Retail Apocalypse: Why Are Major Retail Chains All Over America Collapsing? Sears, J.C. Penney, Best Buy and RadioShack Are All Going To Close Hundreds of Stores Before The End of 2013!

by Michael

Why Are Major Retail Chains All Over America Collapsing? -  Photo by Gars129

If the economy is improving, then why are many of the largest retail chains in America closing hundreds of stores?  When I was growing up, Sears, J.C. Penney, Best Buy and RadioShack were all considered to be unstoppable retail powerhouses.  But now it is being projected that all of them will close hundreds of stores before the end of 2013.  Even Wal-Mart is running into problems.  A recent internal Wal-Mart memo that was leaked to Bloombergdescribed February sales as a “total disaster”.  So why is this happening?  Why are major retail chains all over America collapsing?  Is the “retail apocalypse” upon us?  Well, the truth is that this is just another sign that the U.S. economy is falling apart right in front of our eyes.  Incomes are declining, taxes are going up, government dependence is at an all-time high, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the percentage of the U.S. labor force that is employed has been steadily falling since 2006.  The top 10% of all income earners in the U.S. are still doing very well, but most U.S. consumers are either flat broke or are drowning in debt.  The large disposable incomes that the big retail chains have depended upon in the past simply are not there anymore.  So retail chains all over the United States are now closing up unprofitable stores.  This is especially true in low income areas.

When you step back and take a look at the bigger picture, the rapid decline of some of our largest retail chains really is stunning.

It is happening already in some areas, but soon half empty malls and boarded up storefronts will litter the landscapes of cities all over America.

Just check out some of these store closing numbers for 2013.  These numbers are from a recent Yahoo Finance article

Best Buy

Forecast store closings: 200 to 250

Sears Holding Corp.

Forecast store closings: Kmart 175 to 225, Sears 100 to 125

J.C. Penney

Forecast store closings: 300 to 350

Office Depot

Forecast store closings: 125 to 150

Barnes & Noble

Forecast store closings: 190 to 240, per company comments


Forecast store closings: 500 to 600


Forecast store closings: 150 to 175


Forecast store closings: 450 to 550

The RadioShack in a nearby town just closed up where I live.  This is all happening so fast that it is hard to believe.

But the truth is that those store closings are not the entire story.  When you dig deeper you find a lot more retailers that are in trouble.

For example, Blockbuster recently announced that this year they will be closing about 300 stores and eliminating about 3,000 jobs.

Toy manufacturer Hasbro recently announced that they will be reducing the size of their workforce by about 10 percent.

Even Wal-Mart is going through a tough stretch right now.  According to documents that were leaked to Bloomberg, Wal-Mart is having an absolutely disastrous February…

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had the worst sales start to a month in seven years as payroll-tax increases hit shoppers already battling a slow economy, according to internal e-mails obtained by Bloomberg News.

“In case you haven’t seen a sales report these days, February MTD sales are a total disaster,” Jerry Murray, Wal- Mart’s vice president of finance and logistics, said in a Feb. 12 e-mail to other executives, referring to month-to-date sales. “The worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”

So what in the world is going on here?

The mainstream media continues to proclaim that we are experiencing a robust “economic recovery”, but at the same time there are a whole host of indications that things are continually getting worse.

Even global cell phone sales actually declined slightly in 2012.  That was the first time that has happened since the last recession.

Perhaps it is time that we faced the truth.  The middle class is shrinking, incomes are declining and there are not nearly as many jobs as there used to be.

Mort Zuckerman pointed this out in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal

The U.S. labor market, which peaked in November 2007 when there were 139,143,000 jobs, now encompasses only 132,705,000 workers, a drop of 6.4 million jobs from the peak. The only work that has increased is part-time, and that is because it allows employers to reduce costs through a diminished benefit package or none at all.

So how can the mainstream media be talking about how “good” things are if we still have 6.4 million fewer jobs than we had back in November 2007?

And sadly, things may soon be getting a lot worse.  If Congress does not do anything about the “sequester”, millions of federal workers may shortly be facing some very painful furloughs according to CNN

Federal workers could start facing furloughs as early as April, according to federal agencies trying to prepare for the worst.

Unless Congress steps in, some $85 billion in massive spending reductions will hit the federal government, doling out furloughs to much of the nation’s 2.1 million federal workforce, experts say.

