AuthorTopic: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart  (Read 36186 times)

Offline K-Dog

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Re: Amazon Says It Will Buy Greenpeace USA In $212 Million Deal
« Reply #270 on: June 06, 2019, 12:02:23 AM »

Amazon is buying Greenpeace USA, in a merger that values Greenpeace USA at $212 million dollars. The internet retailer (and book seller, pharmaceutical company, grocery store, etc…) says it’s buying Greenpeace USA for the name recognition, industrial climbing skills, and their warehouses, but will be laying off about half of Greenpeace’s employees.

Greenpeace, which was founded in 1971 as a small direct action-focused environmental group, has expanded into a large multinational NGO with an operating budget of over 200 million dollars. Greenpeace USA is the US affiliate.

Amazon CEO and third creepiest man on earth, Jeff Bezos, justified the deal to investors, arguing, “Our marketing algorithms increasingly show that people are concerned about the decline of our Earth’s living systems, and I think any viable company would move to capture that widening demographic.” The sale, which has not yet been approved by Amazon shareholders, is expected to be concluded in the second half of 2019.

Amazon says that Greenpeace USA CEO, Annie Leonard, will remain in that role. “She can deal with all the calls from pissed-off hippies” said one unnamed Amazon communications official.

“Greenpeace has been profiting off of grassroots environmental activism for years,” said Bezos, adding, “they’re doing an amazing job at it and we want that to continue.”

In their news release, Amazon says all their factory workers will be undergoing Greenpeace climb training, with the ultimate goal of expanding factory productivity and drone delivery by having workers moving boxes on climb lines and traverses to enable three dimensional non-stop aerial packaging.

For Amazon, the move furthers its outreach to liberals after its purchase of Whole Foods and Jeff Bezos’ public spats with Trump. For Greenpeace, the move furthers its push to be bigger and larger and have more influence on corporations in order to Protect the Earth™. In addition, Greenpeace USA will be gaining full access to Amazon’s satellites to increase scouting capabilities.

Leonard defended the move on Greenpeace USA’s part saying, “While we don’t agree with many of Amazon’s business practices, at least now we have a seat at the table to make some compromises in defense of mother earth. Plus, their drones are going to be totally LEED-certified, and you can now order an Alexa device for your home, pre-loaded with direct action and security culture trainings.”

In a race to catch up with Amazon, rumor has it that Google has resorted to the old pen and paper to fill the Earth First! Journal’s PO Box with pleas for a merger. No Journal editors were available for comment (they were too busy talking shit to answer the phone), but the next issue of the magazine will be available to download directly to your consciousness.

EDITORS NOTE: This is obviously an April Fools joke, you dorks, but we’re sure Jeff Bezos wishes it wasn’t, as we all know he is an undead creep who won’t rest until he has dug his pale lecherous fingers into every corner of the earth.



https://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire/2019/04/01/amazon-says-it-will-buy-greenpeace-usa-in-212-million-deal/

The date on this article is April 1st.  As the last line says, or as you can find out by taking the link to the original article.


I read that....

There's a left handed curve ball C.T. in here somewhere !
You don't go reposting stale toast for shits & giggles.


Quote
Amazon expects 'Prime Air' drone delivery 'within months'

Amazon Inc. said it's taking deliveries to the next level -- quite literally -- within a few months by using drones.


Amazon Amazon debuted its new Prime Air drone at the company's reMARS Conference in Las Vegas on June 5, 2019.

The company made the announcement Wednesday at its re:MARS Conference in Las Vegas, with the company's CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, Jeff Wilke sharing the news and design specs for the newest Prime Air drone.

"We've been hard at work building fully electric drones that can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages under five pounds to customers in less than 30 minutes," Wilke said in a blog post.

(MORE: Amazon can now deliver packages to your car)

According to Amazon, the new drones will be more efficient, stable and safe because they're designed to detect static and moving objects from any direction while in motion.

Detecting wires proved one of the most difficult challenges for low-altitude flights, Wilke said in the blog post, but Amazon accomplished it by using of proprietary computer-vision techniques.

"We know customers will only feel comfortable receiving drone deliveries if they know the system is incredibly safe," Wilke said. "So we're building a drone that isn't just safe, but independently safe, using the latest artificial intelligence technologies."

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos first revealed plans for Prime Air in 2013, and the company made its first fully autonomous Prime Air delivery Dec. 7, 2016, in Cambridge, England, where the company has a fulfillment center.

Also on Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate to Amazon Prime Air, "allowing the company to operate its MK27 unmanned aircraft for research and development and crew training in authorized flight areas."

It's eligible for renewal after a year, the agency added.

The retail goliath's Wednesday announcement is just the latest in a string of delivery innovations from the tech giant that's invested billions of dollars into its fulfillment network.

© Amazon Prime Air drone delivery.

Earlier this week, Amazon announced one-day free shipping is now available to more than 100 million Prime subscribers. That service was announced in April along with Key For Garage, which debuted on "Good Morning America."

(MORE: Amazon adds in-garage delivery to in-home, in-car options)

Amazon said using drones is just the next step in customer convenience.

"Can we deliver packages to customers even faster? We think the answer is yes, and one way we're pursuing that goal is by pioneering autonomous drone," Wilke said.



But Amazon isn't the only company expanding drone deliveries. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, also has been working on Wing Aviation, the first drone company to receive an Air Carrier Certificate from the FAA, in April.

(MORE: With FAA certification, Google's drone company set to start deliveries in Virginia)

With the certificate, Wing Aviation, which became its own independent Alphabet company in July 2018, after graduating from company incubator Google X, can now turn its test flights into commercial deliveries in the U.S.

Wing Aviation conducted over 70,000 test flights with more than 3,000 deliveries to Australian doorsteps, driveways and backyards over several years in order to meet the FAA's safety requirements to qualify, according to a Medium post by the company.

The company plans to launch a delivery trial later this year in southwest Virginia and has recently announced it will be launching an early access air-delivery program in Finland this month. Residents of the Helsinki will be able to receive fresh Finnish pastries, meatballs and a range of other meals and snacks within minutes via Wing aircraft, according to a Medium post by the company.

