AuthorTopic: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart  (Read 47191 times)

Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2016, 01:05:58 AM »
We get all our shopping home delivered from one of the 2 big duopoly in Aus. Yes even meat. Works quite well. Ask for 1kg. If portion is slightly less they end up giving you 2 serves. Always get 1.5x  the roast meat we ask for because the portions are not exact.
Frozen stuff is delivered frozen in plastic crates in back of small fridge van. Found quality to be good on meat and veg. Free delivery if you spend over a certain amount, otherwise usually around $10.
Found we spend less getting home delivered as it makes you plan shop and cook to a weekly menu. No impulse buying. Saves fuel driving to shops too.
Not sure if that sort of arrangement is available in some of our small towns or not.  Probably in some places yes, others no.
Around here Walmart has free SHIPPING for orders over $50 -- that's not the same as free delivery.  It works fine for dry goods, but not for anything that needs to stay cool in the summer or not get frozen in the winter.

Having Walmart close down is no big loss, unless they have managed to put all the other retailers in the area out of business.  Yes, there are other ways of coping, like starting co-ops, but people in areas that depressed generally don't have the experience to successfully run one.  And in my experience, it is extremely rare for a new business to move into a place where major ones are shutting down.
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline John of Wallan

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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2016, 01:06:20 AM »
A Furphy is indeed a bullshit story. My understanding is it is based on the Furphy water carts as a meeting place to fill water bottles during WW1 as per your note. Furphy foundry is still going just up the road form me.

Ahh grasshopper, there is cultural learning to be had everywhere. That's cultural learnings not cultured learning. You my be mistaken the two.
It it the little differences in language, food and culture that you pick up and which indeed broadens your horizons when travelling.

A case in note:
I like strong black espresso coffee. I could not find any in Nothern kentucky where I was putting in a factory. I would go into a cafe and ask for a small, strong long black and get some pretty weird looks... You guys call them Americano's. (Of course what else would they be called in the US?!). The smallest size seems to be a 10 gallon buckets weaker than your beer (There is a whole other issue!). In the end I started ordering quad shot Americanos to get a half decent coffee much to the amusement of the owner of the cafe I frequented. 

On beer: Monty Python summed up American beer perfectly in their parody of Australian drinking culture:
Drinking american beer is like making love in a canoe.
Its fucking close to water.

Now excuse me I have to go outside to have a fag, and perve at the bogan neighbour's missus while we yarn over a cold tinnie.
Don't come the raw prawn with me mate! You know I would not lead you up the garden path.

Offline azozeo

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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2016, 11:32:52 AM »
We get all our shopping home delivered from one of the 2 big duopoly in Aus. Yes even meat. Works quite well. Ask for 1kg. If portion is slightly less they end up giving you 2 serves. Always get 1.5x  the roast meat we ask for because the portions are not exact.
Frozen stuff is delivered frozen in plastic crates in back of small fridge van. Found quality to be good on meat and veg. Free delivery if you spend over a certain amount, otherwise usually around $10.
Found we spend less getting home delivered as it makes you plan shop and cook to a weekly menu. No impulse buying. Saves fuel driving to shops too.
Not sure if that sort of arrangement is available in some of our small towns or not.  Probably in some places yes, others no.
Around here Walmart has free SHIPPING for orders over $50 -- that's not the same as free delivery.  It works fine for dry goods, but not for anything that needs to stay cool in the summer or not get frozen in the winter.

Having Walmart close down is no big loss, unless they have managed to put all the other retailers in the area out of business.  Yes, there are other ways of coping, like starting co-ops, but people in areas that depressed generally don't have the experience to successfully run one.  And in my experience, it is extremely rare for a new business to move into a place where major ones are shutting down.

My room mate Kathy shops online at WalMart. Free shipping.
The kicker is trying to return the items via a shipper. WalMarts online
return desk is usually inop. So Kathy has to tote the items to the big box for a refund.
WalMarts a tail wagging the dog at best scenario, I try to avoid the big box
at all cost. I'm willing to pay a few more pennies on the dollar just to avoid the store.
Usually the place is packed with toothless unibrows & 400 pound useless eaters.
Can't wait until their outta' business some day.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline RE

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Malls feel the heat as Macy's, other chains close stores
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2016, 03:53:20 AM »

Malls feel the heat as Macy's, other chains close stores

 Macy's announced plans to close 100 stores next year as part of a new strategy for sustained growth. USA TODAY
James Briggs, Jodi Schwan and Chris Woodyard, Indianapolis Star, (Sioux Falls, S.D.) Argus Leader and USA TODAY 3:53 a.m. EDT August 13, 2016

(Photo: Elise Amendola, AP)

Macy's decision to close 100 stores, only the latest in a series of downsizing announcements by department-store chains, is going to fall hard on the nation's shopping mall operators.

Macy's, Sears, J.C. Penney and other, including specialty retailers, see their sales and profits being gobbled by online retailers and shoppers seeking fresher retail concepts. A real-estate research firm, Green Street Advisors, says chains would need to collectively close 800 stores to achieve the kind of profitability per square foot that they saw a decade ago.

Retail executives know they have a problem even though store cuts, with thousands of jobs at stake, are painful.

"The reality is the United States is over-stored," Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren told Bloomberg TV. "It's pure facts. We're getting in front of what we know is a trend that's been occurring and that is customers are balancing their spending with online as well as in stores."


Macy's to close 100 stores as big-box retailer shrinks further

Macy's announcement Thursday that it would shutter 100 stores shook up shopping center operators such as Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, which has 200 shopping centers. Shares of Simon fell 2% that day, though they were largely unchanged Friday.

