and I’m doing just fine. I wasn’t a moron and spent the money I made on useless shit and living high on the hog with a bunch of new toys like the rest of the mental midgets. EVERYTHING I own is paid for! House, truck, preps (and I have a shitload of them). No credit cards, no loans, NOTHING! I buy more prep and security stuff all the time because I have cash (theres a novel idea huh?) Fookin idiots that spend more than they make with credit and loans and cry when they lose it are just plain old stupid and deserve it. I never sweat any bills because all I have is utilities and taxes. I’m not rich by any means but I guarantee I am more prepped that 99.5% of the herd! I only have to work 6 months out of the year too, being a genius makes life good lol 😛

    • john stiner says:

      Jose,

      First, sucks to be you.

      Second, You can prep with very little money, you just have to look in the right places. Note my comments about garage sales above.

    • Genius says:

      Jose, you know there is a plethora of under the table things you can do to make $ right? If working retail is your only skill then you ARE SCREWED!

    • Redoubt Renee says:

      We are borderline poor, almost two kids now making $28k. Once this baby comes we drop down to being able to qualify for SNAP:( Prepping while poor just takes a mental adjustment most of the time. What can I do without? What am I paying for that I can get for cheaper if I do it myself? Can I save enough to buy the bulk size to save money? Can I sacrifice fast food and make every damn meal from scratch? What if I turned off the internet/netflix/hulu for three months(keep the phone)? Do I have skills I can employ in my free time to make more money?

      I would suggest this: set yourself a monetary goal, say $1000 for preps, and give yourself three months to get there. Sacrifice-for-survival is the name of the game. Turn off lights, take what I call a “Kentucky shower” (wet, water off, lather, water on, rinse), heat one room of the house when you are home. Dave Ramsey calls this “living like no one else so you can live like no one else”. That means living poorly for a while so you can live better later. My spin is “Live like no one else you can live…period”.

    • passinwiththewind says:

      I have heard that from several people over the years…”I can’t afford to prep with extra food supplies”.

      In most cases, that is just a scapegoat excuse.

      Managing money is simple math, and most people can buy an extra five lbs. of rice or dried pinto beans every now and then.

      Those items packed in glass jars/jugs, and tucked away in a dark place may be what keeps someone from starvation at some point.

      Yes, there are better tasting foods that can be stockpiled; but, lb. for lb., nutrient for nutrient, and price upon price, there isn’t any better way to get started.

      To paraphrase; the Bible even says that a fool sees trouble ahead and does not prepare.

      A 55 gallon steel barrel, with a tight fitting lid, tucked in the corner of a barn, shed, or basement, is the perfect starting point to stack preps in. We are rotating out five year stock of dried beans, rice, pasta, cornmeal mix, pancake mix, grits, sugar, flour…etc.
      So far everything has been just fine. The five year old pintos are a little darker when cooked up, but I have learned to drain after cooking for the first half hour, and returning to boil with fresh water. They need extra time for cooking in order to be soft, but taste just fine and still make just as big a fart.

    • Buck says:

      Jose, quit whinning about all the money everyone else has. If you can’t make ends meet working part time a Kohls get another job!

  17. steve says:

    lost my good paying coal job. I now make $9.50 an hour, shoot I was making $10.00 an hour in 1989.

  18. Notice how they blame online retailers and don’t mention the loss of the middle class? Overall sales are down because people don’t have money. How do they get so many folks to spew nonsense?

    • john stiner says:

      Funny about that. I just ordered a replacement switch for a ham radio. Normally I would run down to Radio Shack to get that, but had to get it from Amazon. There are no retailers in my town that sell electronic components.

      • Archivist says:

        Radio Shack has plenty of cell phones though.

        I miss the old Radio Shacks. There would be a lot of people just hanging out every Saturday morning. Kits, parts, stereos, and computers. Fun for everyone. My local one even had a workshop in the back where the owner would make minor electronic repairs. Most of today’s workers know nothing except how to program cell phones.

        BTW, if I need a part, I go to my garage first. I have a stockpile of parts I bought at Radio Shack every time they had a clearance sale. I also have the stockpile of parts I bought from the estate of a former ham.

      • Winston Smith says:

        It’s sort of a dying hobby now. It seems that hobbies involving tinkering and repairing are dying out and have been replaced with mass consumption. The good news is that the information needed to build or repair just about anything is now available to anyone with an internet connection and the curiosity needed to use it for something besides Facebook.