But it's not just technology companies considering drones. Air Canada on Tuesday announced a sales agreement with Drone Delivery Canada to deliver cargo, and a San Francisco-based medical delivery company called Zipline uses drones to distribute vaccines, blood and lifesaving medication across Rwanda and Ghana.

Order a box of shotgun shells.  Birdshot.  Have an Amazon drone deliver it to your neighbors (while they are on vacation) while you watch.  Make a second order and when that order gets to your neighbors house, the new package can replace shells from the first order that get used up on the drone.  This would be more satisfying than writing a doom article about how horrible drone delivery would be on the environment.  Drone delivery is unbelievably inefficient from an energy POV.  All economies of scale fly out the window like all the money that would be spent on drone delivery. 

Batteries don't charge themselves coal does.



But not to worry, Get yourself a piece of the action so when things go Venus here you can go Martian with Musk.



« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 12:24:18 AM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline RE

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🏬 Companies Going Out of Business in 2019
« Reply #271 on: June 07, 2019, 12:50:52 AM »
...and another one bites the dust...

RE

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/HCZHGA3zD1k" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/HCZHGA3zD1k</a>
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Offline RE

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🏬 The Ruthless Reality of Amazon's One-Day Shipping
« Reply #272 on: June 16, 2019, 03:05:11 AM »
https://gizmodo.com/the-ruthless-reality-of-amazons-one-day-shipping-1835513901

The Ruthless Reality of Amazon's One-Day Shipping


Photo: Getty

Michael Sainato
Friday 11:03am

Amazon has rapidly expanded its internal shipping services as the company shifts toward one-day delivery shipping from its default two-day shipping service. The company is pledging to spend $800 million this quarter to achieve one-day delivery as the default shipping option for all prime members. But this planned growth has incited concerns from workers, contract delivery carriers, and logistics analysts over how Amazon is seeking to dominate another sector of the economy.

“Jeff Bezos wants Amazon to be the core infrastructure on which everyone depends, and then use this power to exclude competitors and privilege his own businesses,” said Matthew Stoller, a fellow at the anti-monopoly non-profit Open Markets Institute, on Amazon’s business model. “He doesn’t seek to run a business, but to govern all commerce.”
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Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the non-profit advocacy group Institute for Local Self Reliance, added, “This is essentially a company that’s set out to be and own the infrastructure for 21st century commerce and the shipping is another piece of that.” She cited Amazon’s current relationships with manufacturers and retailers enable it to have leverage in compelling the same businesses to use its shipping services.

This quest for dominance furthers concerns over the economic power Amazon exerts over its workers, its competitors, and the foundations of the online retail marketplace as a whole.
Last-mile delivery

The existing shipping infrastructure owned by Amazon already includes ocean shipping licenses from China to the U.S, a recently launched shipping trucking brokerage platform, and last-mile gig delivery operations such as Amazon Flex services, Amazon Fresh, Prime Now, Shipping with Amazon, and food delivery services primarily conducted by independent contractors.

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Shortly after Amazon announced plans in April 2019 to expedite shipping to customers, Amazon announced incentives of $10,000 and three months salary for current employees to quit and start up their own package delivery service in partnership with the company’s delivery service partner program.
“As soon as we clock in, we’re pushing our bodies and minds to the limit on these machines, feeling like robots a lot of the time getting the stuff out.”

“Amazon, by not employing the small business owners directly, has a lot of leverage over them,” said Mitchell, who noted that Amazon’s use of independent contractors is undercutting unionized, higher paid workforces at UPS and the United States Postal Service. “It’s not an independent business. You can only use those Amazon trucks to do Amazon delivery. Your only client is Amazon. It’s a way for Amazon to get this work done at an arm’s length with the contractor relationship.”
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Many of those independent contractors who have driven for divisions of Amazon delivery services have already experienced the negative impacts of Amazon’s leverage over independent contractors completely reliant on them for business.

Several contractors around the United States are advertising jobs to deliver for Amazon that list wages lower than $15 an hour, despite Amazon setting a $15 minimum wage last year for all employees, including seasonal and workers hired through temp agencies.

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A former driver for an Amazon delivery contractor in New Jersey noted many of the jobs that list hourly wages of $15 an hour or more are often much less. The driver noted the contractor paid workers a flat rate per day and regardless of the hours worked, the daily pay rate always stayed the same. Current job listings for contractors delivering Amazon products cite daily pay rates and note “your wage is up to you!”

In 2016, Vanessa Boggs started working as an Amazon Flex driver in Tampa, Florida, when the service was first introduced to the region. She explained when the flex service first started, drivers received $18 an hour plus tips, but those benefits gradually declined or disappeared altogether.
“As they hired on more people, it became harder to get work. I had to pay to get someone to get me shifts.”

“I loved driving when I did the two hour prime deliveries. But as they hired on more people, it became harder to get work. I had to pay to get someone to get me shifts,” Boggs said. Then the tips were taken away by Amazon, and Amazon began shifting work from delivery restaurant orders to delivery larger loads of Amazon products. She quit in early 2018, as the lack of tips, longer routes, and larger delivery loads made it untenable to continue driving. “Amazon doesn’t take care of their drivers. We didn’t care too much when the station first opened because we made our money, but then they started screwing us little by little.”

In Seattle, Washington, Philip Hasten stopped driving for Amazon a few months ago after about a year because the $18-an-hour wage wasn’t enough to offset the driving expenses of gas, and wear and tear on his vehicle. “Last time I delivered I made $9 an hour,” he said. “The wear on my car was excessive and they don’t help you do repairs.”
Illustration for article titled The Ruthless Reality of Amazon&#39;s One-Day Shipping
Photo: Getty

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Amazon Air

As Amazon has continued to expand its last-mile delivery services, it’s also focusing on growing air cargo services, Amazon Air, to reduce its reliance on third-party carriers such as UPS, Fedex, and the United States Postal Service. FedEx recently declined to renew their shipping contract with Amazon. According to a Morgan Stanley report in December 2018, Amazon could save between $1 to $2 billion in 2019 as a result of handling more of its own air deliveries.

