Retail stores are going bust now

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    Nov 26, 2008 7:03 PM GMT
    In the UK two old shop chains have gone bust - Woolworths and furniture store MFI.

    Woolies was one of the oldest names on the high street but has collapsed today under the weight of all its debt.

    Sad collapse of iconic brands and lots of jobs gone.
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    Nov 26, 2008 7:24 PM GMT
    Yeah, my mother offered to lend me a pound to buy out Woolworths.

    It's got so bad in France that shops started their sales at the beginning of November. That's as unthinkable to them as drinking a St Emilion with Scottish salmon!
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    Nov 26, 2008 7:35 PM GMT
    i need to find a coop internship for this winter quarter for credit in my program but with mere weeks to go, and way over-deadline to arrange one, i find myself along with 16 other ppl in my major without a coop position (unheard-of)- i've applied to tens of firms with long-established ties to our school's coop program, but not only are none of them hiring.... most of them are letting employees go. the firm i was at over the summer was a top east-coast residential design firm, and its on the brink of collapse after 30 years of making obscene profit and designing for CEOs, senators, ambassadors, and pro athletes. contractors and developers that firm worked with have already gone out of business. people are loosing jobs left and right- especially from what i hear of in my professional industry- i donno what good my major is or what the hell i'm going to do in two years when i graduate. its very discouraging and i'm feeling burnt out with design in general lately because it seems like such a dead end.
    i've stopped watching what little news i'd allowed myself lately because every other story is about some new manifestation of the international economic collapse. its hitting too close to home for any semblance of comfort....

    not much more i can say on the subject or contribute to the convo- just had to vent for a sec. there really isn't much to debate or discuss... im just really scared, having been born into such prosperity and having only ever read about recessions in history books- for those who remember the 70's, i'm sure this is nothing new, but i'm freaking out.
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    Nov 26, 2008 7:41 PM GMT
    czarodziej saidi donno what good my major is or what the hell i'm going to do in two years when i graduate. its very discouraging and i'm feeling burnt out with design in general lately because it seems like such a dead end.
    i've stopped watching what little news i'd allowed myself lately because every other story is about some new manifestation of the international economic collapse. its hitting too close to home for any semblance of comfort....


    In two years, the economic picture should look vastly different (hopefully better) than it does now. Remember that economic downturns are common, but that there are always rebounds and that its unlikely that the industry you chose will be in the same state as it's in today.

    Keep your head up and be glad that you have two years! Its a long time and things will surely be different!
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    Nov 26, 2008 8:14 PM GMT
    Woolies is goneicon_cry.gif


    I used to work for M&S for a while (awesome company, bitter mature house wife workforce) and I'm lead to believe they are circling the drain. It's the same either side of the Atlantic

    A big effect here is no one is buying gift cards and vouchers out of fear the stores won't exist come new year and they are a big drive to get people into the stores and spending.

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    Nov 26, 2008 9:08 PM GMT
    Na, woolies is still here, surviving in Australia icon_smile.gif
    Don't worry, when its all over, we'll be there again to help you brits out icon_razz.gif
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    Nov 26, 2008 9:12 PM GMT
    Lots of corrections happening now. Big boxes were never very sustainable. I hope we see a strong shift to local-emphasis and away from nationals.
  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    Nov 26, 2008 9:45 PM GMT
    OMG! Woolworth's still exists somewhere? We had a store, here, that went bankrupt way back in the 70s. I thought the whole chain went the way of Frederick and Nelson's.
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    Nov 26, 2008 10:56 PM GMT
    Woolworths has been gone in the US for years..I thought they were all gone
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    Nov 26, 2008 11:37 PM GMT
    Wow, I also thought all Woolworths were closed in the 80's, but I guess they survived offshore. They were huge in the US until the late 1970s, and kind of a cultural icon (e.g., when they ended racial segregation by sit-ins in 1960s "lunch counters" in the South, a whole lot of those were probably at Woolworths cafeterias, which were in almost any town of size). Plus, I had major fun in the toy and pet departments as a kid in New York!

    Seriously, the real test for retail stores everywhere will come after Janauary '09. I hear that some retailers make as much as 40% or more of their total annual sales from holiday shoppers in the last 2 months of the year. So, if as expected, folks don't spend what little money they have on gifts this season, you can bet a lot more retailers to go kaputt . . . yikes!

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    Nov 26, 2008 11:38 PM GMT
    Might be a few more to go yet. Quite a number of well known names have renegotiated their store rental agreements with landlords as they are having difficulty with payments.

    This one's going to be a rollercoaster ride and no Gordon 2.5% off VAT isn't going to be the difference between the average punter buying or not buying.
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    Nov 26, 2008 11:39 PM GMT
    I read that retail sales in the US in October were down by 1%.
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    Nov 26, 2008 11:43 PM GMT
    A friend of mine sent me this email:

    "I wanted to give everyone a "heads-up;" that if you tend to give gift cards around the holidays, you'll need to be careful that the cards will be honored after the holidays. Stores that are planning to close after Christmas are still selling the cards through the holidays even though the cards will be worthless January 1. There is no law preventing them from doing this. On the contrary, it is referred to as "Bankruptcy Planning." Below is a partial list of stores that you need to be cautious about.


