By the author of Be Ready for Anything and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted
Every year, it seems like more and more retail outlets are going out of business, resulting in the loss of jobs and local supplies. Last year, hundreds of stores closed, and this year, even more shops are scheduled to shut their doors for good.
The 2018 Death List
This year, in an effort to save their businesses, the following retailers will close hundreds of their stores, according to Fox Business.
- Abercrombie & Fitch: 60 more stores are charted to close
- Aerosoles: Only 4 of their 88 stores are definitely remaining open
- American Apparel: They’ve filed for bankruptcy and all their stores have closed (or will soon)
- BCBG: 118 stores have closed
- Bebe: Bebe is history and all 168 stores have closed
- Bon-Ton: They’ve filed for Chapter 11 and will be closing 48 stores.
- The Children’s Place: They plan to close hundreds of stores by 2020 and are going digital.
- CVS: They closed 70 stores but thousands still remain viable.
- Foot Locker: They’re closing 110 underperforming stores shortly.
- Guess: 60 stores will bite the dust this year.
- Gymboree: A whopping 350 stores will close their doors for good this year
- HHGregg: All 220 stores will be closed this year after the company filed for bankruptcy.
- J. Crew: They’ll be closing 50 stores instead of the original 20 they had announced.
- J.C. Penney: They’ve closed 138 stores and plan to turn all the remaining ones into toy stores.
- The Limited: All 250 retail locations have been closed and they’ve gone digital in an effort to remain in business.
- Macy’s: 7 more stores will soon close and more than 5000 employees will be laid off.
- Michael Kors: They’ll close 125 stores this year.
- Payless: They’ll be closing a whopping 800 stores this year after recently filing for bankruptcy.
- Radio Shack: More than 1000 stores have been shut down this year, leaving them with only 70 stores nationwide.
- Rue 21: They’ll be closing 400 stores this year.
- Sears/Kmart: They’ve closed over 300 locations.
- ToysRUs: They’ve filed for bankruptcy but at this point, have not announced store closures, and have in fact, stated their stores will remain open.
- Wet Seal: This place is history – all 171 stores will soon be closed.
And these are just the people who have announced store closures so far. In an environment hostile to brick and mortar businesses, more are sure to come.
Tens of thousands of jobs will be lost.
Even if you don’t like to shop, this is a sign of economic trouble. The malls that sit empty are a sign of massive unemployment.
Jobs in the retail sector are the most prolific in America, employing 4.3 million workers as salespeople and 3.3 million workers as cashiers. (source) The current store closures mean the end of employment for tens of thousands of workers.
All in all, the collapse of the retail industry could, at some point, put the livelihoods of more than 7 million people in jeopardy. Perhaps the doomsaying economists like Peter Schiff and Dave Kunstler are right when they warn that a Great Depression the likes of the one in the early 1900s is upon us. That means not only massive unemployment but also massive hyperinflation, making it nearly impossible to stay fed.
Let’s add to rising retail unemployment the move to more self-checkout, more AI, and more computerized systems instead of human staff. It’s not too hard to understand why people could soon be dependent on a Universal Basic Income and a return to an almost feudal society.
A Great Depression now would be far worse than the historic one we all look back on.
And if that’s the case, it’s bound to be even worse. Back in 2006, our urban population exceeded our rural population for the first time ever. This means that people will be unlikely to have the space to grow food for self-reliance.
As well, we’ve gotten so far away from the skills of self-reliance that it’s practically a lost art. Our society is one of consumers, not producers, and this means that in a depressed economy, many more people will be at the mercy of government handouts. And let’s face it, in a depression, those handouts, if they happen at all, will be very sparse.
These days, most folks don’t know how to grow food, preserve food, sew, or build. For a list of self-reliant skills and links to places that will help you learn them, go here to my Self-Reliance Manifesto. No matter where you live, some of these skills will be applicable you, and it’s more urgent now than ever to put them into practice. To learn more about living through a societal and economic collapse, check out articles by Jose, who is currently trying to get his family out of Venezuela due to their own crisis. (Here’s one that is really enlightening.)
What do you think?
Is the retail apocalypse a sign of impending financial doom or merely a move toward a more digital society? Will unemployment begin to rise even further?
This just after so many short sighted people were screaming for an increase to the minimum wage. In my area, the Kroger owned grocery store is closing a few locations – citing a road expansion project as the reason when it’s really related to crime in the area. They are building one new store in an upscale part of town and the whole store seems to be going upscale. This is raising the prices and ultimately losing them revenue.
In my own beloved hometown, I see more and more buildings sitting empty while panhandlers proliferate. Meanwhile, more than one company that actually wants to expand and create jobs is being stonewalled by the City Clowncil and County Commission. That kind of corruption and shortsightedness will only add to the problems you describe. I know my town is just one of many where this kind of thing is happening.
Meh, I don’t think it’s going to have as big of an impact as some are predicting. The majority of those jobs are part time and low wage. It’s the reason why AI will eventually take the place of these types of jobs. Never in my life have I seen such poor customer service as with this current millennial age group. They absolutely suck at their jobs, have no desire to get better, and think they should make as much as 15 bucks an hour to flip burgers. Or worse yet, think they should have a good career in flipping burgers. These types of jobs weren’t designed to make a career out of. They are low paying because they require no skill. A monkey could be trained to fold clothes. Or a robot can take food orders, and get them right. Folks, there will not be civil unrest in the streets because these companies are closing doors. When one door closes, you just have to be smart enough to see where another one opens.
how about revealing to us—what work you do for a living? Any bet$—over paid government lackey?