In April 2019, Amazon broke ground on the construction of a $1.5 billion air hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, expected to open in 2021. The ceremony included featuring two different types of aircraft used by Amazon, but pilots for Amazon Air, that uses planes leased and operated by Atlas Air, Southern Air, and Air Transport Services Group, argue they’re being shut out of Amazon’s growth as they work to negotiate a new union contract.
“We keep trying to engage the company to negotiate a fair contract so we can recruit enough qualified pilots to continue the expansion Amazon wants, yet the negotiation process continues to be stonewalled.”

“We want to see Amazon Prime Air succeed, we just want to be a part of that success. Up to this point, we feel shut out of the entire process,” said Captain Michael Russo, a pilot at Atlas Air for 15 years. Amazon Air pilots are represented by APA Teamsters Local 1224, which has called on the contractors to negotiate a new union contract to address concerns over low pay and working conditions. “We keep trying to engage the company to negotiate a fair contract so we can recruit enough qualified pilots to continue the expansion Amazon wants, yet the negotiation process continues to be stonewalled. We don’t understand how Atlas Air can serve a really big, important customer like Amazon and not include pilots in that process.”

Atlas Air pilot of nearly 20 years, Captain Bob Kirchner, cited that the contractor is expected to increase the number of aircraft for Amazon Air from 24 to 44 planes over the next year.

“Our competitors, who pay 60 percent or more, who have better working conditions and retirement plans, are taking away many of the experienced pilots at Atlas and its creating real stresses in the business,” Kirchner said. “Because the airline is not growing and people are leaving, we feel these are unachievable numbers right now. Unless they come in and fix it, we feel that Amazon is putting so much pressure on contractors, driving the cost down and putting financial pressure on them its becoming a safety problem.”

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An Amazon spokesperson told me in an email, “We are disappointed with the current state of relations between Atlas and their pilot union. Neither side seems willing to work towards a reasonable compromise. This is contrary to the interests of Atlas, the pilots, and the customers they both serve.”

The pilots launched a website, PilotsDeserveBetter.org and have held several protests near the Amazon hub construction site to push their contract carriers to improve working conditions to meet Amazon Air’s expansion.
Ocean and trucking freight services

Amazon first acquired a license from the Federal Maritime Commission to transport goods from China to the United States in 2016, and has since eliminated third parties in their supply chain from manufacturers in China to consumers in the United States.

From Amazon’s purchasing power to its widespread network of distribution centers, Amazon has significant advantages over competitors as it seeks to grow its shipping and logistics network.

Steve Ferreira, the CEO of Ocean Audit, recently noticed Amazon frontloaded its shipments from China to avoid paying tariffs raised by President Trump last month.

“Amazon tactically ordered 4 to 5 times it’s normal order pattern of the items it sells on Amazon.com, and imported them ahead of the Trump tariffs so that it can avoid having to pay the extra China tariff/duties that most customers, that don’t have the buying power or distribution space,” said Ferreira in an email. He noted Amazon now has the option to either pass the savings onto customers or sell those products at higher profits.

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“This is essentially a company that’s set out to be and own the infrastructure for 21st century commerce and the shipping is another piece of that.”

Rather than owning ships themselves, Amazon leases space on steamship lines and resells it to their customers, similar to their air cargo services and the trucking freight brokerage platform they launched earlier this year. XPO Logistics, one of the largest logistics companies in the United States, estimated a revenue loss of $600 million in the coming year as Amazon is insourcing the majority of its business with the company.

“Their goal is to create the ‘world’s most customer-centric company’—what better way to do this than to control their supply chain,” Cathy Roberson, founder of Atlanta based Logistics Trends & Insights, told me in an email. “I believe they will always have a need for their logistics partners and will not drop them entirely. However, because of the volumes, Amazon likely commands big discounts on shipping costs. How many of their logistics partners will be willing to do this is hard to say.”
How shipping expansion will impact Whole Foods and Amazon warehouses

Other sectors in Amazon’s business have felt the squeeze to increase the company’s market share. At Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired in 2017, changes to expedite shipping services are kept under tight wraps by management, though workers have reported store space has increasingly become focused on Amazon Prime business.
Illustration for article titled The Ruthless Reality of Amazon&#39;s One-Day Shipping
Photo: New Amazon Kiosk at Whole Foods. Photo sent in by an employee wishing to remain anonymous. Used with permission.

An anonymous Whole Foods worker in the Pacific Northwest who has worked for the company for several years explained the grocery store chain has shifted into a retail outpost for Amazon to push online sales and prime memberships. They provided a photo of a new Amazon kiosk, which are being constructed at several stores around their region. Amazon declined to provide further information on Amazon’s plan to expand prime services at Whole Foods.

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A spokesperson for Amazon told me in an email, “We’ve been able to expand the Prime 1 day offering because we’ve built our network over 20 years powered by incredible employees and state-of-the-art technology like Amazon Robotics to supercharge fast delivery, increase efficiency, lower prices and improve workplaces around the world.”
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At Amazon fulfillment centers, where workers over the past few years have reported widespread abuses and robotic, inhumane working conditions, it remains unclear how faster and insourced shipping services will impact warehouse workers, but labor unions and workers have criticized Amazon for working to expedite shipping without addressing working conditions.

“As soon as we clock in, we’re pushing our bodies and minds to the limit on these machines, feeling like robots a lot of the time getting the stuff out,” said William Stolz, a picker who gathers products for orders at an Amazon fulfillment center in Minneapolis, Minnesota who has worked there for about two years. “Amazon’s working conditions have to change if they’re going to actually start treating us like human beings with dignity. A lot of the jobs they have are still temporary. We want Amazon to provide safe and reliable jobs. Right now it’s not the case.”

Michael Sainato is a journalist based in Gainesville, Florida. Follow him on Twitter @MSainat1.
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Offline azozeo

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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without "GOD"
« Reply #273 on: June 19, 2019, 02:23:42 PM »
America’s Epidemic of Empty Churches

The God biznesss ain't cheap anymore. This ain't yer' grandpa's brand of sundee come to meatin' "service"


Religious communities often face a choice: Sell off the buildings they can no longer afford, or find a way to fill them with new uses. (perhaps exorcisms 4 hire) spiritual hired gun.


