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BirdGuano
12-30-2008, 03:42 PM
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aGQ__icNMvzI&refer=home

Holiday Sales Drop to Force Bankruptcies, Closings (Update4)
By Heather Burke

Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. retailers face a wave of store closings, bankruptcies and takeovers starting next month as holiday sales are shaping up to be the worst in 40 years.

Retailers may close 73,000 stores in the first half of 2009, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. Talbots Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. are among chains shuttering underperforming locations.

More than a dozen retailers, including Circuit City Stores Inc., Linens ‘n Things Inc., Sharper Image Corp. and Steve & Barry’s LLC, have sought bankruptcy protection this year as the credit squeeze and recession drained sales. Investors will start seeing a wide variety of chains seeking bankruptcy protection in February when they file financial reports, said Burt Flickinger.

“You’ll see department stores, specialty stores, discount stores, grocery stores, drugstores, major chains either multi- regionally or nationally go out,” Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, a retail-industry consulting firm in New York, said today in a Bloomberg Radio interview. “There are a number that are real causes for concern.”

Sales at stores open at least a year probably dropped as much as 2 percent in November and December, the ICSC said last week, more than the previously projected 1 percent decline. That would be the largest drop since at least 1969, when the New York-based trade group started tracking data. Gap Inc. and Macy’s Inc. are among retailers that will report December results on Jan. 8.

Women’s Clothing, Electronics

Consumers spent at least 20 percent less on women’s clothing, electronics and jewelry during November and December, according to data from SpendingPulse.

Retail Metrics Inc.’s December comparable-store sales index will drop an estimated 1.2 percent, or 5 percent excluding Wal- Mart Stores Inc. Retailers’ fourth-quarter earnings may fall 19 percent on average, the seventh consecutive quarterly decline, according to Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, a Swampscott, Massachusetts-based consulting firm.

Probably 50,000 stores could close without any effect on consumer choice, Gregory Segall, a managing partner at buyout firm Versa Capital Management Inc., said this month during a panel discussion held at Bloomberg LP’s New York offices. Only retailers with healthy balance sheets will survive the recession, according to Matthew Katz, a managing director at consulting firm AlixPartners LLP.

Store Closings

The ICSC predicts, using U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, that 148,000 stores will shut down in 2008. That would be the largest number since 151,000 closings in 2001, during the last recession, according to ICSC Chief Economist Michael Niemira. The total number of retail establishments will decline by about 3 percent this year, also taking into account locations that were opened, he said. The U.S. had 1.11 million retail locations in 2002.

Another 73,000 locations may shut their doors in the first part of 2009, Niemira said.

The U.S. economy shrank in the third quarter at a 0.5 percent annual pace, the worst since 2001, according to the Commerce Department. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg in the first week of December forecast the world’s largest economy will contract through the first half of 2009.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Retailing Index has shed 34 percent this year, with only two of its 27 companies rising.

The index doesn’t include Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, which fell 24 cents to $55.11 at 4:02 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Wal-Mart shares have gained 18 percent this year.

Discount Advantage

“If you’re going to be in retail right now, the discount space is where you want to be,” Patrick McKeever, a senior equity analyst at MKM Partners LLC, said today in a Bloomberg Television interview.

Discounts of 70 percent or more by Macy’s, AnnTaylor Stores Inc. and other retailers failed to prevent a spending drop of as much as 4 percent during the final two months of the year, according to data from SpendingPulse. Retailers’ pricing models are being challenged by consumers, according to Richard Hastings, consumer strategist at Global Hunter Securities LLC of Newport Beach, California.

“The whole pricing system is becoming an old-fashioned bazaar,” Hastings said today in a telephone interview. “They’re going into the stores and they’re looking at the stuff and they’re saying ‘You know what? I know that that price is way too high,’ and they have figured out that the signage doesn’t mean that much.”

Retail bankruptcies may help the industry in the long run, according to Flickinger.

“We’ll be going from a Dickens-esque worst of times this December to the best of times in future Decembers because we’ll rationalize out all the redundant retailers and retail space in shopping centers,” Flickinger said.

Fiddlerdave
12-30-2008, 04:58 PM
Retail bankruptcies may help the industry in the long run, according to Flickinger.

“We’ll be going from a Dickens-esque worst of times this December to the best of times in future Decembers because we’ll rationalize out all the redundant retailers and retail space in shopping centers,” Flickinger said. With a few million more unemployed people, people whose mostly marginal jobs did not allow for significant savings for hard times. Who ever imagined there wouldn't be work as a low-paid clerk or stocker, just like whoever imagined there wouldn't be basic office work available?