As Simon's largest tenant, Macy stores occupy 12.6% of the company's U.S. portfolio. Macy's has 122 stores in Simon-owned properties, accounting for more than 23 million square feet.

Two other shopping-center operators, General Growth and Kimco Realty, also saw modest drops in the stock the day that Macy's made its announcement.

Green Street Advisors issued a report saying that a spate of department-store closures will be "problematic" for "lower productivity malls that have already had their fair share of struggled competing against online retail."

For those malls, the problem will be akin to the dilemma once faced by harried shoppers: too many stores and too little time. Up until now, Green Street says mall landlords have done an "admirable" job of keeping spaces filled with stores amid the retail changes.

Indeed, Simon has boasted about how it has managed to keep is department-store spaces filled.

"It is important to note we have one vacant department store in the entire portfolio, and we have 441 of them," Simon Chief Operating Officer Rick Sokolov said during the company's May earnings call. A Simon spokesman could not be reached for comment Friday.


Top retailers that are closing stores in 2016

Chain-store closure announcements have cascaded this year even though the U.S. economy has been generally strong.

They have included Ralph Lauren announcing it would close 50 stores. Sears said it would shutter 78 Sears and Kmart stores. Aeropostale is closing 113 locations. Sports Authority is closing down the entire chain Tailored Brands said it will close 80 to 90 Jos. A. Bank stores, mostly in January, plus 58 factory and outlet sores and up to 110 MW Tux stores. Kohl's going to leave 18 underperforming stores. Chico's, White House Black Market is spacing out the net reduction of 105 stores total.

But Green Street noted that large malls no longer need four or five anchor department stores to be successful. And with department-store sales per square foot of store space down 20% since 2006, there are other businesses -- restaurants, grocers, movie theaters or others -- that can draw foot traffic instead.

Chains might begin cutting their losses on under-performing stores now rather than following the usual path of waiting until after the holiday shopping rush and closing stores early next year, according to Garrick Brown, national retail research director for Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real-estate brokerage.

For all the traditional retailers that have hit hard time, some discount chains are expanding.

Dollar General, a Tennessee-based discount retailer of groceries and household items, expects to open 900 locations in the next year. The TJX Companies, which includes T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, plans to add about 195 new stores this year, a 5% increase.

The looming question for commercial real estate is which concepts might emerge to fill expected vacancies. Target and Costco have gone into some shopping centers as anchors, which has helped fill space during “a relatively leisurely pace of closures,” says Brown. Ireland-based fast fashion retailer Primark is emerging as a potentially big player, acquiring some former Sears spaces, although its ramp-up could take years.


Sports Authority shutting down with giant going-out-of-business sale

Melina Cordero, head of retail research for commercial real-estate brokerage CBRE in the Americas, said department stores downsizing will continue. "I think department stores as a whole are really in a precarious position,” she said. Chains that traditionally appealed to middle class consumers “are going to suffer.”

New store concepts "pose an opportunity for some of these malls to restructure, refurbish and redevelop along the lines of the new consumer reality,” Cordero says.

--Contributing: Bowdeya Tweh, Cincinnati Enquirer
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Offline RE

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Will Volkswagen be the first Carz Company to go Tits Up?
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2016, 12:12:09 AM »
Countdown to the end of the Automobile begins.


 Volkswagen to lay off 30,000

by DAVID McHUGH AP Business Writer on November 20, 2016 12:24 AM
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FRANKFURT, Germany — Volkswagen announced plans Friday to cut 30,000 jobs in a wide-ranging restructuring of its namesake brand as it tries to recover from a scandal over cars rigged to cheat on diesel emissions tests.

The German company said the job cuts are part of a long-term plan to improve profitability and shift resources and investment to electric-powered vehicles and digital services.

Company officials at a news conference at its headquarters in Wolfsburg said 23,000 of the job cuts will come in Germany and that the measures will save some $4 billion a year from 2020.

CEO Matthias Mueller said it was “the biggest reform package in the history of our core brand.” In addition to Volkswagen, the company also makes cars under other brands including Porsche, Audi, SEAT, Skoda and Lamborghini.

The announcement caps a difficult year for Volkswagen, which has been embroiled in an emissions-rigging scandal that damaged the company’s reputation and cost it billions.

In response, Volkswagen has agreed to pay $15 billion to U.S. authorities and owners of some 500,000 vehicles with software that turned off emissions controls. Around 11 million cars worldwide have the deceptive software.

The scandal has been a spur for the company to address longstanding problems such as high fixed costs at its manufacturing locations in Germany and excessively top-down management that many say created an environment that enabled the cheating.

Herbert Diess, head of the core Volkswagen brand, conceded that Volkswagen had let its costs rise and “lost ground in terms of productivity.” The changes, he said, would make the company “leaner and more efficient.”

The cuts are aimed at addressing Volkswagen’s longstanding cost issue.

Volkswagen, with 624,000 employees, sells roughly the same number of cars as Toyota and General Motors, around 10 million a year. But Toyota does it with 349,000 workers and GM with 202,000.

One reason for VW’s higher cost-base and headcount is the role that employee representatives play at the company. As at other large German companies, employees have half the seats on the board, a power they can use to resist moving production outside Germany or to suppliers. In addition, the state of Lower Saxony, where the headquarters is located, owns a stake in the company and tends to support employee interests as well.

The cuts will mainly fall on its 120,000-strong German workforce. However, job cuts are also foreseen in Brazil and Argentina.

Jobs will be reduced through voluntary departures such as early retirement and attrition. Labor representatives won a guarantee of no involuntary layoffs through 2025.