 Three blocks from my Brooklyn apartment, a large brick structure stretches toward heaven. Tourists recognize it as a church—the building’s bell tower and stained-glass windows give it away—but worshippers haven’t gathered here in years.

The 19th-century building was once known as St. Vincent De Paul Church and housed a vibrant congregation for more than a century. But attendance dwindled and coffers ran dry by the early 2000s. Rain leaked through holes left by missing shingles, a tree sprouted in the bell tower, and the Brooklyn diocese decided to sell the building to developers. Today, the Spire Lofts boasts 40 luxury apartments, with one-bedroom units renting for as much as $4,812 per month. It takes serious cash to make God’s house your own, apparently.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/america-s-epidemic-of-empty-churches?utm_source=pocket-newtab
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 azozeo

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Death of Retail - Amazon Ruined Online Shopping
« Reply #274 on: July 10, 2019, 05:14:56 PM »
Amazon Ruined Online Shopping


There’s a Gatorade button attached to my basement fridge. If I push it, two days later a crate of the sports drink shows up at my door, thanks to Amazon. When these “Dash buttons” were first rumored in 2015, they seemed like a joke. Press a button to one-click detergent or energy bars? What even?, my colleague Adrienne LaFrance reasonably inquired.

They weren’t a joke. Soon enough, Amazon was selling the buttons for a modest fee, the value of which would be applied to your first purchase. There were Dash buttons for Tide and Gatorade, Fiji Water and Lärabars, Trojan condoms and Kraft Mac & Cheese.


https://getpocket.com/explore/item/amazon-ruined-online-shopping?utm_source=pocket-newtab
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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https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/08/02/lowes-store-layoffs/1898200001/

Lowe's lays off thousands of store employees amid pressure to boost profits
Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY Published 8:46 a.m. ET Aug. 2, 2019 | Updated 9:51 a.m. ET Aug. 2, 2019
CLOSE

Over 7,000 store closings have already been announced in 2019. Time


Lowe's is laying off store workers who handle certain maintenance and product assembly tasks as the home-improvement chain continues to cut costs in a bid to boost profits.

The chain confirmed that it is "moving to third-party assemblers and facility services to allow Lowe’s store associates to spend more time on the sales floor serving customers."

The Wall Street Journal reported that the number of layoffs is in the "thousands" and described the affected workers as including workers who "put together grills, wheelbarrows and other products."

Those positions are being outsourced to a third-party company.

"Associates who were in these positions will be given transition pay and have the opportunity to apply for open roles at Lowe’s," the company said in a statement.

Mooresville, North Carolina-based Lowe's has about 300,000 employees and about 2,200 stores.
Lowe's has been cutting costs in bid to boost profits.

Lowe's has been cutting costs in bid to boost profits. (Photo: Lowe's)

The move comes as the retailer has been slashing costs in an effort to increase profits and narrow the financial gap between its archrival, Home Depot. Lowe's reported increased first-quarter sales in May but lowered its profit outlook.

In 2018, the company announced plans to close 51 stores as new CEO Marvin Ellison, the former head of J.C. Penney, began a campaign to overhaul the company's operations. He also ordered the closure of the company's 99 Orchard Supply Hardware stores.

List of Lowe's stores closing: 51 stores in North America

Orchard Supply Hardware closes: Lowe's shutters 99 stores

Ellison has also taken steps to make over the company's product mix and store operations.

In recent months, Lowe's has ditched certain longstanding merchants for new ones, outfitted store employees with technology to conduct instant inventory checks and replaced most of its merchandising executives.

"We made a lot of progress, but our transformation is clearly ongoing," Ellison told analysts in May.
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Offline RE

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🏗️ What is happening at Macy's is absolutely terrifying
« Reply #276 on: August 15, 2019, 12:01:57 AM »
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/what-is-happening-at-macys-is-absolutely-terrifying-163959098.html

What is happening at Macy's is absolutely terrifying
Brian Sozzi
Editor-at-Large
Yahoo FinanceAugust 14, 2019


The main Macy’s (M) investment thesis is no longer valid.

For the past two years or so, Macy’s management has pitched the retailer as above the generally disastrous scene unfolding at malls across the country. That scene is characterized as an insane number of store closures at once-formidable apparel chains, terrible customer traffic amid the shift to online shopping, and higher than normal in-season markdown levels.

Macy’s has consistently tried to spin a different tale.

One of a legacy department store created through various mergers that was early to shutter unprofitable stores to cut costs and hopefully meet quarterly earnings. One that now has traffic-driving off-price outlets inside a good number of Macy’s locations. One that has about 50 stores where new growth initiatives are being tested, and then soon applied to the rest of its fleet of 680-plus department stores. One that is racking up big sales online, especially on mobile devices. One that has ample opportunities to monetize unproductive real estate, which could then be plowed into needed capital investment and god knows what else.

Unfortunately for Macy’s, its disastrous second quarter earnings release and material cut to its full-year earnings guidance on Wednesday officially kills its entire thesis. It’s dead, done, gone. Actually, Macy’s stock being down 60% this past year suggested well before Wednesday’s awful results that it was struggling — the numbers Wednesday just confirmed Mr. Market’s helpful early insights.

The problem here: Macy’s has proven to be just another retailer caught in the seismic shift in consumer shopping. That’s not a great place to be — just ask Sears, J.C. Penney (JCP) and, Payless ShoeSource.
A very disappointing quarter
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 25: Customers visit the Macy's headquarter on February 25, 2019 in New York City. Earnings reports of $2.53 is expected for Macy's Inc. with a share on sales of $8.4 billion before the market opens on Feb. 26th. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images)
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Customers visit the Macy's headquarter on February 25, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images)

Macy’s badly whiffed, across the board, in the second quarter. This writer isn’t shocked — many trips to various Macy’s stores this year have yielded very lean inventory levels and a lack of associate help. In large part, this could be due to Macy’s $100 million plan to streamline costs — that has included canning at least 100 vice presidents. Morale is low in the stores, according to sources.