If you are referring to me, none of your damn business what I do for a living. I can assure you I’m NOT a govt employee, I work for a living.
Daisy, I have no doubt we may slide into another Greater Depression. The number of lazy and entitled people living off the government welfare has never been higher. They are amazingly proud of their ignorance, laziness and clever ways they slick thru the qualifications. But even worse, we have Billion dollar corporations that pay zero tax, ran by CEO’s that pay little or no tax, that keep profits offshore and use foreign H1B labor and illegal immigrants. Some are honest; most are not. But the core of all this is POLITICS, which created all these problems with the laws they created. Created to make them rich.
Your columns and website has always had extremely useful information and good advice. We’ve used your advice often. But it’s going to people who will survive and maybe thrive while this country and several others RELEARN the laws of Nature; especially the ones about laziness, gluttony, equality, conserving and self-reliance. Thank you Daisy and stay safe.
I don’t know where you get your information from, but you should check the source. “Billion dollar corporations that pay zero tax”, is an absolutely ridiculous statement. They ALL pay taxes, it just doesn’t hurt the billion dollar corporations like it does the working man.
Wait one frelling minute, the new lord and god and his buddies has been telling us that the economy is booming and thing are getting better and there will be nothing but good times. Thousands that will not have jobs and no other jobs for them, these people will be on food stamps or a box of food, and welfare, more government borrowed money
If the Donald admitted the true state of the nation and the trend we are following the American public would puke. So long as people will believe the lie, the government will keep telling it. As one of my fellow commenters put it “Americans would rather die than think.” And die they will, soon.
A lot of the stores you mentioned above closed their stores last year or the year before. Many of these stores that are taking out bankruptcy will not go away – bankruptcy is many times just a way to get rid of debt and start fresh. Some of these stores have hundreds of stores, own many different brands and may be selling off just one particular brand. For instance: Gap owns Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athleta. They’re closing 200 Gap and Banana Republic stores and opening 270 Old Navy and Athleta stores. (Does that sound like they’re going out of business?)
Radio Shack declared bankruptcy several years ago; it’s still around albeit much smaller. Foot Locker closed 140 stores last year, plans to close 110 stores, but is opening 40 new “high profile” stores. Foot Locker was hurt by Nike putting their products on Amazon.
Let’s face it, Amazon is the big gorilla in the retail industry and now threatening grocery and pharmacy retails. All these retail stores jumped onto the “retail is booming – let’s expand!” band wagon and now shopping online is taking over. That’s how business cycles go – boom and bust, boom and bust. It does NOT mean a recession is coming. It means the way stores do business must change or they’ll die. It may be for the better or it may not. Only time will tell.
BTW, J C Penney is not turning its remaining stores into toy stores. It is putting a toy store section in all the remaining stores, just like they have a Sephora section. It’s just another part of their efforts to make the stores profitable.
I remember when Penny’s had an automotive section.
If you think no depression is coming, you know nothing about how economies work, nothing of history, and most of all, that we have a completely corrupt money system based upon the Federal Reserve fraud. We have a fiat currency, which means backed by debt, as do nearly all nations one earth. There has never been a world wide economic collapse before but the debt load of all countries is out of hand. It will take everything with it.
Actually you have Toysrus on your list but stayed no closures announced. ToysRus has actually announced store closures. The one in Western Hills, suburb of Cincinnati Ohio is slated to close. Among others.
I checked the Fox business article, and JCPenney is closing 8 stores and adding toy departments to their remaining stores. I wouldn’t want your facts to be misrepresented.
I’m sad to read this. Retail jobs, along with waitressing and manning cash registers, used to always be there for people needing survival jobs. It is a dismaying trend though that grown adults are trying to support children on these jobs. These jobs were never designed to support families. I think the brick and mortar store is going away in part due to online shopping and automation, and in part because people are agitating for these jobs to pay higher wages than the jobs merit. These jobs were designed for kids really, not for grown adults to raise children on.
Good article Daisy, one that should have everyone contemplating growing their own or learning to grow their own food, stock piling, storage of non-perishable foods and water……what lies ahead is not going to be pretty by any stretch of the imagination….the elites have made sure of that, it’s the banksters that have created this mess, through greed, violence and coercion…..they are corrupt to the core and have all of this countries government(s) (sic) in their perverbial and perverted pockets to do their bidding…smh 🙁 No government can or should be trusted, they haven’t and can’t help anyone…..ever!!
Did you shop at all those stores? If so, how often? Perhaps the stores are closing because a lot fewer people needed or wanted their products. Or maybe their products didn’t “evolve” to give their customers the features they wanted. I find it strange that whenever the economy takes a terrific stumble the guiding words from the government always seems to be “keep paying your bills, KEEP SHOPPING!”.
Should we really prop up these businesses? Should we really just keep on buying? How much stuff do we need? Why should I rack up my credit card balance just to keep them around (I bet none of them care about MY debt)..
I’ll give you two reasons why stores aren’t getting the customers they used too, especially malls. 15 teen years ago I could walk from one end of the mall to the other and do some shopping. Today my hips are so bad I can barely get to the mall entrance without giving out. I’ve not been in a mall for 10 years or more. They are too big. Yes, I’m a baby boomer.
Second is there are no more phone books. I needed a wholesale paper company today. I’m sure there are still some around my city. You think I found any searching the Internet? None local, according to the search engine. Damn AT&T for stopping printing phone books! I don’t care how much money they save, not printing them hurts their customers and local business!!!