The company has said it aims to cut nonessential costs and investments and shift resources toward battery-powered cars and internet-based services such as car-sharing and ride-sharing. The company had been slower than some competitors to move toward electric cars but has shifted its view after the scandal underlined diesel’s limitations. Volkswagen now says it plans to introduce more than 30 electric-powered vehicles by 2025, and to sell 2 to 3 million of them a year.

To make the job cuts, the company has cut a deal with its powerful worker representatives. Under the terms of the deal, Volkswagen has agreed to keep much of the future investment in new technology in Germany and to rely on voluntary departures such as early retirement, with no firings.

Top employee representative Bernd Osterloh said “the next generation of electric vehicles will be made here in Germany, not abroad.”
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Offline RE

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Another Wave Of Sears And Kmart Store Closures
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2016, 01:25:47 AM »

Another Wave Of Sears And Kmart Store Closures


Sears is closing at least another 32 stores in March/April.

It probably still needs to close many more stores in 2017, and I'd expect another announcement about store closures around April, with July closing dates.

Store closures help reduce Sears' inventory needs, but also harm the value of some of its assets (such as its KCD brands) which are dependent on Sears' retail network.

The secured standby letter of credit facility boosts Sears' liquidity, but isn't close to its estimated 2017 needs.

Whatever value Sears has left continues to get transferred to its debt, which is a situation that will continue as long as Sears' retail operations perform poorly.

It appears that Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) is initiating another wave of store closures, with around 32 stores set to close (mostly in April) and liquidation sales due to start next week. This is not unexpected, although Sears likely needs to close many more stores, so I'd expect further announcements later in the year. It also arranged for a secured standby letter of credit facility with affiliates of ESL Investments that should help reassure creditors at least somewhat and give it some additional liquidity. Given the massive rate of cash burn, that additional financing still seems much less than what Sears needs to get through 2017 though.

The Store Closures

Business Insider lists 32 stores that are set to close in March and April, with liquidation sales generally set to start on January 6. Of these stores, 24 are Kmarts and eight are Sears stores. It appears that six of the 32 stores are Seritage (NYSE:SRG) properties.

I believe that Sears needs to close many more stores in order to reduce its inventory needs before the 2017 holiday season though. I anticipate another announcement of store closures around April (similar to 2016), with closures slated for July.

Kenmore, Craftsman and Diehard

While there were previous reports in October that Sears was looking to sell Craftsman, it appears that no deal was worked out. The precarious state of Sears' retail stores may be a significant factor limiting current bidder interest in Craftsman.

I had previously estimated that 75% of KCD sales came through Sears Holdings' stores, with another 22% through Sears Hometown and Outlet stores and another 3% through other channels such as Ace Hardware.

Sears Holdings is at best dealing with significantly declining comparable store sales combined with hundreds of store closures per year. In a somewhat less than best case scenario, Sears is at risk of filing for bankruptcy in 2017. Thus any purchaser of a KCD brand is looking at double-digit annual declines from its main Sears Holdings distribution channel in a good scenario, and would be a vendor to a bankrupt retailer in the more negative scenario. Given that uncertainty, it probably shouldn't be surprising that any potential purchasers may be looking for a very good price before pulling the trigger.

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores have also been struggling with -6% comparable store sales in Q3 2016. As well, the number of Hometown stores decreased by 5% and the number of Outlet stores decreased by 1% year-over-year. While the situation with Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores is not as critical as with Sears Holdings, it also is a declining distribution channel.

That leaves channels representing around 3% of sales as being stable, with any KCD purchaser needing to establish new distribution channels in order to gain value for its purchase.

The Letter Of Credit Facility

Sears has improved its liquidity situation with the secured standby letter of credit facility it arranged with affiliates of ESL Investments. This facility is initially for $200 million and can be expanded to $500 million at Sears' request and the consent of the lenders. This credit facility should help at least partially reassure vendors, although analysts have noted that it is a "troubling sign" that Lampert seems to be the only one lending to Sears now.

Sears had limited availability ($174 million) under its credit facility at the end of Q3 2016, although it noted that its borrowing base increased by $175 million in Q4 due to growth in inventory levels. As the borrowing base changes in correlation with inventory levels, Sears' credit facility borrowing base will shrink with its low post holiday season inventory levels. As a result, the reduced borrowing base probably significantly offsets the conversion of inventory to cash during the holiday season.

Sears had $660 million in letters of credit outstanding under its credit facility at the end of Q3 2016, which was taking up a significant portion of its credit facility availability. Sears can free up some availability under its credit facility by issuing letters of credit via the new secured standby letter of credit facility.


While Sears has taken steps to improve its situation by closing more stores and arranging the secured standby letter of credit facility, it still has lots of work to do to be able to get through 2017. Even if it expands the letter of credit facility to $500 million, it probably needs to raise over $500 million more (at a minimum) plus close many more stores just to get through the next holiday season.

Closing stores helps Sears' chances of surviving through 2017, but it also diminishes the value of some of its assets (such as the KCD brands and its Home Services and Protection business) that are mostly dependent on Sears's retail network for customers.

The letter of credit facility also shouldn't been seen as good for Sears' equity in the long run. Whatever value the equity has continues to be transferred to its debt, that isn't going to change as long as Sears' retail operations burn billions per year. However, in the short run, anything that boosts Sears' chances of lasting a couple more quarters is positive for Sears' equity due to the high cost of shorting the stock. That cost often leads to some short covering when it appears that Sears may last for a little while longer.

Author's Note: If you thought this article was interesting, please scroll to the top of the article and click on "Follow" next to Elephant Analytics. Thanks for reading!
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Offline RE

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Macy's cutting 6,200 jobs, closing 68 stores
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2017, 04:26:13 PM »
Sears, now Macy's.