Whatever way one slices it, Macy’s has left itself in a position to disappoint the shoppers who do wander into its stores. Has the cost-cutting gone too far? Perhaps, but what other choice is there when you have pricey leases and weak traffic? Not many, if you want to be profitable.

At least that’s the takeaway from the second quarter:

    Earnings of 28 cents a share badly missed Wall Street analyst estimates for 45 cents a share.

    Earnings of 28 cents a share tanked, versus the 70 cents a share reported a year ago.

    Same-store sales rose a meager 0.3%.

    Full-year earnings guidance slashed to $2.85 to $3.05 a share from $3.05 to $3.25 previously.

    There’s no estimate baked into guidance on the impact of apparel tariffs. But Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette said Wednesday it would not raise prices if new tariffs are imposed.

“Rising inventory levels became a challenge based on a combination of factors: a fashion miss in our key women’s sportswear private brands, slow sell-through of warm weather apparel and the accelerated decline in international tourism. We took markdowns to clear the excess spring inventory and are entering the fall season with the right inventory to meet anticipated customer demand,” said Gennette in a statement.

Gennette did his best to sound upbeat on the holidays during a conference call with analysts. Macy’s declined to make Gennette available for an interview with Yahoo Finance.

The market is having none of it — the stock collapsed more than 15% by midday trading Wednesday. It’s the correct market reaction given the current state of Macy’s.
Much like J.C. Penney and Sears

Macy’s will probably end Wednesday’s trading session with a stock that: (1) yields more than 10%; and (2) trades on a paltry forward price-to-earnings multiple of five times. For perspective, the S&P 500’s forward P/E multiple is 16.5 times.

Calls to cut the dividend due to the waning health of the business ($463 million paid out a year in dividends... all of which could be better used elsewhere, or saved) and excess yield on the stock are likely to rise, a source tells Yahoo Finance.

All of this reflects the reality Macy’s is facing in this modern era of retail. And this could no longer be swept under the rug by investors and executives, which the department store will attempt to do at a presentation at Goldman Sachs on September 5.

Nope, Macy’s is showing that it’s barely a notch up than J.C. Penney and Sears. Better fundamentally for sure, but not by a wide amount thanks to changes in how people shop and live. The market is realizing that and is unlikely to forget it over the next year.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-host of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi
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Offline RE

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🏗️ Sears and Kmart keep shrinking. Here's what's left
« Reply #277 on: September 06, 2019, 03:31:36 AM »
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/05/business/sears-kmart-store-closings-trnd/index.html

Sears and Kmart keep shrinking. Here's what's left

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

Updated 1:51 PM ET, Thu September 5, 2019
Believe it or not, Sears once revolutionized retail


New York (CNN Business)Sears, the 133-year-old company that was once the jewel of American retail, continues its slow and precipitous decline. It keeps shuttering Sears and Kmart stores, even after emerging from a bankruptcy designed to salvage the company.
It is closing scores of stores across the United States. Although the privately held company hasn't released an official list, Sears plans to close an additional 100 or more stores in coming months, according to multiple reports, including online message board thelayoff.com.
For now, the majority of these closures are reportedly Kmarts. This latest round comes only weeks after an announcement that 26 Sears and Kmart stores would be shuttered in nearly two dozen states.
So far this year, Kmart has closed, or plans to close, about 60 stores, leaving fewer than 100 open. Sears has closed, or will close, more than 30 stores this year, reducing the number to fewer than 200.

Sears' bankruptcy

    Sears' extraordinary history: A timeline
    Decades of bad decisions doomed Sears
    Malls are filling their empty spaces with doctor's offices

When it emerged from bankruptcy in February, parent company Transform Co. originally said it would close 36 Kmarts and no Sears stores. The escalation signals its turnaround plan isn't succeeding.
Transform Co. declined to comment on the latest round of closures.
"That Sears is closing stores now, before the important holiday trading period, shows that the company's business model still isn't working," Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail told CNN Business. "This isn't surprising, as Sears never really had a credible plan for survival: it has always been about making cuts to help the bottom line, rather than being about how to grow the top line."
He added that the company has made few efforts to revitalize the brand or bring in new customers.
"It still comes across as a tired company that has little to offer," Saunders said. "In today's cutthroat retail environment that's not good enough, and it suggests that Sears is still on a journey where the ultimate destination is failure."
Earlier this year, a bankruptcy court approved the sale of most of the retailer's assets to a hedge fund controlled by Eddie Lampert, the company's chairman, for $5.2 billion. His plan was to keep some 400 stores open and secure the jobs of roughly 45,000 employees.
The company's ever-shrinking footprint is a far cry from 2005, when Lampert merged Sears and Kmart in an $11 billion deal. Between the two brands, it then had more than 3,500 US stores and more than 300,000 employees. By last year, that number plummeted to 1,000 stores and 89,000 employees.
Sears is experimenting with new formats as it fights for survival. In April it opened a new store called Sears Home & Life, which sells only home goods like appliances and mattresses and is a fraction the size of a typical Sears. Only three stores have opened.
Sears' decimated dominance
Founded in 1893, Sears grew to become most important retailer and the largest private sector employer in the United States in middle of the 20th century. With its network of stores anchoring malls and its catalog business providing virtually anything a shopper could desire, it was both the Walmart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN) of its day.
It's been overtaken by larger and more aggressive retail rivals. Big box retailers such as Target (TGT) and Costco (COST) offer lower prices and a wider selections.

Sears has lost in excess of $12 billion since its last profitable year in 2010 through to its 2018 bankruptcy filing.
--CNN Business' Chris Isidore contributed to this report.
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🏗️ Forever 21 plan to file for bankruptcy could affect 5 Hawaii malls
« Reply #278 on: September 12, 2019, 03:07:45 AM »
Back to the beach.  The mall is closed.

RE

Forever 21 plan to file for bankruptcy could affect 5 Hawaii malls


Forever 21 has five stores in Hawaii, including a three-level, 42,520-square-foot store at Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki.

