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It has been awful over here in the UK recently, how has it been in the US? Woolworths, a shop specialising in selling a bit of everything is closing down after nearly 100 years trading. They're selling literally everything, including the shelves and fittings The Pier, a really nice homeware chain is closing down. Zavvi, a CD/DVD chain with hundreds of stores has gone into administration (the stage before bankrupsy). Whittards (tea, coffee and gift stores) went into administration after 120 years. Fortunately this has been saved. Similar for Officers Club, a clothes shop. So many names and shops are closing, and there will be more in January too I expect after disappointing December sales. Most of this has happened just before Christmas with 30,000 Woolworths employees losing their jobs, and probably similar for Zavvi staff. Is it as bad in the US for shops? I know there aren't as many shoppers, but are high street names just vanishing?

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It has been awful over here in the UK recently, how has it been in the US?

Woolworths, a shop specialising in selling a bit of everything is closing down after nearly 100 years trading. They're selling literally everything, including the shelves and fittings

The Pier, a really nice homeware chain is closing down.

Zavvi, a CD/DVD chain with hundreds of stores has gone into administration (the stage before bankrupsy).

Whittards (tea, coffee and gift stores) went into administration after 120 years. Fortunately this has been saved. Similar for Officers Club, a clothes shop.

So many names and shops are closing, and there will be more in January too I expect after disappointing December sales. Most of this has happened just before Christmas with 30,000 Woolworths employees losing their jobs, and probably similar for Zavvi staff.

Is it as bad in the US for shops? I know there aren't as many shoppers, but are high street names just vanishing?

Yeah, it's bad. I haven't seen a F.W. Woolworth store in quite some time, so I presume that they've already closed-up shop over here. For anyone with a really deep pocket, this is a great time here in the states! Just about anything can be bought at bargain basement prices. But many of the stores and even quite a few of the big chains are going out of business with even more "on the ropes". Some stores open up only to close up in just a few months. But the absolute worst I've heard about is where a company closed-up shop at a small town out in the midwest, and now the whole town is closing up. :thumbsup:

I think President Reagan put it this way: "A recession is when your neighbor loses his job, and a depression is when you lose yours!"

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Lots of things closing here in the NE USA. One of our lower end dept. stores went down for the count. They picked up a lot of buyouts from bigger stores and occasionally you could find some great shoes there. They will be missed. They were probably brought down by the Wal-Mart syndrome. Wal-Mart is nothing more than a big ghoul that thrives on the deaths of smaller venues and Mom and Pop stores. I did have a sense of poetic justice recently. I was in the parking lot of our local K-Mart that is the last existing store in the mall that in the early 1970's destroyed the downtown of the small city where I live. I sat in the car for a while watching the wrecking ball do its job on the mall. Unfortunately there is a Wal-Mart half a mile down the road that makes sure the downtown stays dead. So much for unfettered capitalism.

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It's not the malls or Walmart that's ruined downtown America, it's cheap gas and the fact that Americans don't like to walk anywhere. As fuel gets more expensive you will find that small Mom & Pop stores will start to thrive again.

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It's not the malls or Walmart that's ruined downtown America, it's cheap gas and the fact that Americans don't like to walk anywhere. As fuel gets more expensive you will find that small Mom & Pop stores will start to thrive again.

Spoken like a true "arm-chair general" who has never seen battle.

The reason that the small individual businesses cannot compete with the big chains is because of their inability to purchase at volume discounts and/or make high volume purchases from places like China. After one of the big chains moves into a small town the only hope the small business owner has is personal service and their previously established personal relationships. But personal relationships do not put any extra groceries on the customer's dinner table.

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Don't blame Walmart. He just had a better idea and it worked. Not everybody works 9-5 anymore. Walmart locates there stores conveniently and stays open either all night or later so that people like me can do there shopping at 2am and on the way home from work and at lower prices that I can afford. I would not have a problem shopping at the mom and pop store if they didn't jack there prices up to try to get rich off the poor and stay open so that I could do my shopping when I get off work. In fact, I HATE walmart but it's just practical for me and so many others.

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Don't blame Walmart. He just had a better idea and it worked. Not everybody works 9-5 anymore. Walmart locates there stores conveniently and stays open either all night or later so that people like me can do there shopping at 2am and on the way home from work and at lower prices that I can afford. I would not have a problem shopping at the mom and pop store if they didn't jack there prices up to try to get rich off the poor and stay open so that I could do my shopping when I get off work. In fact, I HATE walmart but it's just practical for me and so many others.