Retail is collapsing rapidly.


Macy's cutting 6,200 jobs, closing 68 stores

Charisse Jones , USA TODAY Published 4:31 p.m. ET Jan. 4, 2017 | Updated 21 minutes ago

Online retail is continuing to drive physical stores out of business, with planned closings from brands such as Macy's and Sears. Buzz60

(Photo: Stephan Savoia, AP)

After seeing sales drop during the holidays, Macy's said Wednesday it has either closed or will shutter 68 stores and cut an additional 6,200 positions at a time when shoppers are going online to buy everything from scarves to lipstick.

Of the 68 stores out of 730 in total, nine closings had been previously announced and three locations have already shut down. But the retail giant revealed the locations of the remaining 59 stores, which will be shuttered by the middle of this year and affect 3,900 employees, some of whom may be offered jobs at other locations.

Macy's identifies 68 stores that will close

The locations span the country, from Florida to Oregon.

Some of the stores are relatively new to the chain. The Macy's store in the Eastland center in Columbus, Ohio, opened in 2006, and has 73 employees. Some, however, are historic or have been around for decades. Macy's said it will shutter its store in downtown Minneapolis opened in 1902, where it has 280 employees.

Expect more store closings despite big holiday sales

Additionally the retail giant says that it will be cutting "layers of management'' at its central operations, and paring the number of managers supporting stores, making up the bulk of 6,200 jobs that will be lost.

"We continue to experience declining traffic in our stores where the majority of our business is still transacted,'' Terry Lundgren, Macy's CEO said in a statement.  In regard to the store closings he added, "we are closing locations that are unproductive or are no longer robust shopping destinations due to changes in the local retail shopping landscape. . . .These are never easy decisions.''

The news did not seem to sooth investors, with Macy's shares plunging 8.7%, to $32.70, in after hours trading.

"It's a big reduction in space and a lot of stores aren't pulling their weight," says Neil Saunders, analyst for Conlumino, a firm that follows the retail industry. who called the action "harsh, but necessary." Having stemmed some of its losses, he says Macy's can now pour some of the savings into improving stores that show more promise.

"In stores where they think they have potential, they will invest more," Saunders says. "That is the right direction. They want to make sure the ones they have are really great stores and that requires money."

But the bloodletting probably isn't over. "I don't think this is the end of it," he adds.

The announcement was in keeping with Macy’s guidance to investors in August that it would be shutting about 100 stores to try to reverse sliding sales and profits. The chain also mapped out a strategy to boost revenue, ranging from hosting in-store events to woo foot traffic to enhancing the experience of searching online.

But efforts fell short in the all-important holiday shopping period. Sales at stores open at least 12 months that include licensed businesses dropped a combined 2.1% in November and December compared to last year, while sales at stores that do not include licensed businesses and open at least 12 months dropped by 2.7%.

Macy's is now reducing its full-year earnings guidance, expecting diluted earnings, not counting special charges, of $2.95 to $3.10 per share, rather than the previously forecast $3.15 to $3.40. Meanwhile, it maintained its full year guidance predicting a 2.5%  to 3% drop in comparable sales at stores with licensed businesses.

The retailer is one of many traditional store chains fighting the headwinds of a retail environment that has been transformed by the surge in online shopping. Sears for instance has shuttered dozens of stores, terminating the leases on 19 under performing locations just this week.
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Offline JRM

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Re: Macy's cutting 6,200 jobs, closing 68 stores
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2017, 06:12:08 PM »
The retailer is one of many traditional store chains fighting the headwinds of a retail environment that has been transformed by the surge in online shopping.

Yup. That's my retirement plan.  I'll get myself a 3D printer and order digital pizzas over the internet!  What once cost $9.99 will cost about nine cents to download, per pizza!  Let's see, nine cents a day, maybe 18 cents for two on a good day, well I only need to save just a little. 
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". -- -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline RE

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The Further Slow Death of Retail Consumerism
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2017, 06:51:23 PM »

 Business Day
Department Stores, Once Anchors at Malls, Become Millstones


Discount retailers like T.J. Maxx are posing a stern challenge to department stores like Macy’s and Sears, which have announced job and location reductions. Credit Bryan Thomas for The New York Times

For decades, a corner spot at the mall was a sure path to success for big American department stores like Macy’s. Not anymore.

Those stores have been outmaneuvered by online retailers like Amazon and discount retailers like T. J. Maxx. And now the pace of change is accelerating, transforming the retail industry faster than expected.

The results? A rude awakening for some of the country’s biggest retailers. And for malls, a reshaping that, in many ways, mirrors a growing economic divide.

Macy’s said this week that it would cut more than 10,000 jobs as part of a previously announced plan to close 100 stores and cut other costs. And the long-struggling Sears Holdings said Thursday that it would close 150 more stores and that it had sold its nearly century-old Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker. They are the latest in a slow bleed of similar announcements in the past two years from rivals including J. C. Penney.
Continue reading the main story
Related Coverage

    Where Trump Sees Economic ‘Disaster,’ Experts See Something More Complex JAN. 5, 2017
    Sears Agrees to Sell Craftsman to Stanley Black & Decker to Raise Cash JAN. 5, 2017
    Amazon to Open Retail Store in Manhattan at Time Warner Center JAN. 5, 2017
    Macy’s Will Cut 10,000 Jobs After Poor Holiday Sales JAN. 4, 2017

Continue reading the main story

These changes are “happening at a tremendous speed,” said Bernard Sosnick, a retail analyst at Madison Global Partners.

“It’s putting pressure on all stores, best and worst, but the worst just don’t have a place in retailing anymore as sales decrease,” Mr. Sosnick said. “It’s necessary to sacrifice them, shutter them, to help the others survive and stabilize sales.”

