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Stores closing at record pace
Old 04-08-2017, 09:17 AM   #1
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Stores closing at record pace

Just another report on an ongoing topic here.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...s-up-retailers

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The battered American retail industry took a few more lumps this week, with stores at both ends of the price spectrum preparing to close their doors.

At the bottom, the seemingly ubiquitous Payless Inc. shoe chain filed for bankruptcy and announced plans to shutter hundreds of locations.

Ralph Lauren Corp., meanwhile, said it will close its flagship Fifth Avenue Polo store -- a symbol of old-fashioned luxury that no longer resonates with today’s shoppers.

And the teen-apparel retailer Rue21 Inc. could be the next casualty. The chain, which has about 1,000 stores, is preparing to file for bankruptcy as soon as this month, according to people familiar with the situation.

HHGregg Inc., Gordmans Stores Inc. and Gander Mountain Co. all entered bankruptcy this year. RadioShack, meanwhile, filed for Chapter 11 for the second time in two years.

Sears Holdings Corp., Macy’s Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. are shutting hundreds of locations combined, reeling from an especially punishing slump in the department-store industry.
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:32 AM   #2
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Yes, as we all move to buying more and more goods online, brick and mortar outfits will disappear. I dont like it much, but I'm guilty of buying online myself....
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:28 AM   #3
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So i live in new york city, not the 5th Avenue part, but a nice area, i go to macys and they are playing music on each floor with a live dj , it is so loud the bass in going thru my body i have to yell at the bride so she can hear me, mind you its not my type of music, i think it was rap. the workers were all gathering around the dj dancing, we wasted about 25 minutes and i said to the bride i have a headache lets go. we went home , she shopped on line in the quiet of our home, i sent an email to macy corporate telling them this is why you are closing stores.
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:50 AM   #4
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I consider online shops like Amazon to be retailers....anyplace that sells in small quantities primarily to end-users (not for resale) is a retailer IMO so this issue pertains to brick and mortar shops primarily.

End of Rant
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:18 AM   #5
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Last weekend I took my 3-year old granddaughter to the mall. We were there for 3 hours and didn't go into any of the stores. She happily climbed on and off the coin-operated kiddie vehicles (didn't even want me to put money in them), had pizza for lunch, rode the Easter train (but she was creeped out by the Easter Bunny so no pictures) and then we rejoined her mother in the play area while she fed the newborn.

When I think about what I bought on-line in the last few months, it's rarely things I can get in mall stores. Birkenstock sandals, a new kitchen clock (I want the kind that gets the time from the cesium clock on Colorado), a backpack made in the USA, a platinum chain. Already empty malls are becoming a real problem in some areas- they're a mess to tear down and can't be used for much else.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:49 AM   #6
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When I went Macy's department store to purchase linens for my bed, the clerks there practically did their best to ignore us. So I'm not surprised by this dead of retail. Same with Apple Store near me. The only store that the clerks went out of their way to help is Best Buy. Another customer shared my experience.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:54 AM   #7
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I guess I'm thrilled with this development. My mother and grandmother would rant forever about how tacky huge parking lots and malls are and how it was so much better to buy things from boutique stores downtown or order them from the Roebuck catalog. If developers and cities have their act together, I'm sure the empty property of vacant malls can be transformed to green areas or some other sort of park or neiborhood housing.

I'm optimistic about the future.
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:00 PM   #8
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Today is Small Shop day in my downtown. Free parking and other incentives.

Small Shop | Downtown Kelowna

I think I'll go and support local businesses!
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:05 PM   #9
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I was just thinking about this the other day, while "deconstructing" cardboard shipping boxes that were piling up in the garage...

Once we are all good and hooked on online shopping and the B&M stores are gone, watch "free shipping" disappear. Shipping will go through the roof and next thing you know, B&M stores will be back because it's cheaper to go to the store!
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:27 PM   #10
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Well I think Ralph Lauren closing a flagship store is more about that brand than retail in general.

Clothing retailers one would think would be more resistant to being replaced by online, because people have to try out clothes.

But a lot of other categories are losing to online.

On the other hand, one of the biggest malls in Silicon Valley is undergoing a huge expansion and renovation, which will take over a year.

Retail will be around for at least another couple of generations.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:05 PM   #11
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Right - I would think clothing stores would be the last to go.

Malls here are expanding.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:21 PM   #12
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Kiplingers magazine has an article in the current issue - says that SOME of the traditional stores, such as Nordstrom, seem to adapt well (20% of sales online), while others don't (Tiffany, 6%). Walmart (3.5%) is MASSIVELY investing in online sales.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:37 PM   #13
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We rarely shop on line. Come to think of it, we rarely shop. We might eat at one of the malls, but we rarely go into one of the stores. I think we have all the stuff we need. Only significant exception is when something breaks and needs to be replaced. DW does purchase clothes - a lot more than I do, but she often gets them at resale shops.

If retail depended upon us, they would shutter even more stores more quickly.

Oddly, with all the chains closing (or thinking about it) the up-scale stores seem to be doing well here in Paradise. I suppose it's a function of the tourist trade. I can't imagine dropping $5K or $10K on a trip to the islands and then spending all the time (and money) on shopping at high-end stores. We used to walk through them back when we were tourists, but we only bought stuff from the little shops in Duke's Alley and the International Market Place (now converted to high end shops!)

Last significant purchase I made was a peripheral at the Apple store. Other than that, I did buy 6 shirts this year from Walmart - first time I bought a shirt in about 5 years. Yeah, I know. Not a "clothes horse."