By Janis L. Magin  – Real Estate Editor, Pacific Business News
3 hours ago

Fast fashion retailer Forever 21 Inc. is reportedly planning to file for bankruptcy and close some of its more than 700 stores in the process, which could impact some of Hawaii’s largest shopping malls.

The Wall Street Journal reports Forever 21 could file for bankruptcy in Delaware as soon as Sunday.

In Hawaii, the retailer has five stores at malls on Oahu, Ala Moana Center, Pearlridge Center, Ka Makana Alii and Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki, and on Maui at the Queen Kaahumanu Center.

The largest store is at Royal Hawaiian Center, where Forever 21 opened a three-level, 42,520-square-foot store in late 2010.

The retailer then more than tripled its footprint at Ala Moana Center in 2012, moving to 35,000 square feet on two levels.

The newest store is in Kapolei, where Forever 21 opened at Ka Makana Alii in 2016.
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Re: Official Death of Retail
« Reply #279 on: September 22, 2019, 10:10:57 AM »

Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne just sold all his shares, blaming ‘deep state’ and SEC

    In a cryptic message to “Erstwhile Teammates,” former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne on Wednesday attempted to explain the reasoning behind his departure.
    “The Deep State and the oligarchy are entwined,” he wrote. “If I had stayed at Overstock … they would try to break Overstock as a way of crippling me.”
    Before Byrne’s exit in August, he issued a news release on Overstock’s website detailing his involvement in what he characterized as the ”‘Clinton Investigation.’”


https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/19/former-overstock-ceo-byrne-sold-his-shares-blaming-the-deep-state.html?__source=iosappshare%7Ccom.apple.UIKit.activity.CopyToPasteboard
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You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

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Mega Travel Giant "Thomas Cook" CLOSES its doors, leaves 600k stranded
« Reply #280 on: September 26, 2019, 11:20:24 AM »

Becoming the latest European travel company to fail and leave its customers stranded (who can forget about the collapse of Iceland's Wow Air back in March?), 178-year-old Thomas Cook collapsed after failing to secure a deal with its creditors, leaving the British government to step in and rescue the as many as 600,000 customers who are reportedly now looking for a ride home.

Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser apologized to customers "following a decision of the board late last night, a British government receiver has been appointed early this morning...we have not been able to secure a deal to save our business...I know that this outcome will cause a lot of anxiety, stress and disruption."


https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/uks-thomas-cook-collapses-after-rescue-talks-fail-650000-travelers-stranded
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The 8 Fastest Disappearing Jobs in America
« Reply #281 on: September 26, 2019, 02:39:41 PM »
SEPTEMBER 17, 2019

By Jon Miltimore

One of the certainties of a market economy is change. As Joseph Schumpeter famously observed, innovation moves the world forward, but not painlessly.

The evolutionary process of “creative destruction” introduces new industries and new opportunities, but in its wake, less efficient industries and jobs are left behind. Even longstanding industries can struggle to keep up if they fail to innovate—just ask newspaper and magazine publishers who experienced the upheaval of one of the most disruptive technologies in history: the internet.

For young people mapping out a career plan, knowing which jobs are projected to grow can offer a significant edge. But knowing which jobs are disappearing the fastest can be just as useful.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently published a list of the fastest declining jobs in America. Below are the eight occupations that top the list.*
Executive Secretaries (Median Annual Salary: $59,340)

2018: 622,500

2028 (projected): 499,400

Image credit: Pixabay | Pixabay license (https://pixabay.com/service/license/)

Of all the occupations facing sharp declines, executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants represent the single biggest in terms of aggregate jobs.

These individuals provide high-level support for senior staff by conducting research, preparing reports and correspondence, receiving visitors, and scheduling meetings. They may also be responsible for training lower-level staff.

Executive secretaries make nearly $60,000 a year, on average, but the government projects there will be about 120,000 fewer of them 10 years from now. While there are 622,500 today, BLS projects there will be fewer than half a million of them in 2028.

The decline is generally attributed to smart technology that has improved scheduling efficiency and record-keeping.
Typists/Word Processors ($39,750)

2018: 60,000

2028: 40,000

Image credit: Pixabay | Pixabay license (https://pixabay.com/service/license/)

Typists, not to be confused with administrative assistants, use word processors to type letters, reports, or other materials. (They also may perform other clerical duties.)

There are 60,000 professional typists in the US today, but the government projects that figure to fall by 33.8 percent over the next decade, to 40,000.

The decline likely stems from the rise of voice-to-text software and other smart technologies. According to the BLS, about one-fifth of all typists are employed in the New York metropolitan area.
Data Entry Keyers ($32,170)

2018: 187,300

2028: 143,900

Image credit: Pixabay | Pixabay license (https://pixabay.com/service/license/)

Data entry technicians operate equipment (usually a keyboard) to input alphabetic, numeric, or symbolic data into computer systems. They make $32,170 annually, on average.

There are currently 187,000 data entry keyers in the US, but that figure is projected to fall to 144,000 over the next decade, a 23 percent decline. The drop appears to be linked to improvements in automation that require less manual clerical work.
Legal Secretaries ($46,360)

2018: 180,100

2028: 142,500

Image credit: Pixabay | Pixabay license (https://pixabay.com/service/license/)

Legal secretaries make about $46,000, on average, by performing secretarial duties for attorneys and law firms. These responsibilities often include preparing legal documents and correspondence such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas, as well as performing some legal research.

The number of legal secretaries is expected to decline from 180,100 in 2018 to 142,500 by 2028. The decline continues a trend The Wall Street Journal first observed in 2013. This industry-wide cost-cutting measure stems largely from enhanced technology and the willingness of firms to allow young lawyers to type their own legal briefs.
Switchboard Operators ($29,420)

2018: 74,000

2028: 55,900

Image credit: US Air Force | Public domain

Believe it or not, there are still nearly 74,000 switchboard operators in the US today. These folks operate telephone systems equipment to relay calls, though their work will sometimes also involve recording messages or supplying information to callers.

Switchboard operators make about $30,000 a year, but the government projects there will be about 17,500 fewer of them in a decade (55,900).