        So far as electronics parts goes, I order them in bulk direct from China off of Ebay. If I need a part quickly then there are US sellers who can ship it to me quickly like Element 14, Adafruit, Etradesupply, etc. What’s odd to me is that with all of these electronic devices, I am the only person I know who has any idea how to fix them or any desire to learn how. You would think that low income people would want to learn how to be more self sufficient, but all I see around me is people who know little more than how to swipe a credit card and who do not wish to learn self reliance.

        • Genius says:

          WS, yep ebay rocks for electronic parts! Anything you can imagine, they have it and cheap too. Much less than radio shack and radio shack sells sprint cell service which is the absolute shittiest crappy piece of garbage service out there. No wonder they are going under. I think internet shopping is driving the brick and mortar stores out because the prices are soooo much less. I buy a lot of electronics, preps, auto/atv parts online. A lot of used stuff from craigslist also and yard sales. It blows me away how anything I can think of, ebay has it lol.

    • Anonymous says:

      Reb,
      They get paid well with perks. What they spew is meaningless bullshit.

  19. Ketchupondemand says:

    Got a good laugh a couple days ago from a bumper sticker.
    We don’t see many of them around here, and maybe you’ve seen it in the lower 48…but I laughed anyway:

    US OUT OF NORTH AMERICA.

  20. CommonCents says:

    I was in Target the other day, in the late morning, and immediately noticed I was the only customer in the store. I asked the cashier, and manager who was standing next to her, why the store was empty and they said two reasons; the economy and also a lot of people make their purchases online and have them delivered to their front door.

    • swinging richard says:

      CC, agreed. The wife does all shopping on line, except groceries. Maybe a new trend.

      • CommonCents says:

        Yeah, swinging – actually, same here.

        Except for groceries, (which of course can also be bought online) I mostly shop online too.

        But I went to Target because there are certain items I need to see/visually inspect before making a purchase which can’t be done online…such as new bed pillows, and a few extra ones in case shtf and they become unavailable.

        Yesterday I went to the local (2 miles away) K-mart for a few more prep items (extra can openers, extra pairs of sneakers & socks, and a few more warm blankets, etc) and it was almost the same thing… hardly any customers in the store. BTW, I live in a semi-rural area near the burbs, but it’s also densely populated nearby where I shop 2-3 miles away. I have never seen the stores so empty as the past 2 weeks. Never.

  21. Asshat says:

    Jose that’s the way they want to run the store having you cover other departments saves them $. It’s cut throat retail. You gotta get out of retail it sucks. A lot of industries are following this model of management. This is why they suffer for it and treat help like shit. Trying to do more with less is the business model. I throw out the anchor. Just don’t care about their problems as long as my envelope is there on Thursday I will keep coming to work. If I can’t do it not gonna stress just gonna put it on management. Remember you just work there it’s not your problem. They will try to make it your problem of course. I don’t go to any of the stores listed above except Wally’s. I haven’t bought anything in a long time. Just some m&ms for my chocolate urges. A while back I stocked up on the things I use. I’m thinking if people don’t start shopping soon the future quality of goods will be worst than it is now. If stuff breaks faster you will be in the store sooner. It’s all about keeping us consuming more and more. It’s stupid im not here to make the retailers pockets fatter.

  22. Asshat says:

    Management had a little meeting with us this morning. They only wanted to talk about what we do wrong safety wise. They didn’t want to talk about all the broken shit tools we have to use or the seats in the trucks being broken or worn out. You get the standard lip service how they care and all that but yet they neglect their duties of providing safe tools like pallet jacks that are not bent to shit with missing front wheels and bent handlebars. As long as I use three points of contact to get in the truck. The broken seat that is collapsed on one side from some fat ass with a crooked spine don’t matter it’s only my back that hurts not the managements. Just like a dead beat parent that don’t keep their kid in decent clothes but swears they love their kid. Deny failure and blame the help is the new management style. my intelligence is insulted every time we have meetings. This is why a hate management and corporations. I should believe they care about the drivers. It’s no wonder there is a lot of comp claims. Corporations forget the human resource part. You are your clock number just another busted tool for their use. That’s all you will ever be to your employer. I do the minimum and push the limits to what I can get away with. Gotta play the game. I act like a fruit cake because I don’t get treated like a professional. I can play the game either way. It was a career now it’s just a job. Who wants to put up with this shit for the rest of their working days. Have tried repeatedly to tell them about broken stuff but it falls on def ears. Let’s hear your employers horror stories you can’t make this shit up.

  23. Silverbuck says:

    The outlook on many fronts seems bleak . Being prepared doesn’t mean there will not be a lot of pain watching and dealing with others. I am medium well prepped but need some dental work. I would like to get that squared away . Question, anyone done the trip to Mexico for this service to save money ?

