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.
Regulation: "Net neutrality" has become the Holy Grail of various so-called consumer organizations. But government regulation isn´t what consumers need. Competition is. And there would be more of that if the government would get out of the way. On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 2-1 to start undoing the massive expansion of the FCC´s regulatory control over the internet, enacted two years ago by the Obama administration under the guise of protecting "net neutrality." From the reaction — or more accurately, the overreaction — from advocacy groups and know-nothing pundits, you´d think they´d just voted to exterminate the internet. Let´s leave aside
Russian Connection: The naming of former FBI head Robert Mueller to look into allegations of improper Russian influence on the last election should have a clarifying effect — and not just for President Donald Trump, who is the main target of the probe. President Obama´s and Hillary Clinton´s Russian ties will come under the legal microscope, too. Mueller, who was named by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to act as special counsel, has a reputation for being a competent straight shooter. After all, he was able to get along with both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. We hope
Politics: The fact that some Democrats are already calling for the impeachment of President Trump is hardly news. What is news is the fact that even some ardent liberals are worried that reflexively jumping on the impeachment bandwagon is folly. According to a list compiled by CNN, 27 Democrats have so far come out in favor of impeaching Trump. What they don´t provide is context. For 36 years, Democrats have routinely called for impeaching Republican presidents at the drop of a hat. Here is a sampling: On May 1, 1981, thousands of protesters marched in Washington to denounce President Reagan´s economic and social
While there´s much to recommend about Donald Trump´s recently floated tax-reform proposal, we think the President and his team erred by not seeking to abolish the charitable deduction. We say this in full consideration of the health of nonprofits. About the deduction, it´s frequently argued that if it shrinks or goes away altogether, donations to charities will dry up. Such worries are overdone, not to mention that the deduction itself is arguably immoral. Fear of reduced giving is overstated simply because charitable donations aren´t driven by the tax preference nearly as much as many presume. As American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks
Climate Deceit: Just when you think the climate change lunacy couldn´t get any worse, the U.N.´s climate-crats up the ante. Meeting in Bonn, Germany, for yet another unneeded climate conference, attendees are now demanding $300 billion a year more to help less-developed nations cope with anticipated climatic warming. Are they kidding? By the way, that $300 billion is in addition to the $100 billion that the world´s governments have already promised to deliver under the Paris Climate Agreement. So now they´re asking for a total of $400 billion a year in climate welfare for the developing world. No sane government would
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Media Anti-Trump Bias: The Washington Post now reports that President Trump revealed U.S. secret intelligence about terrorist plots to the Russians. While the story is likely mostly true, our only question is: So what? The Post, for its part, cited as sources for its story "current and former U.S. officials," who said that intelligence that Trump shared had "been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government." We have no reason to disbelieve the basic story that Trump shared some intelligence with the
Scandal: Here´s a story that would seem ripe for media bloodhounds to pursue. A disgruntled insider may have leaked damaging information about his employers, and was later murdered on his way home by two unidentified assailants. Put President Trump´s name somewhere in the mix and it would be the latest scandal-to-end-all-scandals, capturing wall-to-wall coverage, eliciting new calls for independent prosecutors and impeachment, and probably making Jimmy Kimmel cry again. But since the person involved worked for the Democratic National Committee, it´s being ignored by everyone in the press except a cadre of conservative reporters. The story involves Seth Rich, a DNC staffer who
Debt: Yes, Puerto Rico is broke, and has declared the equivalent of bankruptcy in a federal court. But U.S. states, cities and counties have no reason to feel superior. They, too, are nearly insolvent, running deficits as soaring pension costs threaten the nation´s fiscal health, a new report says. The study by Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Joshua Rauh, "Hidden Debt, Hidden Deficits," is an update of a report issued last year. It should sound an alarm across the U.S. about the growing crisis of underfunded pensions at the state and local level. Instead, sadly, it will likely be ignored. To put it
Income Inequality: Every year the AFL-CIO puts out a grossly misleading but widely covered report on "excessive" CEO pay. But what about top union bosses? Turns out their salaries are actually bigger than that of the average CEO. The latest report from the AFL-CIO claims that the CEO-to-worker pay ratio in 2016 was 347 to 1. In other words, for every dollar the average worker makes, the top CEOs in the country make $347. That´s up from 123 to 1 in the mid-1990s, and 20 to 1 in the 1960s. That´s the story anyway. And every year, the statistic gets extensively reported
The drug lords, street thugs, and Mugabe wannabes running Venezuela these days are trembling in their boots this morning. Seems the European Union has issued a Stern Warning to them about violence against protesters. This being the E.U., I will have to clarify: the E.U. is against it. That´ll fix ´er. Which brutal dictatorship doesn´t listen eagerly and take heed dutifully when the august bodies of the European Union issue their pronunciamientos? EU foreign ministers said in a statement Monday that "violence and the use of force will not resolve the crisis in the country." They said people´s rights "must be respected, including
Supporters of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) claim an unparalleled victory, a promise fulfilled, and a cure for our failing health care system. Detractors see the end of the world: "thousands will die" from lack of health insurance. Let´s all step back from the ledge, take a deep cleansing breath, eschew the hyperbole, and consider six facts followed by a suggestion. Fact #1: Nothing has happened, nothing at all. Despite the shock and awe, regardless of proclamations of "insurance for everybody" on the one hand or doomsday on the other, the AHCA has not impacted the health care of a single