While switchboard operators were once a fixture of most communities, the digital age of mass communication finds itself less reliant on this antiquated form of communication.
6. Postal service mail sorters ($55,770)

2018: 99,000

2028: 76,000
7. Mail Carriers ($55,210)

2018: 328,000

2028: 263,000
8. Postal Service Clerks ($55,280)

2018: 75,000

2028: 60,000

Image credit: Pacific Air Forces | Public domain

The last three jobs three have the same employer: the US Postal Service. US Postal Service jobs are expected to decline substantially over the next decade, which is not a surprise if you’ve been following the Post Office’s recent financial problems.

Between clerks, carriers, and mail sorters, the USPS is projected to shed more than 100,000 jobs over the next decade.

(*Note: I restricted this to occupations filled with at least 50,000 workers.)

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has appeared in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Washington Times.

https://www.activistpost.com/2019/09/the-8-fastest-disappearing-jobs-in-america.html
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October 4, 2019

John Vibes, Truth Theory
Waking Times

Trader Joe’s was one of the first chain grocery stores to begin selling organic food, but their products have not necessarily been eco-friendly. A vast amount of the produce that can be found at Trader Joe’s is needlessly covered in plastic, but that is about to change soon.

The company recently announced that they will be cutting down on their use of plastic, and reduce their consumption of plastic by roughly 4 million pounds each year. More than half of that plastic, 2.5 million pounds, is being cut from the produce department.

Now, many produce items that can be safely sold loose will not contain any packaging. This change will save the company a ton of money, and those savings are reportedly being noticed by customers as well.

At one Trader Joe’s location, a customer said that they found a single head of garlic for $.49, when before the same item was sold in packs of two for $1.39 before. For this item, the loss of packaging came with a 25% reduction in price, and customers say that this has happened all over the produce section.

There were some food items that just needed plastic to be kept fresh, although a statement from Trader Joe’s noted that they were seeking solutions for more eco-friendly packaging for these situations.

“The outcome of our test was not tolerable from a food-waste perspective, so we are in pursuit of alternatives. While we may not always arrive at the right solution the first time, we remain steadfast in our dedication to this important work,” the statement read.

The company also said that they will be phasing out the use of styrofoam trays and looking for a variety of different ways that they can cut down on waste in their stores.

Trader Joe’s has been keeping their customers informed about the changes through their website and on their podcast, “Inside Trader Joe’s.”

In the press release, the company explained that:

    A fundamental focus of sustainability is maintaining product integrity and preventing food waste.  We strive to balance the key role packaging plays in this effort with the overall impact packaging has on the ecosystem, as we approach making any changes. We are also aware that the realistic opportunities for recycling materials, along with differing understandings of what is the “best choice” for sustainability, makes this work complex. While most of the plastic in our packaging has the highest recyclability acceptance rate in the U.S., reducing the amount of plastic packaging in our stores is another important focus of our sustainability.

Trader Joe’s has also taken some other measures recently, in addition to reducing packaging and no longer offering single-use plastic bags. The company has also promised to get rid of Bisphenol A, or BPA, from their packaging.


https://www.wakingtimes.com/2019/10/04/trader-joes-got-rid-of-plastic-packaging-and-produce-prices-fell-by-up-to-25/
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🏗️ This Is Really Why Eddie Lampert Keeps Going At Sears
« Reply #283 on: October 22, 2019, 12:55:01 AM »
Nah.  He doesn't want to take the hit to his balance sheet.  Long as he perpetuates the myth these stores and their real estate have some value, he can leverage more debt on them.

RE

https://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenshoulberg/2019/10/18/this-is-really-why-eddie-lampert-keeps-going-at-sears/#1ef8407c3617

Editor's Pick17,574 viewsOct 18, 2019, 01:41pm
This Is Really Why Eddie Lampert Keeps Going At Sears

Warren Shoulberg
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Retail
I'm a retail junkie who loves to see who is doing what...and to whom


Edward Lampert, chief executive officer of Sears Holdings Corp., smiles during the company's 2013 ...
  • [/i]
Sears Holdings Corp. via Bloomberg

I always thought that Eddie Lampert was the smartest guy on the block and that he was always three steps of anybody else in the continuing soap opera saga that Sears had become.

I always thought he had a master plan that was precisely focused on just one thing: making money for Eddie Lampert.

I always thought Eddie knew exactly what he was doing.

I don’t think that anymore.

The ongoing meltdown at what’s left of the Sears that he snared from the jaws of bankruptcy demise earlier this year, the new reports from Reuters that he is once again loaning money to the company to keep it afloat and his whacko plans to buy the network of smaller stores under the HomeTown and Outlet nameplates all add up to one thing.

Eddie Lampert has let ego, vanity and sheer stubbornness take over for whatever business brilliance was once there.
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How else to explain his erratic behavior this past year? His willingness to throw good money after bad – very bad – would seem to have no other possible explanation. So too his lust to buy up the smaller stores, also money-losers that are too dependent on once-legacy Sears brands that are now severely tarnished, devoid of their historic reputations and often available in far wider retail distribution. Why buy more bad retail real estate?

And then there’s the store closings. Nobody can get a real count on how many Sears and Kmart stores are actually left and how many are in the process of being shuttered. Why would someone spend money to buy these locations and then within just a few months shut them down? It’s not for the inventory, which is sparse at best in most of the stores. And it’s not for the real estate either, despite the persistent whining from the uninformed that they possess great unrealized value. Many of these Sears stores are in C and D-grade malls which are barely hanging on to what they have left, which usually consists of an oddball assortment of food court stands, pop-up local clothing stores and maybe the remnants of a faltering national chain or two. The Kmart sites are no better, situated in deteriorating inner city neighborhoods where most other stores have more security guards than shoppers.
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Real estate might once have been the smoking gun of Lampert’s master plan but no more. Anybody else seen the massive amount of vacant retail real estate on every street and highway in America?

So to understand what’s truly driving Eddie Lampert these days, I go back to a chance meeting more than a dozen years ago. Eddie was flying high at that point, the stock soaring and his reputation as the next Warren Buffett splashed across every business publication in the country.