  24. nexusxyz says:

    Another issue with the closure of the big box stores is that in a lot of communities there will no alternative as they forced the closure of high street and local businesses. I guess people will have to travel further.

    • Genius says:

      Well there your next job! Bussing people to the next town to walmart lol. You know how sheep love walmart!

      • Dave in idaho says:

        Genius…I need to hot wire my 7 foot garden fence to keep the moose from leaning on it and the grizz when she wakes up. any ideas on how high-up from the ground to run the wire? Its field fencing wire, so some animals can climb it. Going to Skin Creek rd today (its been tank trapped for 15 years,so foot only) by Soloman Lake… Have you been in that area?

  25. Nubmaeme says:

    What I don’t understand is that with businesses closing at record rates, why are construction companies building new retail stores/office spaces? I see construction on new properties everywhere whenever I happen to venture away from home yet there are so many other properties sitting vacant, and have been vacant since they were built, right next to the new ones under construction. Is this some kind of tax write-off for these companies? It doesn’t make any sense at all.

  26. John_Allen says:

    Paraphrasing one of several Charles Hugh Smith articles on his website Of Two MInds,
    in the archives from @ 2008-2009, many people who thought they were “middle class” were enjoying mass delusion.

    True middle class is:

    owning your home free and clear or with substantial = > 75% equity;
    having no consumer debt;

    having real health insurance, not ghost insurance that leaves you paying for everything;

    owning free and clear your personal transportation, one for each adult in the family;

    having the education and resume that allows you to be self-employed, those whose financial security can vanish at someone else’s whimsey are white collar working class;

    taking and being able to pay for university education for professional advancement or for pleasure;

    being able to travel internationally without incurring debt to do it;

    not having to borrow money to purchase life’s necessities;

    and having substantial, equal to several years’ gross income, investments or savings exclusive of one’s home. Substantial net worth.

    By Smith’s definition, many people who thought they were middle class weren’t.

    DC is home for the federal gang of thieves. Most working people here are on its payroll directly or through government contractors. Or their “private” business would collapse in a twinkling if not for hundreds of thousands of federal paychecks enabling the fedskins to buy what they sell.

    The restaurants and shops are thriving. Elsewhere across the country, even if Sears and Walmart are having a bad time, I would wager the Neiman Marcus,
    Tiffanys and local Jag-u-ar dealership are doing well.

    Presently, it is a crisis for those on the financial ragged edge. Those voting for a living, living on stolen wealth (government paychecks) or those catering to them
    are doing well.

    As are self-employed professionals such as physicians, dentists, and personal injury trial attorneys.

    So Snyder’s article applies to SOME segments of the economy. Not all of it.
    Yet.

  27. Kevin2 says:

    People have analyzed governmental and business actions to try to figure out how we got to where we are today. This very short video explains it thoroughly.

    h ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOXtWxhlsUg

  28. Ideas Time says:

    Fixing America would be so simple.

    Eliminate the ir s a Puerto Rico Trust owned by the Imf, case law, eliminate the fed and all odious debt that is fraud, recover all stollen funds and declare all assets obtained by fraud null and void.

    That is just a start but restore the original constitution and eliminate all fake laws called statutes that suck the life blood out of the working people to fund parasites.

    Stop all payments after 90 day to all illegals.

    Restore the 13th amendment that bars BAR attorneys and nobility.

    Restore land patents and allodial title.

    Yes that is a beginning but a real gov has the constitutional right to coin money not private for profit banksters.

    Do an Island on them before it is to late.

  29. Mountain time says:

    Sears is a joke. Too bad but the entire company will be gone soon. Macey is terrible and should go broke. All these stores have one thing in common. Either the prices are not worth the merchandise or they are ran poorly. I wouldn’t use their closing as a barometer. Unless it illustrates what happens when you have poor service, are overpriced or opened up in the wrong place.

  30. HocusLocus says:

    I imagine it’s hard to shop for big-ticket consumer items when you have mortgage.
    It’s hard to dream of paying a mortgage when you’ve been renting your whole life.
    It’s going to be a challenge to meet the rent.
    When the middle class and its super-insurance is a distant memory, even the co-pay keeps us away from doctors.
    I know someone whose entire discretionary income is being siphoned away between minor medical crises, paying off four-figure debt for what once was hundred-or-less dollar procedures.
    My jaw infected again. Every time I pull my own tooth I save $200.
    Yeah, just rolling in saved money here. Pain is strength.

    Signed, saving up to buy bleach and Spaghetti-Os

 

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