Sears. Macy´s. Kohl´s. Traditional department store retailers have taken hard hits over the Christmas holidays, with sales lagging the generally robust performance of retailers overall. Now, these mall stalwarts are slashing thousands of jobs and hundreds of stores, trying to right-size themselves. It´s no coincidence. Sears on Thursday became the latest retailer to announce that it was restructuring after a weak Christmas season. It´s closing 150 Sears and Kmart stores and selling its iconic Craftsman tool brand for just under a billion dollars to Stanley Black & Decker. Meanwhile, Macy´s is letting 10,000 people go. And Kohl´s warned about its decline
Is this the result of the powerful amazon? How did amazon do in sales? Decades ago, there would have been a comprehensive article detailing how each company did, why it did well or poorly and what could be done, in the future, to correct the problems. Now we get bits and pieces of info and the sky-is-falling hysteria.
Well, I can tell you part of the problem. When I shop for something I check out competitive prices. Sears usually costs more for the same thing (same brand and model). Often a LOT more. I have stopped looking at Sears except for Craftsman tools and clothes (personal taste items). But I don´t buy many clothes from Sears because their style is blah.
I used to work for Data General. They produced a PC that was selling for $7000 when competitive models were $4000. I asked how we could compete at that price? I was told it was one of the best machines on the market. It wasn´t and even if it was, it was ridiculously overpriced. Data General is out of business yet we still have a productive computer industry today.
Companies need to be competitive and there are constantly new competitors nipping at their heels. Purchases will continue to be made but at other stores. Sears may die but the other stores will grow stronger.
And the consumer wins with better products at more affordable prices.
Sometimes a back to the roots approach is required. While competition is beginning to be a huge hurdle for these retailers in large population areas (who could blame customers for not wanting to fight all that traffic and mass crowds), they may want to have their on renaissance and go back to the small dying towns across the south and Midwest and create two rebirths at the same time (dying towns and their own hope).
When are these Retail stores going to be honest. I for one and many of my friends use the internet to shop because we don´t want to put up with things like Black Lives Matter, smash & Grab, muggings and flash mobs. This is also happening with inside and outside Mauls. In the summer it happens in amusement parks and beaches and town fairs. We need a new sheriff in town pronto before these thugs bankrupt the USA.
Their merchandising managers don’t know what they are doing. Don’t know their markets. Filling stores full of ugly, badly constructed merchandise at high prices, then immediately discounting.
Cutting staff is always a bad idea. And the ones who are there need to be trained.
I spent a number of years in retail, starting when I was only 14. In a very good local department store. I trained in merchandising, although I did not end up spending my life in that career. What I see makes me sick.
I also want to point out that I often shop on-line because I can get more information about the product, read reviews, and get what works for me instead of wasting money on shoddy items (with misleading packaging) that don´t meet my expectations at local stores.
I live outside DC in Northern Virginia, which is chock full of immigrants and the reason, along with DC bureaucrats who live here, that the state is no longer red. The nearest Macy´s is at Dulles Town Center Mall and most of the employees on the floor are not Americans and don´t speak English very well. That´s the reason I no longer shop there. I´ve also noticed that foreigners don´t understand customer service the way we do it.
I buy pretty much everything except groceries online. My favorite clothing company and numerous other sites where I shop have free shipping. Why would I go out and deal with the traffic and waste gas and my time going to a department store?
Re #8 - we´re neighbors, so to speak. I shop at the local Sears because of the Landsend merchandise only. Shopping at a Kohls, etc is like shopping in a Third world country - clerks who speak poor English or are covered up from head to toe. The stores, especially Kohls, always look like a tornado ripped through.
I´ll drive 45 minutes to the northwest to shop at a Talbots rather than drive into Northern Virginia/Fairfax Co.