"Rationalized out" people with no options are possibly going to be less than rational.

dyrt
12-30-2008, 05:09 PM
Weeding out weak management and underperforming stores is a good thing for the country.

Fiddlerdave
12-30-2008, 05:33 PM
Weeding out weak management and underperforming stores is a good thing for the country.Quite probably so.

But figuring out how we are going to handle millions of unemployed and desperate people on the streets would be good for the country, as well.

Malcolm
12-30-2008, 05:58 PM
The Dow Jones just gained 184 points so it might not happen.
www.theaustralian.com.au/business/

Auburn Boy
12-30-2008, 05:59 PM
Weeding out weak management and underperforming stores is a good thing for the country.

That probably is a good thing, yet the total effect of the new unemployment will overshadow the benefits in the short term.

The additional millions unemployed are going to mean severely bad times ahead.., Those without any means to survive the downturn might be in dire, dire straits!

Personally, I'm not going to find myself in the worst of contitions. Being laid off (at Christmas no less!) and still having the burdens most normal folks have (mortgage, utilities, children, food) has made me painfully aware of what could be in store for me if I didn't have the means..,

My situation has certainly made me think about how bad it could be for those who don't have the means to survive!! The news re-inforces that awareness daily.

dyrt
12-30-2008, 06:22 PM
151,00 closings in 2001 and I don't remember "millions" of starving people laying around in the streets or giant government soup lines. Good grief doomers, get a grip.

BirdGuano
12-30-2008, 06:22 PM
The Dow Jones just gained 184 points so it might not happen.
www.theaustralian.com.au/business/

Momentary euphoria over GMAC's taxpayer bridge loan of $5 billion, which has nothing to do with retail.

Oh, and tell me again exactly how that's supposed to work ?

GMAC gives 5 year 0% interest on new car loans using taxpayer money, at 8% interest on cars it
costs more to make than they receive with a sale.

Ya, that'll work. :re:

BirdGuano
12-30-2008, 06:24 PM
151,00 closings in 2001 and I don't remember "millions" of starving people laying around in the streets or giant government soup lines. Good grief doomers, get a grip.

Exactly where in the article does it say anything about soup lines or starving people ? :re:

It's merely setting up retail to try to get some of the TARP money in my opinion.

Look for more "the sky is falling" articles coming to a newspaper near you soon.

It's all about the "free money"

BirdGuano
12-30-2008, 06:26 PM
My situation has certainly made me think about how bad it could be for those who don't have the means to survive!! The news re-inforces that awareness daily.

Kind of makes you want to go out and spend recklessly doesn't it. :D

Great example of a self-reinforcing negative feedback loop for retail.
:beer:

dyrt
12-30-2008, 06:30 PM
Exactly where in the article does it say anything about soup lines or starving people ? :re:

It's merely setting up retail to try to get some of the TARP money in my opinion.

Look for more "the sky is falling" articles coming to a newspaper near you soon.

It's all about the "free money"There is a general doom and gloom in the US and yes there will be many more "the sky is falling" articles for the whiners. It will continue until January 20th and all of sudden the media will start telling us good things.

BirdGuano
12-30-2008, 06:34 PM
There is a general doom and gloom in the US and yes there will be many more "the sky is falling" articles for the whiners. It will continue until January 20th and all of sudden the media will start telling us good things.

I hope so since I have some intermediate longs, and some long term shorts on the market.

:D

dyrt
12-30-2008, 06:36 PM
I hope so since I have some intermediate longs, and some long term shorts on the market.I'm just sick of the whining.

BirdGuano
12-30-2008, 06:47 PM
I'm just sick of the whining.

Either way I make money. :D

It's all about perspective.

dyrt
12-30-2008, 06:52 PM
Either way I make money. :D

It's all about perspective.Good for you. I expect you to spend it too. But watch out the pitch forks and torches, the socialists are in full bloom and starting to look for the bourgeoisie.

BirdGuano
12-30-2008, 06:59 PM
Good for you. I expect you to spend it too. But watch out the pitch forks and torches, the socialists are in full bloom and starting to look for the bourgeoisie.

I'm just a stealth goat farmer with a big garden and solar panels.

No Mercedes here.

:D

rb.
12-30-2008, 07:56 PM
Who ever imagined there wouldn't be work as a low-paid clerk or stocker, just like whoever imagined there wouldn't be basic office work available?

Must be nice to live in a world where that's such a foreign concept. It happened here in the 80s. Couldn't get a job as a waitress, bus person, grocery clerk, bartender, etc., to save your life. And that was the people trying to make up for the 10,000 lost steel-making jobs in this city. Never mind the rest of us, like their kids. And it's also why I will never ever run into anyone I went to high school with. They've been gone since the 80s.