If you still live in an area of the country where the stores and the restaurants are booming, you should be very thankful because that is not the reality for most of the country.

I often write about the stunning economic decline of major cities such as Detroit, but there are huge sections of rural America that are in even worse shape than Detroit in many ways.

For example, many Indian reservations all over America have been shamefully neglected by the federal government and have become hotbeds for crime, drugs and poverty.

Business Insider recently profiled the Wind River Indian reservation in western Wyoming.  The following is a brief excerpt from thatoutstanding article

The Wind River Indian Reservation is not an easy place to get to, but I had to see it for myself.

Thirty-five-hundred square miles of prairie and mountains in western Wyoming, the reservation is home to bitter ancestral enemies: the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes.

Even among reservations, it’s renowned for brutal crime, widespread drug use, and legal dumping of toxic waste.

You can see some amazing photos of the Wind River Indian reservationright here.

It is hard to believe that there are places like that in America, but the truth is that conditions like that are spreading to more U.S. communities with each passing day.

We are a nation that is in an advanced state of decline.  But as long as the financial markets are okay, our leaders don’t seem too concerned about the suffering that everyone else is going through.

In fact, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan essentially admitted as much during a recent interview with CNBC.  The following is how a Zero Hedge article summarized that interview…

Starting at around 1:50, Greenspan states the odds of sequester occurring are very high – in fact, the playdough-faced ex-Chair-head notes, “I find it very difficult to find a scenario in which [the sequester] doesn’t happen” But when asked how this will affect the economy, Awkward Alan is unusually clearly spoken – “the issue is how does it affect the stock market.”

While not so many of our leaders have taken the path to direct truthiness, Greenspan somewhat shocks a Botox’d and babbling Bartiromo when he admits “the stock market is the key player in the game of economic growth.”

Bartiromo shifts uncomfortably in her seat, strokes her imaginary beard and stares blankly as Greenspan explains that while the sequester will have a real effect on the real economy, “if the stock market can hold up through this, then the effect will be rather minor.”

Do you see?

As long as the stock market is moving higher they think that everything is just fine and dandy.

And the Obama administration?

They continue to pursue the same policies that got us into this mess.

Their idea of “economic reform” is to threaten to sue businessesthat do not hire ex-convicts.

And of course now that Obama has been re-elected he is putting a tremendous amount of effort into “stimulating the economy”.

For example, he spent this weekend golfing in Florida, and the Obamas recently spent about 20 million taxpayer dollars vacationing in Hawaii.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is getting worse with each passing day.

If you doubt that economic conditions are getting worse, please read this article: “Show This To Anyone That Believes That ‘Things Are Getting Better’ In America“.

When you look at the cold, hard numbers, it is undeniable what is happening to America.

And our leaders are not doing anything to fix our problems.  In fact, most of the time they are just making things worse.

So buckle up and get prepared.  We are in for very bumpy ride, and this is only just the beginning.

Store Closed Until Further Notice - Photo by Gryllida


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  • Robert Newton

    This is just a blip for this year. How many millions of Americans just bought guns and ammo? That’s a large chunk of change that didn’t get spent in Best Buy, Wal-Mart, JC Penny etc. The upside is that all the guns and ammo are American products, so it helps the US economy at the expense of cheap imported goods.

    • woody188

      Wal-Mart sells ammo, but has not had any in stock since the Sandyhook, CT incident. Ammo is out of stock nearly everywhere right now.

    • Sandra Krytus

      This is a blip since 2007. These businesses would not be closing stores unless it was more profitable or less disastrous than keeping them open. Too much money will be lost. The point of their existence is to open more stores and sell more stuff. Closing a store is a big deal! There is no other way or they wouldn’t do it.

  • Paris Mountain

    Malls and the stores in them have 80% clothing items and 20% consumer junk in my opinion. I seldom shop there. It’s easier to search the web for what you need and have it delivered to your door. No need to use up fuel and time to drive, park, fight crowds, etc.