Hubby and I were talking about Sears last evening. We remember the day when a husband and wife would go to Sears, he would head to the Automotive department and she would head for Ladies clothing and Housewares. That was the 50´s and 60´s. Fast forward to present day shopping. Sears still has great appliances and Craftsman tools and Mowers. But, their clothing and housewares leave a lot to be desired. It gave up the Ladies shopping dollars by importing low grade clothing. If I wanted that I would shop at K-Mart! Then they gave up their Catalog, which I used all the time for Linens, drapery, Bedspreads and Rugs. Those goods were great quality at a fair price. I think it was someone in Sears Tower making bad decisions on who their marketing Target was. So, today, where I live we have a Stand Alone Sears store that only carries Appliances, Lawn mowers and Vacuum cleaners.
E Commerce is the wave of the future. Maybe Sears can go back to being a catalog store with the catalog online but I don´t hold out much hope. The future is just not very bright for brick and mortar stores. I buy a lot of stuff online. Several posters have outlined the reasons...simple convenience is one of them. Unless it´s something I need today (food) then it´s likely to get ordered online.
The weather here in North Georgia is supposed to result in lows in the low teens. I think I´ll order a new ebook to read tonight. I can get it in ten seconds.
Its simply technology destroying their business model, and in the case of Sears, duplicating its original business model. Sears became successful as a catalog store, which is all the internet based retail sector is. Without blaming flash mobs, why would I want or need to get up, get dressed, go out and shop at store after store if instead I was offered a better alternative. News and print media have already been replaced. Retail sales are being replaced. The next big change I see is direct ordering of automobiles wiht the car dealer eliminated. This is what creative destruction is and the basis of capitalism. When efforts are made to save obsolete business models we are given less choice and higher prices.
We had to leave the malls or be killed, bombed, mugged or taken advantage of in a hundred other ways. You could even be shot in the parking lot by pulling into a spot. I won´t even go to Toys R Us because the Entitled Escalades will run you over for the last handicapped spot in front of the store.
Amazon is probably the biggest shop-spot on line but surely not the only one. One store mgr. in my old neighborhood told me the product I wanted was not available because of their ´´demographic.´´ I´m sure he meant ethnicity, but PC wouldn´t allow him to clarify. So a combine of Obama, poor economy, amazonian over-reach and political correctness kept me from the mall. Black Lives Matter will keep me from the malls in perpetuity.
What #13 said, x2. Wife and I used to go to the mall at least four or five times a month and buy big, at least $200.00 in purchases each visit. then the "Mexican invasion" began at Sears. The multi-language packaging, and on every shelf, the Spanish language sides of the boxes turned out. The constant Spanish announcement with no English, the trouble finding an English speaking clerk, Hispanic music on the p.a. Then the rudeness in the food courts- screeching, screaming blacks, the shoving at the counter, and worst of all, being ignored by the service persons in favor of some "Minority" in line. And the vulgar language, having to stand forever behind some idiot texting on his/her cell phone in front of the entrace to the escalator.
Wife and I both decided, it is just not worth it. Thank God for Amazon, Lowes, Best-Buy, Koles and Walmart- And Walmart now is starting to go uncomfortable, too. Both customers and service people are getting rude, indifferent, sullen and crass.
The next business, although I am sure they do not think of themselves as businesses, that need an updated business model are American universities and colleges. There is no American business with a more bloated, wasteful ridiculous business model that todays universities and colleges. Ninety percent of the dirt, brick and mortar aspect of universities and colleges need to be swept into the dark ages. Soon, their customers, students and those who pay on behalf of students, will start demanding accountability with regard to the value that universities and colleges add to their students in exchange for the money they pay. Their day of reckoning is coming.
How is Nordstrom doing? I like shopping there: the store is clean and not run-down, the salespeople are friendly and helpful, the merchandise is attractively displayed. It´s quite a contrast with the ubiquitous Macy´s (Messy´s), where the merchandise is pile high on "sale" tables, the store looks dirty, the carpeting looks old and the sales staff is indifferent.