The exits highlight the growing dichotomy between America’s highest-end shopping centers, the type with Tesla dealerships and Apple stores, and those on the lower end of the spectrum, which are struggling to fill space and attract national brands. The stores being closed by Sears are not profitable. And Macy’s chief executive, Terry J. Lundgren, said many of the stores it was closing were “no longer robust shopping destinations.”

Green Street Advisors, which tracks the mall industry, said in a report last year that more department store closures “should ultimately result in a larger number of malls becoming irrelevant retail destinations.”

Even among more successful malls, it is clear that department stores are far less important than they once were as they attract fewer customers.

While mall owners once relied on four or five department stores to serve as so-called anchor tenants, offering them cheap rent in exchange for reliable foot traffic, they may now simply need one or two department stores and otherwise seek anchors in off-price chains like T. J. Maxx, restaurants and movie theaters, Green Street Advisors said.

“Ten or 15 years ago, if a department store left a mall, it was really a problem for the developer,” Les Wexner, the longtime chief executive of L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret, told analysts and investors in November. “Now, many of the developers are trying to buy back the space from the department stores because they’re an economic detriment and they can recycle that space.”

The business of department stores has been attacked from all sides in recent years. Online, consumers can purchase directly from brands or on Amazon, which has invested heavily in fashion.

Offline, the chains have had to contend with discount retailers like TJX, the owner of T. J. Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods, which compete hard on price and brand names, as well as fast-fashion sellers like H&M and outlet centers. Department stores also face competition from beauty chains like Sephora and Ulta.

The new rivalries are particularly painful for those physical stores that fall in between selling heavily discounted goods and luxury products. The competition has really struck at the heart of some of the biggest department stores: Macy’s made 61 percent of its sales from women’s apparel, shoes, cosmetics and accessories in 2015.

“Everyone is carving away at different parts of the business,” said Liz Dunn, the chief executive of Talmage Advisors, a retail consulting firm. “It’s sad that these retailers that have this rent advantage can’t seem to make it worth it.”

Nowhere is this shift more evident than in apparel. Two years ago, annual sales at TJX eclipsed those of Macy’s for the first time, as the company drew consumers to its relatively smaller stores with a treasure-hunt-like experience and brand-name discounts. TJX posted $29 billion in sales for the year that ended Jan. 31, 2015, while Macy’s revenue was $28 billion, a gap that has widened since then.

Some of the money Macy’s will save with its closures and job cuts will be diverted to its own version of T. J. Maxx, called Macy’s Backstage, an effort akin to off-price chains like Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off 5th. Macy’s, which operated 22 of the Backstage stores at the end of October, said it will open 50 more in the next two years. Many will be within current Macy’s locations.

Other funds will go toward Macy’s e-commerce efforts, which have been growing but struggle to make up for the pace at which physical stores have been tailing off — a common story among its rivals. The big chains are also working to make their better-performing locations more appealing. J. C. Penney recently teamed with InStyle magazine for salons, and Macy’s has added spa treatments to stores and merchandise from mall chains like Finish Line, the shoe seller.

Still, the stores remain exposed to changing conditions. The real estate industry ranks malls with letter grades like report cards, assigning “A++” to the highest-end locations that make nearly $1,000 in sales per square feet and a “C” to those that generate one-third or less of that and are at risk of closing. Sears, Macy’s and J. C. Penney, the biggest mall anchors, are also the most exposed to C malls, according to Green Street Advisors.

“The recognition now is that you can’t have this long dragging tail and you’ve got to cut it off right now so you can concentrate on the best stores,” Mr. Sosnick said. “These are the retailers that went into the earliest shopping malls, and so have stores in malls that have been degraded tremendously over time, and that’s what you see being closed today.”

By the time Macy’s finishes closing its stores, it will have shuttered nearly 200 locations since 2010. Today, it has 730 stores. At the end of October, J. C. Penney had 1,014 stores, 90 fewer than five years ago, while Sears, which also owns Kmart, had 676 full-line stores with its name, a 192-location drop in the same period.

“Brick-and-mortar is not necessarily dead, but you need fewer stores to achieve the same amount of sales volume,” Ms. Dunn said. “A lot of retailers need to shrink their store base, and that is tied to everything that’s happened with digital and changing shopping patterns.”
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Offline RE

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The Limited is closing all of its 250 stores
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2017, 09:18:46 PM »
Don't worry, it's not Full Collapse until Victoria's Secret shuts down.


The Limited is closing all of its 250 stores
By Sarah Halzack January 6 at 4:29 PM

The Limited store in San Jose. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

The Limited has posted a message on its website saying it is closing all of its 250 stores nationwide, a move that would make the women’s apparel chain the latest big-name retailer to be wounded by shoppers’ growing preference for online shopping and “fast fashion.”

The posting said that the chain’s website would continue to be open for business.

There had been a steady drumbeat of evidence that trouble was brewing at The Limited. During the December shopping rush, the store’s 80 percent off deals and its sudden decision to disallow returns seemed more characteristic of a fire sale than a holiday bonanza.

And reports have cropped up across the country of individual store closures in recent weeks: Shoppers in the Washington region were notified by e-mail that the Pentagon City store was closing. News outlets in places such as Indianapolis, Albany, N.Y., and central Illinois reported that their local Limited stores were shuttering.

Sun Capital Partners, the company that owns The Limited, declined to comment.

A spokesman told the Associated Press that the company will shut its stores by Sunday and that the closures would result in about 4,000 job cuts.