It was a holiday party put together by a consulting company that specialized in retail liquidations. It was a heavyweight crowd and I was there as a member of the business press through a personal connection. As far as I could tell there were no other press members there.

I was standing on the buffet line – the food was really good – and when I looked behind me there was Eddie Lampert himself. As I was already writing, often critically, of his Sears activities, I’m pretty sure he knew exactly who I was. I introduced myself nonetheless and that’s when Eddie went into action. In a room of 300 or so serious players in the retail, real estate and financial world, he spent the better part of the next 20 minutes selling me on his plan to make Sears and Kmart great again. He was as delightfully charming, persuasively compelling and warm and friendly as could be, so in contrast to his public demeanor over the past few years.

Eddie wanted to win me over. He wanted to prove he knew what he was doing. Ego? Vanity? Relentlessness? Yes, yes and yes.

It didn’t work, at least not on me. My commentaries on him and what he was doing with Sears continued and as a post-script, at the same event a year later I was specifically told not to bother Mr. Lampert and he stayed as far away from me as possible that night.

I think back to that first encounter now, more than a decade later as Lampert and Sears do their final dances. And it strikes me that just as back then, Eddie Lampert refuses to give up and admit defeat. I’m no expert, but his need to continue to prove he is smarter than everybody else appears unstoppable, the driving force of his life today. He can’t be wrong.

For the life of me I can’t figure out any other reason for what he is doing.
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Do you believe they are still building these White Elephants?   ::)

RE

American Dream: What to Know About New Jersey’s Supersized Shopping Mall
The East Coast’s version of the Mall of America is here.
By Layla Ilchi on October 26, 2019


Less than five miles from Manhattan, American Dream is in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

American Dream's gross leasable space skews toward entertainment.

Courtesy Photo

After more than a decade in development, American Dream has finally opened its doors to the public.

In a week where the Tristate area saw the opening of Nordstrom’s first New York City flagship, now the long-awaited American Dream $5 billion supersized shopping mall is open to the public, taking up a 3 million-square-foot outpost in East Rutherford, N.J.

American Dream is in a way the East Coast’s answer to the Midwest’s Mall of America — and is created by the same real estate developers, Triple Five Group — boasting entertainment offerings like an indoor water park, amusement park, NHL regulation size ice rink and an indoor snow park, as well as roughly 450 retailers that will open by spring 2020.

From the 18 acres of entertainment activities to the 60-foot fountain that converts into a fashion runway, here is everything you need to know about American Dream.

Shopping
Collections   

A rendering of The Collections at American Dream.  Courtesy Photo

While many of American Dream’s stores won’t be open until spring 2020, the complex touts more than 450 retail outposts, including The Collection, its two-floor luxury shopping zone.

Among The Collection’s 100 retail stores are Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Moncler, Saint Laurent and Hermès, which is opening an 8,000-square-foot, two-level store.

Within the retail outposts, American Dream offers a large-scale H&M and Zara, Uniqlo, Fourpost, Century 21, Primark and It’Sugar. The space will also include Åland, a retailer offering curated fashion pieces by emerging South Korean designers.

Play
North America’s first indoor ski park, Big Snow, is bowing at American Dream.   

North America’s first indoor ski park, Big Snow, is bowing at American Dream.  Courtesy Photo

American Dream boasts 18 acres of entertainment offerings open year-round.

The Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, the world’s largest indoor theme park with 35 rides, rollercoasters and attractions opened on Friday. American Dream’s NHL regulation size ice rink will also be open, offering open skating, figure skating and hockey tournaments.

Situated under an 8-acre glass dome, DreamWork’s indoor water park will open on Nov. 27. The park will include 40 water slides, 15 attractions — like the Madagascar Rain Forest and Shrek’s Swamp — a 1.5 acre wave pool and a 142-feet-long body slide.

American Dream’s Big Snow indoor snow park will open on Dec. 5, offering skiing and snowboarding.

Other entertainment offerings include the Sea Life Aquarium, LegoLand Discovery Center, KidZania, CMX Luxury Movie Theater, two 18-hole mini-golf courses and a 300-foot observation wheel overlooking Manhattan.

Eat

American Dream will ultimately have 100 dining destinations, ranging from fast-casual spots to restaurants run by celebrated chefs. There will be 20 full-service restaurants and a Coca-Cola “Eats” Food Hall and Kosher Food Hall.

Experience
The Koi Court’s fountain can convert into a catwalk.   

A rendering of a fountain that converts into a catwalk at American Dream.  Courtesy Photo

Former Neiman Marcus senior vice president and fashion director, Ken Downing, joined American Dream’s owner, Triple Five Group, as chief creative officer, ideating a number of experiential offerings at the complex.

Downing has plans to host fashion shows at American Dream, with the complex’s Koi Court featuring a 60-foot fountain that converts into a runway. There will also be a 60-foot entertainment atrium available for fashion shows and other live events. He is working with the CFDA to bring in young talent to the space and with Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Downing is also introducing eight to 12 sitting salons to The Collections, where customers can relax and drink champagne while they shop and wait for assistance.

American Dream also boasts six atriums each uniquely designed to offer Instagrammable moments. One area is designed with tree-like sculptures equipped with 75,000 LED lights that perform along with music.

There will be museum-scale areas featuring artwork from emerging artists in the New York and New Jersey areas. American Dream will also be launching a community-centric art project with En Masse, a global arts initiative, where a 60,000 square-foot mural features art from community workshops and submissions from local artists.

Transportation

American Dream is located five miles from Manhattan, sitting near the Meadowlands Sports Complex. It has partnered with NY Waterway to offer a free shuttle bus to and from American Dream, picking guests up at the West 39th Street Midtown Ferry Terminal and dropping them off at Port Imperial in Weehawken, N.J., where buses will take them to the complex.

The complex has also purchased two Rolls-Royce cars, two Bentleys and three helicopters to bring customers from the Hamptons and Manhattan. It has also purchased a Rolls-Royce golf cart to take VIP customers throughout American Dream.
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