It Wasn’t Retail’s Best Week

Whoa. The retail industry has had a lot of shakeups last week.

News of store closures continued. We heard of closing Charming Shoppes stores, Fred’s shutting 75 units and Movie Gallery exiting another 400 locations on top of the 520 it was already planning on leaving. None of these come as big surprises, but that doesn’t mean they were welcome.

Macy’s Inc. didn’t have any major store-closing announcements to share with the industry, but it is eliminating about 2,300 jobs as the retailer consolidates its regional operations. This news came as the company’s January sales plunged 28.4%.

And to top it all off…According to the International Council of Shopping Centers’ monthly same-store sales report, last month was the worst January on record since the trade association started collecting data in 1969. That was the year we first landed on the moon, by the way. Many retailers with recent sales struggles continued to have problems, but the month marked declines by both Nordstrom and Target.

Needless to say, these events are doing nothing to slow down recession fears. But is there anything that can happen to launch a short-term rebound?


3 Responses to “It Wasn’t Retail’s Best Week”

  1. 1 GetReal February 11, 2008 at 10:19 am

    No surprise about Macys and other apparel retailers. The people who have money to spend are mature women. They don’t want to wear empire-waist shirts or dresses or form-fitting blouses and sweaters. Baby doll styles aren’t work-appropriate. What the stores sell looks awful if you have an ounce of fat on your body. Give some thought to real consumers, not European fashion trends.

  2. 2 Clifford Sondock, President of the Land Use Institute February 15, 2008 at 10:17 am

    A short term rebound is irrelevant to the issue of understanding the current stage of the future economic trend.

    The US economy had grown inefficient; the Federal Reserve has printed huge quantities of dollars, which has created wide-spread mal-investment. Market influences have taken hold of the excessive expansion of US money supply, resulting in economic recession.

    The next several years will flush out many of the weaker retailers, developers and poorly conceived projects.

    The real question is whether Government policies will respond properly to the coming recession with relaxed land use regulations, less Government interference in the real estate market and financial markets and lower tax rates both for individuals and companies.

    Unfortunately, these prudent responses do not seem apparent based upon current policies by Government, namely a “stimulus” package to prolong the inevitable natural economic cure of recession.

    So, the insanity continues…unabated.

  3. 3 czoma May 5, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    The stock market seems to keep chugging along, but I doubt that will cause a short term rebound. We may never see the retail growth of the last seven years that we’ve seen in the US, but internationally, it’s a different picture.
    A good 35% of people in our industry need to step aside and retire. We have very few qualified people 35-45 due to all of the layoffs in the 90’s.
    Our industry is made up of young order takers of the last 7 years or people who don’t care anymore.

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