I think Macy´s merchandise is fine. The problem is the mall in which it is located. Every time I need a certain item, especially one I need to try on, at Macy´s I am compelled to consider how likely it is that the mall will get shot up at the time and day I am in the mall. And I live in a medium-size city that is perceived "safe." As it is, I enter Macy´s from the outside, not through the hallways of the mall.
The handwriting was on the wall for brick and mortar stores, especially in malls, because they´ve become popular places for feral teens to congregate and loiter. Who needs the headache? Anything you want can be obtained online, with full statistics, price comparison options and delivered to your door, often for less than brick and mortar stores, even considering P&H.
Senator John McCain poured it on for the press at a Munich defense conference Saturday, warning in a veiled attack on President Trump that attacks on the press are a leading danger for democracy. “That´s how dictators are made!” he shrieked. It was rich stuff, given that most of his European listeners do not have the same wide press freedoms found in the states. But more to the point, it was McCain up to his old tricks: Ingratiating himself to the anti-Trump press by playing its champion, in a bid to be the media´s darling. What stands out here is the
Polls: There several conflicting polls out about President Trump´s approval rating. But one thing is clear in all of them: The only reason his numbers are low is because Democrats despise him. The latest approval numbers come from the Pew Research Center, which found that Trump´s overall approval rating in his first month in office is just 39%. That´s far below every other president since Reagan. His approval rating was 55% at this point. Obama´s was 64%, Clinton´s 56%, Bush I´s 63% and Bush II´s 53%. Pew´s number is lower than the IBD/TIPP poll, which has Trump´s approval rating at
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control shows that the uninsured rate has hit a historic low, or at least it´s the lowest it´s been in the 20 years the CDC has been tracking it. This is being treated as trouble for Republicans who want to repeal ObamaCare, since it seems to indicate that the law is working as promised. But does it? According to the report, the overall uninsured rate was 8.8% in the first nine months of 2016. That´s down from 9.1% the year before, and 16% in 2010, the year President Obama signed ObamaCare —
Swampgate: President Trump may have come to Washington to "drain the swamp," but now he´s finding out that it´s full of nasty swamp creatures. And, as he´s also discovered, they bite. The debacle over national security advisor Michael Flynn´s sudden departure over his ill-advised contacts with Russian government officials shows that the Democrats in Congress and the bureaucrats that work with them mean to take as many scalps and do as much damage possible to Trump´s barely 3-weeks-old presidency. If they can fatally damage him early in his first term, all the better. And they have help. The media have been slobbering at
Twitter was ablaze this morning with screechings from Venezuela´s Chavista regime, infuriated at the powerful show of force against their brutal, discredited regime coming from President Trump. Taking an in-your-face approach just three weeks into his presidency, President Trump met with Liliana Tintori, the wife of imprisoned dissident leader Leopoldo Lopez, who was thrown into a dank Chavista dungeon without trial on absolutely phony charges of starting a riot a few years ago. What a hell of a change from the mealy-mouthed, don´t-upset-them approach seen from the Obama and, to some extent, even George Bush White Houses. Trump not only
Economy: The U.S. currently ranks a dispiriting 17th on the Heritage Foundation´s Index of Economic Freedom. That´s down from 6th when Obama took office in 2009. The question isn´t whether President Trump can turn this dismal trend around, it´s whether Democrats will let him. The Heritage Foundation has been publishing this index since 1995. It measures things like property rights, fiscal health, business freedom, tax burden, government spending, rule of law and other indicators of economic freedom in 186 countries. Based on these, each country gets an overall freedom index score, which then can be ranked against other countries. As Heritage points
Corruption: Is it a coincidence that the two Trump Cabinet picks Democrats mounted their fiercest campaigns against happen to be the two that labor unions most wanted to go down in flames? Hardly. Senate Democrats were so determined to do the bidding of the teachers unions and block Betsy DeVos as Education secretary that they held an all-night session in which they railed against her, in the hopes that this would convince one more Republican to oppose her nomination. Having failed to achieve that goal, Democrats immediately turned their ire to the other Big Union target, President Trump´s pick to head the
Besides the Department of Justice, the Central Intelligence Agency, and perhaps former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn himself, the latest name to emerge in the spreading swamp of connivers who did Flynn in this week is none other than the Obama administration´s former National Security Council Deputy Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes. According to a report in the Washington Free Beacon, Flynn´s resignation: ..."is the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump´s national security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to multiple sources in and out of