    Circuit City -- filed Chapter 11
    Ann Taylor -- 117 stores closing nationwide
    Lane Bryant , Fashion Bug ,and Catherine's to close 150 stores nationwide
    Eddie Bauer to close 27 stores and more after January
    Cache will close all stores
    Talbots is closing down specialty stores
    J. Jill is closing all stores (owned by Talbots)
    Pacific Sunwear is closing all stores (also owned by Talbots)
    GAP is closing 85 stores
    Footlocker is closing 140 stores; more to close after January
    Wickes Furniture is closing down
    Levitz is closing down remaining stores
    Bombay closing remaining stores
    Zales is closing down 82 stores, and 105 after January
    Whitehall is closing all stores
    Piercing Pagoda is closing all stores
    Disney is closing 98 stores and will close more after January
    Home Depot is closing 15 stores
    Macys to close 9 stores after January
    Linens and Things is closing all stores
    Movie Galley is closing all stores
    Pep Boys is closing 33 stores
    Sprint/Nextel is closing 133 stores
    JC Penney is closing a number of stores after January
    Ethan Allen is closing down 12 stores
    Wilson Leather is closing down all stores
    Sharper Image is closing down all stores
    KB Toys is closing 356 stores
    Lowe's to close down some stores
    Dillard's to close some stores"
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Nov 27, 2008 12:14 AM GMT
    A lot of the retail stores have been just hanging on for years
    The profits have dropped out for them before this economic crash

    You're going to see a LOT more casualties with this one
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    Nov 27, 2008 11:09 AM GMT
    This economic downturn will likely be worse and different then prior recessions due to the indebtedness of the American consumers and companies. Americans are starting to wake up to the fact that they need to spend less and save more. Unfortunately this realization is happening at the worse possible time.

    That is why an economic stimulus package that tries to encourage people to spend is not necessarily going to work, nor is it probably the wisest course of action. Consumers in the developing nations such as China and India need to start spending more, and North Americans need to start saving more. Many baby boomers have not saved enough for retirement which is less than 10 years away for the majority of them (using 65-67 as a cut off point).

    Next year is by all accounts going to be bad, with 2010 showing signs of some recovery. But do not be surprised if economic growth is sluggish for years. Banking crises are far worse than other types of economic crises. Banks are the life blood of any economic system.
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    Nov 28, 2008 10:11 PM GMT
    Woolworths is here in Mexico (City), too! Go figure!

    It's just a few blocks from my apt. and I love it for low-cost blankets, kitchen stuff, underwear, socks, and work pants.

    Smells almost the same, but no lunch counter or popcorn.
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    Nov 28, 2008 10:12 PM GMT
    PS--Scorpio, ya forgot Mervyn's
  • PRDGUY

    Posts: 641

    Nov 29, 2008 1:38 AM GMT
    Its a difficult time that ,many stores find themselves unprepared for....Our family stores are in 48 of the 50 states but we had planned for the downturn and slashed departmental budgets across the board, except for home....
    as in last downturns, people tend to cocoon inside their homes and will spend money on their confort there at home...

    All we can do is pray for those of us in the states for a " v " shaped downturn and that President-elect Obama and his team do the correct thing to get the US economy back in shape.
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    Nov 29, 2008 1:41 AM GMT
    I hope Marks & Spencers see's it thru ok.
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    Dec 04, 2008 2:17 AM GMT
    Comfort is right, PRDGUY! I was always wishing I could afford those coverlet, sheet sets in The Company Store and Restoration catalogs!
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    Dec 04, 2008 2:31 AM GMT
    Scorpio_M saidA friend of mine sent me this email:

    "I wanted to give everyone a "heads-up;" that if you tend to give gift cards around the holidays, you'll need to be careful that the cards will be honored after the holidays. Stores that are planning to close after Christmas are still selling the cards through the holidays even though the cards will be worthless January 1. There is no law preventing them from doing this. On the contrary, it is referred to as "Bankruptcy Planning." Below is a partial list of stores that you need to be cautious about.


    Circuit City -- filed Chapter 11
    Ann Taylor -- 117 stores closing nationwide
    Lane Bryant , Fashion Bug ,and Catherine's to close 150 stores nationwide
    Eddie Bauer to close 27 stores and more after January
    Cache will close all stores
    Talbots is closing down specialty stores
    J. Jill is closing all stores (owned by Talbots)
    Pacific Sunwear is closing all stores (also owned by Talbots)
    GAP is closing 85 stores
    Footlocker is closing 140 stores; more to close after January
    Wickes Furniture is closing down
    Levitz is closing down remaining stores
    Bombay closing remaining stores
    Zales is closing down 82 stores, and 105 after January
    Whitehall is closing all stores
    Piercing Pagoda is closing all stores
    Disney is closing 98 stores and will close more after January
    Home Depot is closing 15 stores
    Macys to close 9 stores after January
    Linens and Things is closing all stores
    Movie Galley is closing all stores
    Pep Boys is closing 33 stores
    Sprint/Nextel is closing 133 stores
    JC Penney is closing a number of stores after January
    Ethan Allen is closing down 12 stores
    Wilson Leather is closing down all stores
    Sharper Image is closing down all stores
    KB Toys is closing 356 stores
    Lowe's to close down some stores
    Dillard's to close some stores"

    Just an FYI. This e-mail has been around and around and it's simply misleading and only meant to scare people into not shopping or buying gift cards. I work for Ann Taylor and our press release regarding store closings was released in January of this year and is a process that spans into 2010. Our gift cards will ALWAYS be honored at any retail store and online. Ann Taylor isn't going anywhere - in fact, we are currently opening 5 new stores.