When the big jobs go, the little ones follow. Everyone is screwed. Some employers want a degree to pump gas, others will say you're too experienced, and will leave at the first opportunity. But for where? No jobs is no jobs.

Coyote
12-30-2008, 10:52 PM
But figuring out how we are going to handle millions of unemployed and desperate people on the streets would be good for the country, as well.
What did we do to handle millions of unemployed and desperate people on the streets during the last five or six recessions?

sandyd
12-30-2008, 11:50 PM
Here I saw a lot of people sneaking around living in the family RV in the driveway so they had some space of their own.

/other than the riots that burnt all the cities to the ground, it wasn't so bad :D

Fiddlerdave
12-31-2008, 01:29 AM
What did we do to handle millions of unemployed and desperate people on the streets during the last five or six recessions?151,00 closings in 2001 and I don't remember "millions" of starving people laying around in the streets or giant government soup lines. Good grief doomers, get a grip.
The last 5 or 6 recessions were nothing like this one will be. It is just getting started.

Dyrt, pray tell me, which recession was it where we handed out 8+ trillion in cash, loans and guarantees to temporarily limit the DOW drop to 40%, the housing drop to 24%, unemployemnt 6.7%, and all these figures are increasing (including the handouts) at furious rate? Yet bond markets remain dysfunctional, credit markets have no money threatening very viable businesses, international trade is difficult, and many financial institutions remain threatened. And much more.

"Get a grip, Doomers" indeed. Your attitude completely dismisses the fact that with historically unprecedented attempts at prevention, every factor indicates the acceleration of the fall of the economy.

Articles such as this one can give us some idea of the size of the impending events in human terms and might be a guide for, at least, personal evaluation if state budgets and systems are in any way equal to the coming task. Whether the authorities feed them or jail them, it takes planning. If neither is done by authorities, then it takes personal lifestyle changes to avoid the ramifications the resulting kind of society. The kind of society that has a significant proportion of people with no options. It has never occurred in our urbanized history.

Darkimbolc
12-31-2008, 09:51 AM
I'm just sick of the whining.

"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge," said the gentleman, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."

"Are there no prisons?" asked Scrooge.

"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

"And the Union workhouses?" demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"

"They are. Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."

"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?" said Scrooge.

"Both very busy, sir."

"Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course," said Scrooge. "I'm very glad to hear it."

"Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude," returned the gentleman, "a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?"

"Nothing!" replied Scrooge.

"You wish to be anonymous?"

"I wish to be left alone," said Scrooge. "Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas, and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there."

"Many can't go there; and many would rather die."

"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. ... It's enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people's. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!"

rryan
12-31-2008, 11:14 AM
"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge," said the gentleman, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."

"Are there no prisons?" asked Scrooge.

"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

"And the Union workhouses?" demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"

"They are. Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."

"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?" said Scrooge.

"Both very busy, sir."

"Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course," said Scrooge. "I'm very glad to hear it."

"Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude," returned the gentleman, "a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?"

"Nothing!" replied Scrooge.

"You wish to be anonymous?"

"I wish to be left alone," said Scrooge. "Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas, and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there."

"Many can't go there; and many would rather die."

"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. ... It's enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people's. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!"

Gee, I find myself in complete agreement with Mr Scrooge.

dyrt
12-31-2008, 11:32 AM
The last 5 or 6 recessions were nothing like this one will be. It is just getting started.Ahhh yes, visions of doom. Just gets the heart pumping doesn't it?

Dyrt, pray tell me, which recession was it where we handed out 8+ trillion in cash, loans and guarantees...

"Get a grip, Doomers" indeed. Your attitude completely dismisses the fact that with historically unprecedented attempts at prevention, every factor indicates the acceleration of the fall of the economy.As if the idiot actions of the feds is some proof of doom. They are the cause of the problem not our saviors.

Articles such as this one can give us some idea of the size of the impending events in human terms and might be a guide for, at least, personal evaluation if state budgets and systems are in any way equal to the coming task. The article predicted 73k. We had 151k in 2001. Don't be afraid. It has never occurred in our urbanized history.Well, it might so:panic: If our economy does collapse I am blaming it on the Chicken Littles . . . self fulfilled prophecy.

There is nothing wrong with prepping. Anyone paying attention would know that is my lifestyle. I was taught survival and preperation skills by my depression era grandparents. I am also an avid gardener and deeply involved in my community. But the constant barrage of doomer predictions has more to do with personality than today's reality. No one can predict the future. Dwelling on a doomer future hurts your body and mind. Don't be afraid. Embrace the day.