While former president Barack Obama hit the links on the first day of their Tuscany vacation, his wife Michelle was spotted taking in the sights in Montalcino almost 70 miles away. The former first lady wore an off-the-shoulder pink top, with white ripped jeans and white sandals as she wandered around the stunning Italian hill town on Saturday, accompanied by members of her security team. Michelle was later seen tucking into some Italian gelato before she climbed into her waiting car. Meanwhile her husband Barack enjoyed a day of golf at the exclusive Castiglion del Bosco course, during the Obamas´
Clearly disappointed to have been left out of the headline heroics from Friday night (courtesy of The Washington Post and The New York Times), CNN has decided that anonymously sourced perspectives on officials´ feelings now warrants reportage. The latest in the sad sage of mainstream media´s downward spiral, as The Hill reports, is that former FBI Director James Comey is expected to testify that he believes President Trump was deliberately trying to meddle in the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the presidential election, according to a report late Friday. Despite swearing under oath that he "had never" been influenced
Actor Robert De Niro delivered an outburst of anti-Trump vitriol just before the Saturday night debut on HBO of The Wizard of Lies, a movie in which he plays Bernie Madoff. He told USA Today that Madoff’s story still “resonates” thanks to President Donald Trump and that while what Madoff “did was horrible and awful; monstrous,” Trump is worse than the Ponzi scheme criminal since he’s a “bad con artist” who every day is “doing something that is absolutely — what word can I use? He’s just a slob. He’s a pig.” From the top of the article by Patrick
Notre Dame students are planning to walk out during the Vice President´s commencement address. The students are planning to leave ´respectfully and quietly´ before Mike Pence delivers his speech on Sunday, and are organizing the walkout because they disagree with his administration´s stance on immigration, gay rights and the criminal justice system. The organizers of the walk out are a part of a student group in Notre Dame called We Stand For ND. For four days, this group has galvanized support for their plan through Twitter and Facebook, to stand with the ´vulnerable´ members in their community. ´The participation and
Two leading Republican senators on Sunday said President Trump is making a mistake by failing to more forcefully confront Saudi Arabia over the country’s treatment of women and other human rights issues in the Middle Eastern nation. Mr. Trump’s highly anticipated address in Saudi Arabia on Sunday will focus heavily on the fight against terrorism but will include little in terms of human rights. While administration officials say the topic has been discussed in private settings, critics say that’s simply not enough. “America is the unique nation in history, with all of our errors and failings and mistakes we’ve made
SOUTH BEND — Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday delivered a call for leadership to the University of Notre Dame´s newest graduates, urging them "to be men and women of integrity and values" and to stand up against the suppression of free speech. "Notre Dame is a campus where deliberation is welcomed, where opposing views are debated, and where every speaker, no matter how unpopular or unfashionable, is afforded the right to air their views in the open for all to hear," Pence told students at the commencement ceremony. But about 150 people, about half students and the other half
Gender studies is a fake academic industry populated by charlatans, deranged activists and gullible idiots. Now, a pair of enterprising hoaxers has proved it scientifically by persuading an academic journal to peer-review and publish their paper claiming that the penis is not really a male genital organ but a social construct. The paper, published by Cogent Social Sciences – “a multidisciplinary open access journal offering high quality peer review across the social sciences” – also claims that penises are responsible for causing climate change. The two hoaxers are Peter Boghossian, a full-time faculty member in the Philosophy department at Portland State University, and
On July 8, 2016, 27 year-old Democratic staffer Seth Conrad Rich was murdered in Washington DC. The killer or killers took nothing from their victim, leaving behind his wallet, watch and phone. Shortly after the killing, Redditors and social media users were pursuing a “lead” saying that Rich was en route to the FBI the morning of his murder, apparently intending to speak to special agents about an “ongoing court case” possibly involving the Clinton family. Seth Rich’s father Joel told reporters, “If it was a robbery — it failed because he still has his watch, he still has his
Friday on CNN’s “New Day,” host Chris Cuomo and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) went back and forth on whether or not there was the existence of evidence that President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia. While Duffy maintained there was no evidence of collusion, Cuomo insisted Duffy offer proof there was no evidence of collusion. Transcript as follows: CUOMO: You make a lot of points that deserve consideration there, congressman. First of all, I would hope you have the same perspective on so many members of your party who say there’s no evidence of collusion. because we both know, as
China killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 CIA sources from 2010 to 2012, hobbling U.S. spying operations in a massive intelligence breach whose origin has not been identified, the New York Times reported on Saturday. Investigators remain divided over whether there was a spy within the Central Intelligence Agency who betrayed the sources or whether the Chinese hacked the CIA´s covert communications system, the newspaper reported, citing current and former U.S. officials. The Chinese killed at least a dozen people providing information to the CIA from 2010 through 2012, dismantling a network that was years in the making, the newspaper
A Project Baltimore investigation has found five Baltimore City high schools and one middle school do not have a single student proficient in the state tested subjects of math and English. (Snip) It’s a school where only half the students graduate and just a few dozen will go to college. Last year, not one student scored proficient in any state testing.
The latest anonymous leak/news story, the New York Times’s “nut job” scoop, troubles me for at least three reasons. First, it’s disturbing that this kind of leaking occurs. In one week, among other leak-grounded stories, (1) Politico reported, based on a leak that must have originated with someone close to President Trump, that the president screamed at the television in response to a story about the FBI’s Russia investigation and asked aides why it wouldn’t go away; (2) the Washington Post reported that, at a meeting with very few attendees, Trump told Russian officials about confidential information obtained from a