The Limited was once a cornerstone of one of retailing’s most formidable empires. Founded in 1963 by Leslie H. “Les” Wexner, the store was a 2,000-square-foot box named for its limited assortment of women’s apparel. The business mushroomed quickly, perhaps an early harbinger of an era in which specialty stores became a dominant presence in regional shopping malls and began to steal thunder from department stores. As The Limited mushroomed, so did Wexner’s ideas: He opened Express, a trendier women’s clothing chain, and Structure, a men’s shop. His company, which today is called L Brands, briefly owned Lane Bryant, Abercrombie & Fitch, Lerner New York and other concepts. It sold off The Limited in 2007, but remains the corporate parent of Bath & Body Works as well as Victoria’s Secret — a chain that Wexner scooped up for $1 million in 1982.

Liz Dunn, chief executive of retail consulting firm Talmage Advisors, says The Limited has suffered from its inability to keep up with trends.

Shoppers, Dunn said, are “looking for really fast fashion, for things that are hyper-relevant to what’s going on in fashion right now — and as inexpensive as possible.”

Economy & Business Alerts

Breaking news about economic and business issues.

The Limited’s sensible office attire doesn’t quite fit that bill.

The retail environment has proved challenging for a variety of stores: Sports Authority went out of business in 2016, shuttering more than 460 locations in U.S. malls and strip malls. PacSun, Aeropostale and American Apparel each have filed for bankruptcy protection in the past year and are aiming to reorganize and revive their businesses.

Macy’s announced this week after a disappointing holiday season that it would aim to cut costs in part by closing some stores and slashing 10,000 jobs.

Earlier, on Nov. 28, The Limited had filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice in its home state, Ohio, indicating that a mass layoff was imminent. In a letter to employees that was disclosed as part of the notice, executives said “product misses and massive shifts in retail shopping trends have been especially difficult for the company’s business, and the company is dealing with significant debt obligations.”

In October, rival women’s brand Chico’s announced that it had poached The Limited’s chief executive, Diane Ellis.
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Offline RE

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Macy's decision signals more than closing two stores
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2017, 05:41:31 PM »
Fucking MSM reporters are just CLUELESS!  ::)


OUR OPINION: Macy's decision signals more than closing two stores
Posted Jan 11, 2017 at 12:01 AM Updated Jan 11, 2017 at 6:19 AM

It was a terrible way to begin the new year. All 161 employees of the Macy's stores at the Westgate Mall in Brockton and Silver City Galleria in Taunton will be losing their jobs this year when Macy's closes its stores at the shopping centers. Customer traffic and sales are down at the two Marcy's stores, as they are at many Macy's stores across the country. The same is true for other retailers, particularly full-price department stores. But the problem this time is not exclusively the economy. The continuing boom in online selling is killing more stores in regional malls and shopping centers.

Macy's announcement of the closing of the Westgate Mall and Galleria stores did not attribute the closings to the boom in online selling. It did, however, say that the money saved by closing the two local stores and 98 other "underperforming" stores nationwide would be used, among other things, for increasing Macy's online merchandising efforts. In all, Macy's says it will cut 10,000 jobs in stores and back-of-the-house departments over two years. In addition to putting more money into online sales, Macy's said it wants to expand it off-price and specialty brands, sell more in China and expand its brands in Qatar and Kuwait. Retailers and supermarket chains often talk of serving the needs of people when they open new stores. There was no mention of that in the decision to close Brockton and the two-story Macy's at the Galleria that was an anchor for the Taunton shopping center.

It is ironic that the shopping malls that led to the demise of tens of thousands of small stores in town squares and city neighborhoods are themselves now being cannibalized in a new era by a new technology. There are people who still remember the opening of the original Shopper's World in Framingham as a harbinger of a brave new shopping experience. Now many communities greet news of a major retail development with resistance because of traffic, pollution, land use and other concerns. And mention that a shopping mall may be closing and it brings out people arguing against building more apartments, condos or houses, although Massachusetts desperately need more housing in which regular working people can afford to live.

When the Macy's stores at Westgate Mall and the Galleria close this year, there will still be 20 other Macy's stores in Massachusetts, including Framingham, South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Hanover Mall, Kingston and North Attleboro. And Macy's closing two stores does not mean mall shopping is dead. The Galleria has experienced a revival with a new movie complex and other attractions, and Westgate's location abutting a major highway continues to have great appeal to retailers. The fact remains, however, that people increasingly want to shop online for convenience, saving time and the world of product it makes available.

We certainly have sympathy for the people who will lose jobs when the Brockton and Taunton Macy's are gone. It is cold comfort to them that technology is changing, people's habits are changing and fewer people see going to the mall as recreation. In addition to assisting the people who will be losing jobs, we need to be thinking about what we are going to do with stores and perhaps, someday, entire malls that have outlived their usefulness. We only need so many health clubs and indoor play spaces for children and adults. Other communities have used closed stores and malls for charter schools, office complexes and research facilities. We are not suggesting in any way that Westgate or the Galleria are at that point. They are not. It is, however, something to think about now.
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Offline RE

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Bye, Bye Mall Rats
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2017, 10:26:18 PM »
Once upon a time, hanging out at the Mall was the cool thing for a teenager to do and a great place to pickup girls.  Where will the teenagers of the future go to hang out?  ???  :icon_scratch:


Pittsburgh Mall Once Worth $190 Million Sells For $100

by Tyler Durden
Jan 18, 2017 9:50 PM

We have frequently noted the precarious state of the U.S. mall REITs (see "Myopic Markets & The Looming Mall REITs Massacre" and "Is CMBS The Next "Shoe To Drop"? GGP Sales Suggest Commercial Real Estate Crashing"), but the epic collapse of the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills paints a uniquely horrific outlook for mall operators.  The 1.1 million square foot mall, once valued at $190 million after being opened in 2005, sold at a foreclosure auction this morning for $100 (yes, not million...just $100).  According to CBS Pittsburgh, the mall was purchased by its lender, Wells Fargo, which credit bid it's $143 million loan balance, which was originated in 2006, to acquire the property.