No, I don't blame Wal-Mart oranyone else, for that matter. I was merely stating the fact that when it comes to volume discounts and for all the reasons that you mention, the small business can't compete. Moreover, I don't suppose for a minute that the small businesses are artificially inflating their prices. They have to make a living, you know, and so they have a right to expect a reasonable profit from their business. But when you have a small business owner who goes into Wal-Mart and finds them selling say - anti-freeze - cheaper than the small businessman can buy it wholesale from his jobber, then you begin to get an idea of what I'm talking about. When it comes to buying at volume discount, nobody beats Wal-Mart! They can buy a shipful of goods and re-distribute them to their several stores and still sell them cheaper than the average business can hope to buy those same goods!

Then if you like to shop at 2 AM, how do you expect Mom & Pop to compete? They have to sleep and do all the other things that we humans do too, you know. So Wal-Mart can hire a couple of hundred employees and work them at various shifts around the clock and there's no way that Mom & Pop can hope to compete! In practically no time Wal-Mart has them beat in every way. They can't compete on prices, they can't compete on hours of operation (or convenience), and pretty soon everything else has little or no meaning. That's why the adage is that when Wal-Mart opens-up the small town closes-down. It has become so bad that some communities are trying to pass zoning laws to keep those big chains out. Only that doesn't work either because Wal-Mart can simply open-up a store in the next county and the next thing you know, everyone is driving the extra 30 miles or so to shop there.

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When you take the buying power away from consumers like the greedy oil providers have recently done, there is no way some businesses can survive. Even the big businesses have been brought to their knees or had to call it quits. We have to find a way to become more self-sustaining so that when part of the world sneezes or has a bit of bad luck, the rest of the world doesn't have to worry about getting a cold or worry when the same luck will filter through. Furthermore, everyone would be in a better position to offer some assistance to the sneezers or the ones down on their luck.

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When you take the buying power away from consumers like the greedy oil providers have recently done, there is no way some businesses can survive. Even the big businesses have been brought to their knees or had to call it quits.

We have to find a way to become more self-sustaining so that when part of the world sneezes or has a bit of bad luck, the rest of the world doesn't have to worry about getting a cold or worry when the same luck will filter through. Furthermore, everyone would be in a better position to offer some assistance to the sneezers or the ones down on their luck.

Obama is going to do this very thing. (pour up another glass of Kool-Aid)

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I understand what your saying Guy in Heels, totally and to the point and its sad but true that we have fallen victim to walmart, but is also a fact that Americans will not and do not stick together to boycott or try to stop this from happening. We are greedy and very selfish. Just like over holidays when a lot of baking is done and the price of eggs go through the roof. If everybody didn't buy eggs just for one week, stores would be over stocked so bad it would drive the prices back down, even lower than they were, just to get rid of them because the egg orders get backed up so bad there is no where to store them. But who will stick together on something like this? No one I know.

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I have to disagree somewhat here, Wal-Mart, although not alone in blame is one of the reasons things are changing for the worse over here in the states. Mr. Walton (I believe that was his name--Ray Walton) had a better idea, getting goods 'MADE IN AMERICA', to bring jobs to the US and selling them at lower prices to help families in the US to get along easier. Once he died, however, his idea was subverted by the Wal-Mart board of directors to just get low priced goods, whether they were garbage or not AND no matter where they were made, and shovel them into the stores at low prices JUST TO MAKE MONEY FOR WAL-MART. The workers are paid minimum wage or just above and have almost no benefits. It is well known that in some states the workers are told to go sign up on the public dole if they want health insurance--AND they're told they're pay is low enough to do it. Don't get me wrong--this situation has been building to a head for some time, and Wal-Mart isn't the only cause of it by far, but Wal-Mart has plenty of blame to accept in making it worse than it could have been.

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I've been reading these comments about Wal-Mart and the economic situation it which the "world" currently finds itself and I must say that there is so much chatter about theories and causes, as well as "fixes" it makes my head spin. Now I don't know much about "economic theory" myself, but I do know enough to see that most of these comments are pure garbage. If anyone wants to get a good handle on Economics 101, They just have to read a couple of books by Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell to get a basic, well rounded understanding of economics. Supply and demand, cost of overhead and services and competition between sellers has a great deal to do with whether a business remains solvent or go "tits-up." Governments can not manage it's own operation efficiently and economically, non-the-less any "national" economy based on the capitalistic system, without causing higher prices for one and all. Higher prices for consumers lead to less ability to purchase goods and services -- hence, fewer sales and "higher prices" to make up for the loss of revenue. Just take the New York or Washington, DC subway system, for instance. These government owned and operated utilities are losing money. What does the government do? Rather than lower prices to encourage increased ridership they raise prices to increase revenue to cover the shortfall, which, in turn reduces ridership....attitude -- "riders of this system will damn well pay the price we demand or else they'll do without." I really hate to sound like a pessimist but the world economy is in a mess. And, the bottom line is that it's going to get a whole hell of a lot worse before it begins to straighten itself out. One huge mistake most of the "developed" world is making is that their governments are getting involved. Government intervention only make it worse. If everyone would just take a deep breath and stand back and let it sort itself out, it would be over in just a few short years. Yes some people and business will fail and some will grow stronger. However, government action to "lesson the pain" will only prolong the effects way past the date where it could be solved and, ultimately lead to entire nations going bankrupt. (I heard a news report on one of our radio stations a couple of days ago that "for the first time in United States History, the nations debt is more than the total assets of the entire country." -- Now, that's serious, folks. ) One word of advice to all of us living below the Mason-Dixon line: Save your confederate money, folks,,,,the south will rise again. :thumbsup:

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I've been reading these comments about Wal-Mart and the economic situation it which the "world" currently finds itself and I must say that there is so much chatter about theories and causes, as well as "fixes" it makes my head spin.

