The impact of the “Obama economy,” those ups and downs attributed to the tax-and-spend policies implemented by the president’s administration, is moving further into negative territory with the announcement that dozens of additional retail stores across America are being closed down sooner than planned.
WND had reported only a few days ago on the effective retail apocalypse that was leaving stores closed and, in some places, entire malls shuttered because of the downward spiral of the nation’s economy.
At that time, Michael Snyder, a University of Florida law-school graduate, former Washington, D.C., attorney and publisher of the Economic Collapse Blog, wrote on “The End of the American Dream” blog: “Major retailers in the United States are shutting down hundreds of stores, and shoppers are reporting alarmingly bare shelves in many retail locations that are still open all over the country.”
He warned the 2015 retail lag was only worsening in 2016.
“In impoverished urban centers all over the nation, it is not uncommon to find entire malls that have now been completely abandoned,” he said. “It has been estimated that there is about a billion square feet of retail space sitting empty in this country, and this crisis is only going to get worse as the retail apocalypse accelerates.”
Most recently, CNN reported Sears, which owns the Sears chain as well as the Kmart string of stores, said this week it was accelerating the closing of at least 50 locations that are unprofitable.
The closures had been planned over coming months, but the company, which said it expects fourth quarter revenue of $7.3 billion, down from $8.1 billion a year ago, said it was hurrying those closures because of losses.
CNN said the company’s stock was more than $15 on Tuesday – down from nearly $45 a share in May 2015.
That was just part of the “retail apocalypse” that’s being monitored by analysts.
WND’s report cited plans for the coming weeks and months: Walmart is set to shutter 269 stores, 154 of which are located in the United States; J.C. Penney is closing 47 stores; Macy’s is due to shut down 36 stores and lay off 2,500 employees; and the Gap is in midst of shutting doors on 175 of its locations in North America. Sears had set a goal of shutting down 600 overall.
“But these store closings are only part of the story,” Snyder wrote. “All over the country, shoppers are noticing bare shelves and alarmingly low inventory levels. This is happening even at the largest and most prominent retailers.”
WND reported last May that major U.S. retailers announced the closing of more than 6,000 stores from coast to coast. The list included only those retailers that projected plans to close more than 10 outlets in 2015 and 2016.
For example, 1,784 Radio Shack stores were vanishing, 400 stores in the Office Depot/Office Max chain by 2016, and 340 Dollar Tree/Family Dollar stores.
The growing list of stores getting shuttered coincided with the decline in discretionary consumer spending in the first half of 2015.
“Expect to see more storefronts closed at malls across the country,” one retail watcher told WND. “It’s getting ugly out there.”
Early in 2015, WND revealed that online shopping, maxed out credit and other factors were creating a shadow for America’s retail climate.
Retail industry expert Barbara Faran even compiled a massive list of the activity.