Like many malls around the country, Pittsburgh Mills has suffered the consequences of weak traffic amid tepid demand from the struggling U.S. consumer resulting in massive tenant losses.  According to the Pittsburgh Tribune, the mall is only 55% occupied and was last appraised for $11 million back in August.

    The value of the mall has been plummeting since it opened in July 2005. Once worth $190 million, it was appraised at $11 million in August.


    The mall has lost a number of key tenants over the years, including a Sears Grand store. The mall's retail space is nearly half empty, with about 55 percent occupied.

Of course, New York Fed President Bill Dudley laid out a very compelling case for retailers yesterday if he can just convince American homeowners to commit the same mistakes they made back in 2006 by repeatedly withdrawing all of the equity in their homes to fund meaningless shopping sprees.  So it's probably safe to keep buying those mall REITs...afterall those 3% dividend yields are amazing alternatives to Treasuries and you're basically taking the same risk...assuming you overlook the billions of property-level debt that ranks senior to your equity position. 

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Offline RE

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Senility is catching up with WB.

OK, divesting from Walmart is a good idea, but putting the money AIRLINE stocks?  WTF?  Buy Eddie's Potfolio Warren!


Warren Buffett just dropped Walmart, and signaled the death of retail as we know it

    Ashley Lutz

Warren BuffettBillionaire investor Warren Buffett.Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
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Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has sold off $900 million of Walmart stock, choosing to invest billions in airlines instead.

The sale, which leaves Buffett with nearly no shares in Walmart, comes as the US's largest traditional retailer has been rushing to catch up to Amazon and other online competitors.

Amazon's market value is now $356 billion, compared with Walmart's $298 billion. Last year, Buffett acknowledged that traditional brick-and-mortar retailers were struggling in the face of competition from the e-commerce giant.

"It is a big, big force and it has already disrupted plenty of people and it will disrupt more," Buffett said at his annual shareholders' meeting in 2016, according to Bloomberg.

Buffett's been paring his stake in Walmart since. He first bought shares in Walmart in 2005.

He said Amazon's competitors, "including us in a few areas, have not figured the way to either participate in it, or to counter it."

Since the end of 2014, Walmart shares have fallen 21% compared with a 119% jump in Amazon.

Former Walmart CEO Mike Duke said in 2012 that his biggest regret as CEO was not investing more in e-commerce to better compete with Amazon.

"I wish we had moved faster. We've proven ourselves to be successful in many areas, and I simply wonder why we didn't move more quickly. This is especially true for e-commerce," Duke said at the time. "Right now we're making tremendous progress, and the business is moving, but we should have moved faster to expand this area."

While Walmart has since invested billions in e-commerce, it holds a tiny share of the market compared with Amazon.

Walmart's online sales were $13.7 billion in 2015, compared to Amazon's $107 billion. Walmart is still ahead in overall sales with $482 billion, four times as big as Amazon's revenue.

Buffett's retail instincts have proved correct before when he predicted the downfall of Sears and Kmart in 2005.

"Retailing is like shooting at a moving target," Buffett said. "Turning around a retailer that has been slipping for a long time would be very difficult. Can you think of an example of a retailer that was successfully turned around?"

Sears has since closed hundreds of stores and seems to be headed for bankruptcy. Macy's and JCPenney are also closing hundreds of stores across the US.

While Walmart's footprint hasn't shrunk, many analysts say the US is still over-stored.

The US has 23.5 square feet of retail space per person, compared with 16.4 square feet in Canada and 11.1 square feet in Australia — the next two countries with the highest retail space per capita, according to a Morningstar report from October.
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JC Penney now worth Pennies.  Negative Pennies.


JCPenney shuttering up to 140 stores as sales weaken, more sluggish growth seen ahead
Krystina Gustafson   | @KrystinaGustafs
28 Mins

A shopper looks at items on sale inside of a JC Penney store in New York.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters

J.C. Penney finally lifted the lid on its plans to downsize its fleet, telling investors on Friday that it would close between 130 and 140 of its stores over the next few months.

The retailer made its comments while reporting fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street's expectations, though revenue and same-store sales fell shy of expectations.

The company's shares bounced between positive and negative territory in premarket trading as investors digested the news and contemplated whether the store closure plan would be enough to reinvigorate sluggish sales.

Here's how Penney's did during the quarter:

— EPS: 64 cents a share, adjusted, versus 61 cents expected, according to Thomson Reuters' consensus
— Revenue: $3.96 billion, versus an expectation of $3.98 billion, according to Reuters
— Same-store sales growth: down 0.7 percent, versus 0.3 percent drop expected, according to FactSet's consensus

In last year's fourth quarter, J.C. Penney reported earnings of 39 cents per share on $4 billion in revenue.

"Although JCP ended its fiscal year with a shrink in sales, it can take some comfort from the fact that the decreases are modest and that it managed to outperform its main department store rivals," said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, in an email.

Saunders added that the company's bottom line was also encouraging. "In our view, this alone serves as evidence that Marvin Ellison's turnaround plan is delivering and that JCP is finally getting its house in order," he said.

Along with the stores Penney's plans to close, it will shutter two distribution centers. The combined closures will help the retailer invest in its better stores, and "raise the overall brand standard of the company," CEO Marvin Ellison said.

The list of impacted stores will be released next month, once sales associates and other staff have been notified. Most of the closures will occur in the second quarter.