  • mayeeden

    Apparently, it is still all of George Bush’s fault. I lay the blame at all of these sold out politicians feet and thier goons in the media. All of them must feel that to sell out their country and it’s laws will benefit them in the next fascist reich that is rising.
    We already have the perfect souless puppet leader who will have no problem with firing on and killing Americans who will not lay down and surrender. There will also most likely be facilities set up to help re-educate the ones who will eventually cave in to the pressure and government approved torture. It was lawful to murder and pillage Jewish citizens in Germany and it will be the same in this new America. We were conquered from within and since we were all taught to be civil and law abiding, it will be easy to herd us into the slaughterhouse using the new laws passed by decrees, not in the old fashioned way using an honest congress made up of citizens. “Who can make war against the Beast?” Only One can and will when He returns. Even so come Master Yahshua.

    • Dustdevil Dustdemon

      And to your closing comment about god, I say this one thing: If that total abomination that calls himself god, would let such travesty occur, keep occurring, and not put an end to it until all are corrupt and ready to rip the world apart, just so he can grandstand like some hair-band rock star, I say I’d rather burn than be around such a mega-ego-maniac of a total sociopath such as one like that – and I call his total bluff that he can’t do a thing about it, anyhow. God is a pig, and religious groups just can’t stop putting make-up on him. Ironically, the ones who will bash me for this comment, are also the ones who worship at the altar of JP Morgan, Citibank and all other mega-banks, everyday, and don’t even have a clue that while they give lip service to some ancient diety when the microphones are on, they honor, trust and obey the true god of MONEY, worship at the altar of economy, and ONLY follow the rules of finance. You want to know the false prophet? Look to Washington D.C. and the Federal Reserve. If you can’t see that you worship money FAR MORE than you’d ever dream of following god, then you are more-blind than you realize, and he even warned you that you would, for if you can’t put all you have aside, and walk as a beggar, then clearly – YOU AREN’T WHO YOU SAY YOU ARE. What’s that old saying? Oh yeah, “you can’t love both god and mammon – in the end, you have to choose, or the choice will be made for you”. If you won’t stand up to put an end to this world economy, corrupt banks, villainous politicians and greedy humans as a whole, then you are just another abominable human who will burn with the rest in the end. If you think I’m wrong, then do one thing and prove it. Do not touch money, stop using it, for 2 years. No EBT cards, no cash, no coins, only barter or grow what you have. When you can’t keep it out of your hands for a day, bend over, kiss it, and praise your REAL GOD, because you are holding it in your hand.

  • Thats_all

    Expensive oil and gas prices choke off economic growth, sucking money away from discretionary spending, and hurting retail and other sectors of the economy. Neither party gets it or will do anything to help. They just trot out their tired old 20th century ideology, and solutions.

    • nfordham3rd

      please remember, it’s not gas getting more expensive, but the US dollar getting weaker. the world has been paying 5-8 dollars per gallon for decades. the world has been paying 2-3 dollars for a head of lettuce for decades. remember that.

      • Robert Zraick

        Yes, and also keep in mind that the prices of stocks are going up. This seems like good news to the market investors, but in reality the prices of stocks going up are just another indicator the the value of the dollar is going down. The same inflationary forces causing you groceries to be more expensive are causing stock prices to go up as well. This is a false sign that the market is doing well.

  • SSK

    Best Buy, JC PENNY, Barnes & Noble, Radio Shack, Sears, Gamestop, Office Depot/Max, Blockbuster– all of these dinosaurs are going extinct because of the Internet. Duh. Why do you need a Blockbuster/Barnes/Gamestop/Radio Shack/Office supplies/electronics store when you can get cheaper and more up-t-date products through Netflix, Amazon and others? And its delivered. This does not point necessarily to an economy that is failing. just shifting. Now Wal-Mart does have me scratching my head. This is pure middle class/working poor demand. One thing about Wal-Mart, though, is that most of its goods ship from China. Chinese manufacturing is growing more and more expensive as Chinese workers gain higher wages. Furthermore, shipping all that junk across the Pacific is untenable with rising oil prices. Combine the rising manufacturing costs of China and shipping costs from China, and suddenly Wal-Mart ain’t so competitive. In many ways, Wal-Mart has lost competitiveness by latching a business model based on Chinese suppliers that is unsustainable.

    • nfordham3rd

      you see a tree fucking clearly, but what about the forest? what about the million americans employed at those companies, genius?

  • danlxyz

    Perhaps the immediate problem for these stores is that congress failed to pass the income tax changes in a timely manner. This resulted in the IRS delaying the e-filing of income tax returns from mid January till January 30. So the refunds were delayed about 2 weeks.