Monetary Policy: We applaud Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who on Tuesday hinted that two to three interest rate hikes were on the way this year and warned that "waiting too long (to hike rates) ... is unwise." We agree. But the same thing could have been said five years ago. Yellen fretted that by waiting too long the Fed might get behind the curve and have to jack up rates quickly, forcing the U.S. into a recession or creating a financial panic. "At our upcoming meetings, the committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line
Immigration: What a difference an election makes. When President Obama was in the White House, Democrats were crowing about the historic number of illegal immigrants he was deporting each year. Now, every arrest of an illegal immigrant is a cause for protests. When President Trump´s Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced on Monday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement had arrested 680 illegals — 75% of whom are convicted criminals — the left had another emotional breakdown. The enforcement actions were called "sweeping" and part of an "immigration crackdown" under Trump. Pro-immigration groups said the "level of intimidation seems new." Senate Minority Leader
The political backbiting behind the sudden ouster of retired General Michael T. Flynn from the National Security Council is worth watching. But so is the reaction from Russia. Kicking Flynn out as a security risk -- complete with unsubstantiated claims of his supposed vulnerability to Russian blackmail -- seems to be a calculated move to trash President Trump´s effort to improve relations with Russia to fight terrorists. It has a look of the Cold War status quo reasserting itself. For Russia, which is tired of constant conflict with the West, it´s a huge disappointment. The initial response has been to lash out.
Ideology: A whimsical definition of a gaffe is "when a politician accidentally speaks the truth." By that measure, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb committed a gaffe of huge proportions over the weekend. On "Meet the Press", Webb admitted that the Democratic Party has no ideas to offer, that it´s determined to destroy the Trump administration and — here´s the gaffe — that "the Democratic Party over the past five or six years has moved very far to the left." To which we say, welcome to the party, pal. For many years now, while the pundit class has been busy painting Republicans as radical,
About 15 people huddled in a luxury apartment building, munching on danishes as they plotted out their plan to have California secede from the United States. "I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of an independent California," Geoff Lewis said as he stood in a glass-walled conference room adorned with California´s grizzly-bear flag and a sign reading "California is a nation, not a state." Sweaty onlookers from the gym across the hall peered in curiously. Bolstered by the election of President Donald Trump, the group, Yes California, is collecting the 585,407 signatures necessary to place a secessionist question on the 2018
NASHVILLE, Tennessee--A total of 18 people were fired from a Tennessee business after joining the nation-wide protest "A Day Without Immigrants." The 18 employees at Bradley Coatings, Incorporated in Nolensville, Tennessee told their supervisors on Wednesday they´d be taking part in the nationwide movement. Then, on Thursday, they were told they no longer had jobs ."We are the team leaders directly under the supervisors and they informed us last night that we could not go back to work and the boss said we were fired," one employee said. Staff corrections*
The Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago could require a $1.5 billion endowment, its architects say, three times what was raised for the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. Husband-and-wife architectural team Tod Williams and Billie Tsien noted that it will be difficult to raise such a huge sum because Obama scrupulously declined to do much fund-raising while he was still in office. The Obama Center is due to be so expensive because it will require the construction of both a presidential library and a museum about the lives of Barack and Michelle Obama. And federal requirements now stipulate that former
Senator John McCain has emerged as one of the leading Republican voices pushing back against President Trump, and he had some tough words in response to Trump’s tweet calling the media the “enemy” of the American people. In a preview of his Meet the Press interview tomorrow, McCain told Chuck Todd that the free press is very important to American democracy. “I hate the press. I hate you especially,” he joked. “But the fact is, we need you. We need a free press.” Without a free and adversarial press, McCain said, Americans would lose their liberties and “that’s how dictators
SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will move beyond connecting family and friends to building "social infrastructure" critical to bringing people together in a "global community." In a nearly 5,800-word letter to Facebook users published on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg laid out his vision of what kind of world he believes Facebook can help create as it pushes back against a growing tide of anti-globalization sentiment. "Progress now requires humanity coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community," Zuckerberg wrote. (Snip) Though the letter is long on utopian ideals, it´s short on actual details. Zuckerberg
Dr. Sebastian Gorka has a PhD, big vocabulary, huge knowledge base and even a British accent -- all the markers of an elitist establishment, if not leftist, thinker. But he seems to be in complete sync with his boss, President Trump. The BBC interviewer, with his fashionable three-day beard, open collar, and heavy ‘tude, probably was not expecting what he got when he led off his live shot interview from the White House lawn with a snarky dig at President Trump’s sanity.