I do wonder where it's all heading. I used to like to be able to go to a store and "get help" in making a decision about a purchase. These days, I'm lucky if anyone in the store knows where the items I'm looking for are located. So why not buy on line. Still, I like to touch it before I buy. It's the dinosaur DNA in my genes I guess.
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Old 04-08-2017, 02:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explanade View Post
Clothing retailers one would think would be more resistant to being replaced by online, because people have to try out clothes.
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Right - I would think clothing stores would be the last to go.
What I buy almost always fits perfectly, but if it doesn't then places like Zappos will pay for the shipping on returns, IIRC. I buy almost everything (even shoes) online, and haven't had to return anything since 2001.
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Old 04-08-2017, 02:45 PM   #15
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What I buy almost always fits perfectly, but if it doesn't then places like Zappos will pay for the shipping on returns, IIRC. I buy almost everything (even shoes) online, and haven't had to return anything since 2001.
That only works for me if I buy another of something I already own an d know fits, or a similar style from the same manufacturer.
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Old 04-08-2017, 02:53 PM   #16
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That only works for me if I buy another of something I already own an d know fits, or a similar style from the same manufacturer.
I do a lot of that. I like a certain type of clothing and shoes. Right now it's "retirement casual", fairly loose and comfy clothing.

But you know, it occurred to me a while back that when I go to clothing stores, or shoe stores, basically I know what size I wear. If I think about it, I know what styles look good on me. So, it's pretty easy for me to shop online.

In B&M stores, a lot of that trying on of clothing was sort of "Yeah, plunging necklines STILL don't look good on me", "Yeah, I STILL don't look good in that shade of purple", or "Yeah, I knew that smaller size would never fit" and so on. Online, I just don't buy those styles or colors that never look right on me.
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:42 PM   #17
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When online shopping had shipping charges, I was reluctant to buy clothes that I was unsure of. Free shipping led to my buying special occasion dresses on line. When I'd go to the store I'd be limited to the dress styles they had in my size. On-line I could order several dresses and then keep the one I liked best. The large department stores cost a lot to run and I wonder if they will morph into something different. I find it interesting that Amazon is opening brick and motar stores and am curious as to how their stores will compare to traditional ones.
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Old 04-08-2017, 04:00 PM   #18
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So I just helped at least two local stores go out of business by buying online. I tried to buy locally but couldn't.
The first item was a new set of work boots. I finally decided that the reason my feet hurt while wearing the old ones was that they were too small. I learned long ago that steel toed shoes don't stretch but I guess I needed a reminder. Anyway, I checked stock at all of the usual local stores (can do this online now) and couldn't find any boots that I was willing to buy in my size. So I ordered them from Amazon, they came and they fit. No more pain and I'm happy.

Segue to my desire to upgrade my stereo. I really wanted to listen to some speakers at Best Buy, but their listening room was down because they just did a software update and the system wasn't working!!!! The clerk expected it would take at least 2 days before I could listen to the speakers. Plus it turns out that their guarantee to match on line prices only applies if you are buying from Amazon, not when you're buying from another retailer through the Amazon store. So, I couldn't listen to the speakers & would have to pay 10% more to buy local. I'll be darned if I'll pay more for no added value. I went home & ordered them from Amazon. They are due to come in Monday.

IMOP, the big brick and mortar stores are in a death spiral. They have to cut costs to compete with on line but when they do this, they end up having lousy service and can't provide customers any reason to get out of the house and visit them. I don't have a solution for them. I think its likely that small shops are going to make a comeback for people who are willing to pay for personal service but stores that sell on price are all going to strictly online.
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Old 04-08-2017, 04:37 PM   #19
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IMOP, the big brick and mortar stores are in a death spiral. They have to cut costs to compete with on line but when they do this, they end up having lousy service and can't provide customers any reason to get out of the house and visit them. I don't have a solution for them. I think its likely that small shops are going to make a comeback for people who are willing to pay for personal service but stores that sell on price are all going to strictly online.
Years ago, a travel writer named Joe Brancatelli compared the airlines and large department stores such as Macy's in their "race to the bottom". At the time, department stores were losing business to K-Mart, Wal-Mart and other big box stores, and the airlines were up against low-cost, no-frills competitors. Brancatelli contended that in both cases the legacy businesses tried to cut costs by having lower levels of personal services and fewer frills but they were still tied to high cost structures.

A friend once told me that in the 1960s it was a big deal for her and her mother to put on dresses and white gloves and go shopping in the big department stores in nearby Newark, NJ. I used to buy stamps for my collection at a department store in Akron, Ohio (which was "the big city" near me). They had book, furniture and toy departments. Now they're just rack after rack of stuff made in developing countries. I tried to find DH a bathrobe not made in China once and couldn't even find one in the designer niches at the local Macy's. I made one instead. I don't think they keep much in the stockrooms, either- too expensive. I had to go on e-Bay to get a case for my 3-year old iPhone 5s. Nearly all that the stores carried were for iPhone 7 with a few carrying cases for 6.After awhile you get tired of driving from store to store (heaven forbid a large B&M store should have a human answering the phone) to find what you want. Sometimes you can determine from their Web site if a particular store has something in stock but then you're exposed to ads for all the on-line retailers who carry the same thing cheaper.

I can see why the higher-end stores such as Nordstrom and Tiffany's are still doing OK. They actually stand out from the others.
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Old 04-08-2017, 05:04 PM   #20
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To take the point a bit further when I was a kid growing up in the Detroit area the day after Thanksgiving was the day to go to Hudson's big store in Downtown Detroit (at least 16 floors of merchandise). That was an all day trip. Of course Hudson's is no more and the building did get blown up eventually.
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