Now I don't know much about "economic theory" myself, but I do know enough to see that most of these comments are pure garbage. If anyone wants to get a good handle on Economics 101, They just have to read a couple of books by Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell to get a basic, well rounded understanding of economics.

Supply and demand, cost of overhead and services and competition between sellers has a great deal to do with whether a business remains solvent or go "tits-up."

Governments can not manage it's own operation efficiently and economically, non-the-less any "national" economy based on the capitalistic system, without causing higher prices for one and all. Higher prices for consumers lead to less ability to purchase goods and services -- hence, fewer sales and "higher prices" to make up for the loss of revenue.

Just take the New York or Washington, DC subway system, for instance. These government owned and operated utilities are losing money. What does the government do? Rather than lower prices to encourage increased ridership they raise prices to increase revenue to cover the shortfall, which, in turn reduces ridership....attitude -- "riders of this system will damn well pay the price we demand or else they'll do without."

I really hate to sound like a pessimist but the world economy is in a mess.

And, the bottom line is that it's going to get a whole hell of a lot worse before it begins to straighten itself out.

One huge mistake most of the "developed" world is making is that their governments are getting involved. Government intervention only make it worse. If everyone would just take a deep breath and stand back and let it sort itself out, it would be over in just a few short years. Yes some people and business will fail and some will grow stronger. However, government action to "lesson the pain" will only prolong the effects way past the date where it could be solved and, ultimately lead to entire nations going bankrupt. (I heard a news report on one of our radio stations a couple of days ago that "for the first time in United States History, the nations debt is more than the total assets of the entire country." -- Now, that's serious, folks. )

One word of advice to all of us living below the Mason-Dixon line: Save your confederate money, folks,,,,the south will rise again. :welcome:

:winkiss::thumbsup::lmao:
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Over here we have a similar situation to what you describe with Walmart (who do trade here under the name Asda) in that we have a superstore called Tesco. Everyone blames Tesco (a very, very successful British company) for killing the British high street/main street as people no longer visit green grocers, butchers, delis etc when they can get it all from under one roof with better service normally too (no quibble refunds, better opening hours etc). The Internet is also to blame too, especially with record shops like Zavvi. I think clothes shops will be fine, I sometimes order shoes online, but I love going out with my sister and touching and feeling stuff, even trying it on, before I buy. I think it is just quite gaulling the amount of shops closing at the moment, and with shops like Woolworths they have been such a peice of British history and now they're gone. Woolworths are even selling the shelves and fittings within their shops! There are a few stores that in the meantime will do well - Tesco will, budget supermarkets will, budget clothes shops like Primark will as well. Everywhere else will have to be really careful though. I suspect there will be more names to add to the list early next year too :thumbsup:

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Guess I said the magic word "Wal-Mart". I can't blame Wal-Mart for everything. The American consumer is equally to blame as well. If many of us did not feel that it is our God-given right to get the absolute cheapest price on everything there would not be as much as a problem. But as the old adage goes, "We get what we pay for." We certainly got it here. There is not one store left in the town where I live that sells clothes or shoes, and that is no exaggeration. So don't kid yourself. The clothing and shoe stores suffer as well at the hands of the "Engulf and Devour" mega-department stores. Also have American suppliers gone out of business due to the strong arm tactics of these businesses? You bet they have. Just so we Americans can have cheap stuff. Remember Huffy bicycles that were made in a small town in Ohio? (The name of the town escapes me). Wall-Mart dictated prices that were so low they had to move to China and even that didn't work--they went completely out of business. Over two hundred people in that town were put out of a decent job. Of course Huffy screwed up with too much reliance on one customer, but they aren't the only ones. We can't have it both ways, unfettered capitalism or with some controls. I go for some controls otherwise greed will dominate. Economists talk about the invisible hand of the market. I finally figured out what it does--it flips us all the bird!