WASHINGTON — Donald Trump is stuck in his own skull. He’s unreachable.“He lives inside his head, where he runs the same continuous loop of conflict with people he turns into enemies for the purposes of his psychodrama,” says Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio. Because Trump holds Thor’s hammer, with its notably short handle, we must keep trying to figure out his strange, perverse, aggrieved style of reasoning. So we’re stuck in Trump’s head with him.It’s a very cluttered place to be, a fine-tuned machine spewing a torrent of chaos, cruelty, confusion, farce and transfixing craziness. Of course, this is merely the observation of
Senior White House officials and members of the National Security Council are pushing former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton as a replacement for ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to multiple sources in and out of the White House who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon. Among Bolton´s most vocal supporters are senior administration officials loyal to Flynn and who are upset at the general´s firing. Multiple sources described an effort by these Flynn loyalists to ensure that Bolton is selected as his replacement. The selection of Bolton as the next national security adviser would empower Flynn´s allies still in the
An Obama-tied activist group training tens of thousands of agitators to protest President Trump’s policies plans to hit Republican lawmakers supporting those policies even harder this week, when they return home for the congressional recess and hold town hall meetings and other functions. Organizing for Action, a group founded by Obama and featured prominently on his new post-presidency website, is distributing a training manual to anti-Trump activists that advises them to bully GOP lawmakers into backing off support for repealing ObamaCare, curbing immigration from high-risk Islamic nations, and building a border wall. In a new Facebook post, OFA calls on
Arizona Sen. John McCain said President Trump is wrong to tweet the press is an “enemy of the American people” — a label a “dictator” might use. “If you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and at many times adversarial press,” McCain told Meet The Press’s Chuck Todd in an interview airing Sunday. NBC released excerpts Saturday. “Without it I’m afraid we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.” Todd asked McCain, “That’s how dictators get started — with tweets like that?” referring to
A former State Department IT technician who set up Hillary Clinton´s private email server in her home may face criminal charges for avoiding multiple subpoenas to testify on Clinton´s email server. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter on Thursday to Attorney General Jeff Session asking that Bryan Pagliano be charged for ignoring multiple subpoenas requesting that he testify before the Oversight Committee. Pagliano was responsible for managing Clinton´s private server and also served as a senior adviser to the former secretary of state.
California Democrats made a surprise move late Friday to foil President Trump’s promise to repeal ObamaCare—by introducing a stand-alone, single-payer healthcare system in California. The Mercury News reported that two California lawmakers Friday introduced legislation to replace private insurance with a government-run health care system covering all 38 million Californians—including its undocumented residents. “We’ve reached this pivotal moment,” Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), told the Mercury News in an interview Friday, “and I thought to myself: `Look, now more than ever is the time to talk about universal health care.’” The article went on to report that the proposal dubbed the ‘Healthy California