Susie
12-31-2008, 12:20 PM
Britain is saying the'll lose 30000 small businesses and have 600000 more unemployed...a third of the people will be from the small business loss.

BirdGuano
12-31-2008, 12:54 PM
But the constant barrage of poly predictions (ala CNBC) has more to do with personality than today's reality. No one can predict the future, but you CAN predict the trends by paying attention. Dwelling on a poly future hurts your body and mind. Don't be afraid. Embrace reality.

There.

Fixed it for you.

:D

:beer:

dyrt
12-31-2008, 01:15 PM
Britain is saying the'll lose 30000 small businesses and have 600000 more unemployed...a third of the people will be from the small business loss."Britain is saying" ??? Is there someone named "Britain" or is someone trying to predict the future?

BirdGuano
12-31-2008, 01:16 PM
"Britain is saying" ??? Is there someone named "Britain" or is someone trying to predict the future?

British officials are saying.

The article is posted here in the vault.

:re:

dyrt
12-31-2008, 01:22 PM
There.

Fixed it for you.I think you mean "polly" but not sure. If so then "polly is a reference to a classic children's book. You are probably trying to make a joke but miss the mark.

Plot summary (from wikipedia)

The title character is Pollyanna Whittier, a young orphan who goes to live in Beldingsville, Vermont, with her wealthy but stern Aunt Polly. Pollyanna's philosophy of life centers on what she calls "The Glad Game", an optimistic attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation. It originated in an incident one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll in the missionary barrel, found only a pair of crutches inside. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna's father taught her to look at the good side of things—in this case, to be glad about the crutches because "we don't need 'em!".

With this philosophy, and her own sunny personality and sincere, sympathetic soul, Pollyanna brings so much gladness to her aunt's dispirited New England town that she transforms it into a pleasant place to live. 'The Glad Game' shields her from her aunt's stern attitude: when Aunt Polly puts her in a stuffy attic room without carpets or pictures, she exults at the beautiful view from the high window; when she tries to "punish" her niece for being late to dinner by sentencing her to a meal of bread and milk in the kitchen with the servant, Nancy, Pollyanna thanks her rapturously because she likes bread and milk, and she likes Nancy.
Soon, Pollyanna teaches some of Beldingsville's most troubled inhabitants to 'play the game' as well, from a querulous invalid named Mrs. Snow to a miserly bachelor, Mr. Pendleton, who lives all alone in a cluttered mansion. Aunt Polly, too— finding herself helpless before Pollyanna's buoyant refusal to be downcast—gradually begins to thaw, although she resists the glad game longer than anyone else.

Eventually, however, even Pollyanna's robust optimism is put to the test when she gets hit by a car and loses the use of her legs. At first she doesn't realize the seriousness of her situation, but her spirits plummet when she accidentally overhears an eminent specialist say that she'll never walk again. After that, she lies in bed, unable to find anything to be glad about. Then the townspeople begin calling at Aunt Polly's house, eager to let Pollyanna know how much her encouragement has improved their lives; and Pollyanna decides she can still be glad that she had legs. The novel ends with Aunt Polly marrying her former lover Dr. Chilton and Pollyanna being sent to a hospital where she learns to walk again and is able to appreciate the use of her legs far more as a result of being temporarily disabled.
------------------------

I am more of a slow driving curmudgeon than Pollyanna but thanks for the compliment.

Anyway, anyone predicting rosy times is as likely to be wrong as the doomers. Embrace the day.

BTW, there is plenty of medical evidence about doom and gloom affecting one's health and good attitudes contributing to good health.

dyrt
12-31-2008, 01:26 PM
British officials are saying.

The article is posted here in the vault.Oh, "official" Britains are saying. lol.

BirdGuano
12-31-2008, 02:17 PM
Poly is the short form from the Y2K religious wars.

:D

US Blues
12-31-2008, 02:31 PM
Poly is the short form from the Y2K religious wars.

:D

ok smarty, who coined the term "polly".. with 2 "L's" btw, "from the Y2K religious wars"...

:beer:

BirdGuano
12-31-2008, 03:38 PM
ok smarty, who coined the term "polly".. with 2 "L's" btw, "from the Y2K religious wars"...

:beer:

I seem to recall 7-11's, toast and Paul Milne.

He started using two L's on Usenet and later shortened it to one L

:D

US Blues
12-31-2008, 03:47 PM
It was Cory Hamasaki who coined "polly"

BirdGuano
12-31-2008, 06:15 PM
It was Cory Hamasaki who coined "polly"

Ah yes, and I remember a Cassandra now as well.

Was it Milne or Hamasaki that ended up living unemployed in his rural hovel after
Y2K +1 ?

I forget.