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Part of the problem is a change in people's shopping habits. Who really shops for quality anymore? Whether it's consumer electronics, clothing, probably toys, it's often cheaper to just buy a replacement item than to get it fixed. That being said, you'll likely be buying cheaper merchandise, which means almost anything from China is sufficient. Some exceptions: - automobiles - it took a long time for Korean manufactured cars to be accepted by Americans, and I'm pretty sure there are no Chinese vehicles sold here. Just too risky to buy a vehicle that you don't have some degree of confidence will last. - minks (for those that still buy them) - this is a long term purchase, ie. not replaced in 18 months if it wears out. I'm assuming most are made in 'developed' countries, with prices which reflect appropriate wages. Walmart isn't invincible. Granted they have low prices, but there's been some consumer backlash to shopping there. I think that's what's help Target, a bit more upscale, and certainly (from ones I've been in) cleaner than Walmart, provide respectable competition. It's similar to Home Depot about a decade ago - they had really cheap prices, but shopping there wasn't always pleasant. Lowes, with I think cleaner stores, provided an alternative.

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Most people I know shop for quality, within the range of what they can afford. But, there are many less informed people who buy cheap junk. Many tech items from electronics to automobiles are designed for easy and inexpensive manufacturing, not for easy or inexpensive repairs. Look at automobiles with their integrated headlight or tail light assemblies - no lens replacements there. Minimum labor cost to assemble, maximum cost to replace, as repair is out of the question. Not too many people work on their auto engines any more since everything is computerized and controlled to reduce emissions, maximize fuel mileage, etc. I used to do maintenance, tuneups, and even rebuilds, but not now. The trend to mega-centers and megastores gives people choices and lower prices than trying to find things around town in small shops, and the convenience has paid off, in general. I do miss our local hardware store, though, for it's convenience, but it is nice to find things at Home Depot that I wouldn't have any idea how to find if it wasn't for them (such as ceiling panels for lighted ceilings). I do notice some reduction in choice in high heels, I think, as the large sizes have been pretty much taken over by Pleaser and maybe Ellie. Not too many competitors to them, which is disappointing. Is that an area where the Internet has driven out the local stores?

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Over here in Indiana, K-B-Toys are going out of business. I'm a somewhat seasoned gamer (still am) and that was the place to get almost anything I would want, from Pokemon Cards to the newest video games. Now, it's just about extinct in Indiana, and now leaving Illinois slowly. I'll come back if I think of any more. But K-B is the most recent I can think of now.

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There was a email being circulated around the internet earlier this month warning people that received gift cards from chain stores as presents to use them as quickly as they could because many of the stores were heading for closure, or reorganization under Chapter 11 rules, after the holiday shopping period was concluded....which would be around the first or second week in January.

The companies listed included some clothing stores as well as a well known chain of electronic merchandise stores (i.e.: Hollywood Video; Levits; Sharper Image; Linens n Things; Circuit City to list some of them.)

You can find more information on this subject at (Snopes): Bankruptcy.

Or a more complete list at: More on Store Closings

The bottom line here is the good advice that anyone receiving a gift card for Christmas this year, from any of the business mentioned, it might be a good idea to redeem it very soon. :thumbsup:

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Definitely this is not the year to give gift cards as gifts, and it's also a good time to start using them. I'm fairly confident that big chains: Sears/Target/Walmart/Macy's will be okay, but almost anything else wouldn't be a huge surprise if they folded. Febuary could be a scary month, as by the end of January, the final post-Christmas sales will probably be done. If companies can't tread water (financially) after the holiday sales, I have to think that's when they'll start to consider whether they can afford to remain in business.

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  • 3 months later...

Well, February has come and gone and the massive infusions of tax dollars has slowly begun to turn the stock market around. Trouble is, our great grandchildren will still be paying for all of this madness after we're all gone.

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Spoken like a true "arm-chair general" who has never seen battle.

The reason that the small individual businesses cannot compete with the big chains is because of their inability to purchase at volume discounts and/or make high volume purchases from places like China. After one of the big chains moves into a small town the only hope the small business owner has is personal service and their previously established personal relationships. But personal relationships do not put any extra groceries on the customer's dinner table.

But convenience does...

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  • 1 month later...

Seems strange Barrats closed down in my town was quite a big shop, but still going strong in Southampton.

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DWW, at least one lesson that should be gleaned from our (US) chaos is that size means nothing, and bigger may in fact be more vulnerable! When a company like GM starts waving the bankruptcy flag you know that the big ones fall the hardest! General Motors was so cross assetted with other companies and holder for so many subsideraries that I won't even attempt to name them all. But believe me, the automobile business is only the tip of the iceberg for them. The average man will never know all of the rest of the story.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We lost "Bay Trading" several years ago - along with Ravel, Saxone, Dolcis, Stead and Simpson, Barratts, and several others. Did gain Office though.

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  • 2 months later...

The problem with most consumers is the only thing they look at is price. This results in our suppliers being hyper price conscious. Quality ceases to be the factor it once was. Manufacturers know this and design with the just good enough motive in mind and as a result the quality consumer products you used to buy are no more.

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