"We believe closing stores will allow us to adjust our business to effectively compete against the growth threat of online retailers," Ellison said.

"During the year, it became evident the stores that could fully execute the company's growth initiatives of beauty, home refresh and special sizes generated significantly higher sales, and a more vibrant in-store shopping environment," the CEO said.

The locations Penney's will shutter represent 13 percent to 14 percent of its store portfolio but generate less than 5 percent of annual sales. They would either require "significant capital" to meet the company's brand standard or are minimally cash flow positive, the company said. Comparable sales in these locations were "significantly below" the remaining store base and operate at a "much higher" expense rate.

The retailer expects to save roughly $200 million a year by closing these stores. It will take a pre-tax charge of roughly $225 million related to the closures in the first half of fiscal 2017.

Penney's will provide roughly 6,000 employees a "voluntary early retirement program" for workers of a certain age and tenure. As a result, the company expects a net increase in hiring as the number of full-time employees expected to accept the package will "far exceed" the number of full-time positions affected by the store closures.

Ellison warned back in January that the department store chain was getting ready to downsize its fleet. The news came on the heels of store closure announcements by Macy's and Sears.

Yet even as he announced the company's closures, Ellison reiterated the importance of bricks-and-mortar locations to its longterm strategy.

"Maintaining a large store base gives us a competitive advantage in the evolving retail landscape since our physical stores are a destination," Ellison said. "It is essential to retain those locations that present the best expression of the J.C. Penney brand."

For the year, Penney's achieved its well-publicized goal of reaching $1 billion in EBITDA, marking a $477 million improvement. It was the first time the retailer achieved a positive net income since 2010, Ellison said.

Yet revenue fell short in the holiday quarter. Sales at Penney's established stores declined 0.7 percent, and heavier promotions weighed on its margins. The company had previously announced that comparable sales fell 0.8 percent in November and December.

Under Ellison's leadership, J.C. Penney has been making strides in its efforts to recover the sales profitability it lost during a failed turnaround strategy. Since taking the helm in August 2015, the soft-spoken executive has taken expenses out of the business and refreshed the stores' assortment. That includes the company's return to appliances last year and a push into plus sizes.

For fiscal 2017, J.C. Penney expects comparable sales to fall within a range of negative 1 percent to positive 1 percent, and to earn between 40 cents and 65 cents a share, adjusted. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were predicting earnings of 56 cents a share for the fiscal year.

Back in August, Ellison laid out a three-year plan for Penney's starting in fiscal 2017. He told investors that compounded annual comparable sales would grow 3 percent, and that earnings per share would hit $1.40 to $1.55 by 2019.
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Offline RE

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At least there will be plenty of space for Homeless Squatters!  :icon_sunny:


JCPenney's store closures could push hundreds of dying shopping malls over the edge

    Hayley Peterson

The Canton Centre Mall in Canton, Ohio, is boarded up and vacant.Nicholas Eckhart

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A tidal wave of store closures is about to hit the US, experts say, and the result could be catastrophic for hundreds of lower-tier shopping malls.

JCPenney announced Friday that it would close up to 140 stores in the next couple of months.

That follows decisions by Macy's and Sears to close a collective 218 stores in the first half of the year. Other mall-based stores including American Apparel, The Limited, Bebe, BCBG, and Payless have also recently announced that they are shutting down all or most of their stores.

The rate of closures is higher than in previous years, signaling a new reality for the retail industry that consists of far fewer stores and, ultimately, fewer shopping malls.

"The signal sent by this [JCPenney] announcement: retailers are going to continue aggressively culling stores to appease Wall Street," said Ryan McCullough, a senior economist for the commercial real-estate firm CoStar Group.

Most of the stores that close will likely be located in lower-tier shopping malls — those referred to in the industry as B-, C-, and D-level malls. These shopping malls are already struggling, and many contain storefronts that have already gone dark.

About 338 malls in the US, roughly 31% of all malls, are rated C-quality or lower, according to the real-estate research firm Green Street Advisors.

The loss of department stores like JCPenney, Sears, and Macy's will likely plunge many of these malls further into distress and put some out of business. That's because department stores, also known as mall anchors, take up the large, multistory buildings at shopping center entrances that are responsible for large portions of mall traffic and rental income.

"These B- and C-level malls are going to get increasingly dark and less appealing because they don't have as much to offer," said Mark Cohen, the director of retail studies at Columbia Business School. "That creates a cycle of lack of investment, and eventually they will turn dark and dingy. Some mall owners will try to redevelop, and others will go into default."

Dying mall Regency SquareA vending machine and temporary wall cover the former entrance of a shuttered Macy's store in Regency Square Mall in Richmond, Virginia.Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Meanwhile, A-level malls, which are home to higher-end department stores like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, are enjoying some of the highest occupancy rates and healthiest sales productivity in years.

The losses hitting lower-quality malls will likely have little to no effect on the highest tier of shopping centers.

"The polarization between good and bad centers is intensifying," McCullough said.

In rare cases where A-quality malls have been hit with closures, the mall owners are often able to find even more productive replacement tenants, like restaurants, movie theaters, or other retailers.

But the same can't be said for lower-tier malls.

"Class B and C malls have not been as successful replacing the anchors and are resorting to non-retail tenants to prop up cash flows," McCullough said. "We expect that there will be a lot more attrition in the B/C mall segment over the coming years."

Cohen said the announcements from JCPenney, Sears, Macy's, and others are just the beginning of what could be an onslaught of additional closures this year.

"I think there are going to be hundreds and hundreds of stores closings that haven't been announced yet by these department stores for the rest of the year," Cohen said. "There's going to be an endless train of announcements."
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