  • Freemon Sandlewould

    The best thing that could happen is government workers getting canned. You talk as though it would be a bad thing.

    • Doug Stohlman

      shall we close our local health departments too? No restaurant inspections
      or communicable disease prevention or tracking? Close up our local police
      precincts? and the schools too? Let the ignorant educate their kids at home…
      And let’s ignore the Chinese hackers stealing all our intellectual secrets too
      while we’re at it.. Ignorance is sure bliss but that won’t keep you from sitting
      on a RR track with a speeding train coming right for you.

      • Sandra Krytus

        A thought that pops into my head about the Chinese hackers – they are probably just reassuring themselves that they are still ahead of us, not stealing. We are way behind the world in intellectual secrets.

  • CebVA

    Stock market investors are whistling past the graveyard. They have nothing else to invest in so they keep on pumping and hoping for the best. I see nothing on the horizon that looks like good news. High energy prices, high taxes and the cost of OweBamaCare are only just beginning to be felt. We will grind to a halt this year and where it goes from there is really scary.


    Glad to see them go.
    NOW is a great opportunity for small shops selling LOCAL AND MADE IN AMERICA products to succeed. These big corporations have destroyed neighborhood shopping since they began.Good riddance, now go out and sell something!!!

    • nfordham3rd

      oh, well wishing americans… such adorable & simpleminded creatures. WHAT DOES AMERICA MAKE NOW? what money does the little guy have to open a small shop, and then compete with amazon!?! come here and let me pet your head.

      • mayeeden

        I agree, you would need just as much money to comply with all of the regulations, studies, taxes, fees and permits as you would need to secure a building and inventory. We have been done in by our traitorous “leaders”

  • 4Hisglory

    We are reaping as a nation what our NWO leaders have sewn over the past 99 years yet they have failed to reach their intended goal – global rule. To prolong their rule and stay alive they now need to disarm the populace. But this to will fail as they too reap what they have sewn.

  • anon

    Amazon is a terrific website but is sucking the brick and mortar stores dry. Peeps like the convenience of ordering a well-reviewed item and have it delivered to their door quickly. AFAIK, almost everything is for sale there and if it’s sold by Amazon itself, there is a no-hassle return policy. So, although a lot of B&M stores are hurting it is because they have not adapted well to the peeps using online shopping.

    • thejerkstore

      If only now they could turn a profit, Bezos churning and buy back program is keeping that dog/pony show goin. Wait till internet taxes kick in (they will) Bezo thought he was a good lib he would be subsidized, sorry Jeff the haul is too much to resist.

  • Jack J. Smith

    We are Greeked!

  • me-me-me-me

    Don’t worry the Malls will be used for what they originally were intended for, a fema holding place. Just say no. Don’t go. The collapse has been known for a decade. The parasite moved to China a long time ago. Nixon-Kissinger. It is over & it’s time for Adamic man to return home.

  • D

    Hay you silly hack, LOOK AT PROFITS!!!!! All of these companies are sitting on trillions in cash – collectively, their employees are their customers and they refuse to pay a living wage, they refuse to pau for healthcare, that is money consumers then do not have to spend and instead it SITS in a bank overseas as “profit” and Corporations refuse to spend it. There’s nothing wrong without economy besides a failure of WEall Street and Corporate America to participate in the economy rather than simply be a pool of parasites.

  • prince naseem

    another US problem and yet others(global) will need to suffer from it..fuck Americans.long live the queen..!!!

  • el loco

    damn mayeeden..try to clever but still a stupid dumbass

  • TerryF

    This has been predicted for quite a few years now. Obama’s increase of the national debt by 63% since he took office with an already unprecedented national deficit and debt level has simply sped up the process. Anyone who thinks you can build this level of debt, decimate the manufacturing sector, over regulate businesses, grow and reward government workers while shrinking the productive sector and leveling off their incomes, increase taxation, fuel inflation with continual wars and expanded government spending, transfer trillions of bank and Corporate debt to private citizens and have a “soft landing” is sound asleep. it’s going to come down hard, fast and last for a long time. Bank on it.

    Like George Carlin said, “You know why they call it the American dream? ‘Cause you have to be asleep to believe it.”

  • ChewyBees

    I have said for a long time that once the first Walmarts start closing, it is the beginning of the landslide.