Word Warriors Public Speaking Club

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Retail stores closing! What does this mean?

Ann Taylor closing 117 stores nationwide A company spokeswoman said the company
hasn't revealed which stores will be shuttered. It will let the stores that will
close this fiscal year know over the next month

Eddie Bauer to close more stores Eddie Bauer has already closed 27 shops in the
first quarter and plans to close up to two more outlet stores by the end of the year.

Cache closing stores Women's retailer Cache announced that it is closing 20 to 23
stores this year.

Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Catherines closing 150 stores nationwide The owner of
retailers Lane Bryant , Fashion Bug , Catherines Plus Sizes will close about 150
under performing stores this year. The company hasn't provided a list of specific
store closures and can't say when it will offer that info, spokeswoman Brooke
Perry said today.

Talbots, J. Jill closing stores About a month ago, Talbots announced that it will
be shuttering all 78 of its kids and men's stores. Now the company says it will
close another 22 under performing stores.

The 22 stores will be a mix of Talbots women's and J. Jill , another chain it
owns. The closures will occur this fiscal year, according to a company press release.

Gap Inc. closing 85 stores In addition to its namesake chain, Gap also owns Old
Navy and Banana Republic .. The company said the closures - all planned for
fiscal 2008 - will be weighted toward the Gap brand.

Foot Locker to close 140 stores In the company press release and during its
conference call with analysts today, it did not specify where the future store
closures - all planned in fiscal 2008 - will be. The company could not be
immediately reached for comment

Wickes is going out of business Wickes Furniture is going out of business and
closing all of its stores, Wickes, a 37-year-old retailer that targets
middle-income customers, filed for bankruptcy protection last month.

Goodbye Levitz The furniture retailer, which is going out of business.
Levitz first announced it was going out of business and closing all 76 of its
stores in December. The retailer dates back to 1910 when Richard Levitz opened
his first furniture store in Lebanon, PA. In the 1960s, the warehouse/showroom
concept brought Levitz to the forefront of the furniture industry.
The local Levitz closures will follow the shutdown of Bombay.

Zales, Piercing Pagoda closing stores The owner of Zales and Piercing Pago da
previously said it plans to close 82 stores by July 31. Today, it announced that
it is closing another 23 underperforming stores. The company said it's not
providing a list of specific store closures. Of the 105 locations planned for
closure, 50 are kiosks and 55 are stores.

Disney Store owner has the right to close 98 stores The Walt Disney Company
announced it acquired about 220 Disney Stores from subsidiaries of The Children's
Place Retail Stores. The exact number of stores acquired will depend on
negotiations with landlords.

Those subsidiaries of Children's Place filed for bankruptcy protection in late
March. Walt Disney in the news release said it has also obtained the right to
close about 98 Disney Stores in the U.S. The press release didn't list those stores..

Home Depot store closings ATLANTA - Nearly 7+ months after its chief executive
said there were no plans to cut the number of its core retail stores, The Home
Depot Inc. announced Thursday that it is shuttering 15 of them amid a slumping
U.S. economy and housing market. The move will affect 1,300 employees.

It is the first time the world's largest home improvement store chain has ever
closed a flagship store for performance reasons. Its shares rose almost 5 percent.

The Atlanta-based company said the under performing U.S.stores being closed
represent less than 1 percent of its existing stores. They will be shuttered
within the next two months.

CompUSA clarifies details on store closings Any extended warranties purchased for
products through CompUSA will be honored by a third-party provider, Assurant
Solutions. Gift cards, rain checks, and rebates purchased prior to December 12
can be redeemed at any time during the final sale. For those who have a gadget
currently in for service with CompUSA, the repair will be completed and the gadget
will be returned to owners.

Macy's - 9 stores

Movie Gallery - 160 stores as part of reorganization plan to exit bankruptcy. The
video rental company plans to close 400 of 3,500 Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video
stores in addition to the 520 locations the video rental chain closed last fall.

Pacific Sunwear - 153 Demo stores

Pep Boys - 33 stores

Sprint Nextel - 125 retail locations New Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse appears to
have inherited a company bleeding subscribers by the thousands, and will now
officially be dropping the ax on 4,000 employees and 125 retail locations. Amid
the loss of 639,000 postpaid customers in the fourth quarter, Sprint will be
cutting a total of 6.7% of its work force (following the 5,000 layoffs last year)
and 8% of company-owned brick-and-mortar stores, while remaining mute on other
rumors that it will consolidate its headquarters in Kansas . Sprint Nextel shares
are down $2.89, or nearly 25%, at the time of this writing.

J. C. Penney, Lowe's and Office Depot are scaling back

Ethan Allen Interiors: The company announced plans to close 12 o f 300+ stores in
an effort to cut costs.

Wilsons the Leather Experts - 158 stores

Pacific Sunwear will close its 154 Demo stores after a review of strategic
alternatives for the urban-apparel brand. Seventy-four underperforming Demo
stores closed last May.

Sharper Image: The company recently filed for bankruptcy protection and announced
that 90 of its 184 stores are closing. The retailer will still operate
94 stores to pay off debts, but 90 of these stores have performed poorly and also
may close.

Bombay Company: The company unveiled plans to close all 384 U.S.-based Bombay
Company stores. The company's online storefront has discontinued operations.

KB Toys posted a list of 356 stores that it is closing around the United States as
part of its bankruptcy reorganization. To see the list of store closings, go to
the KB Toys Information web site, and click on Press Information

Dillard's to Close More Stores Dillard's Inc. said it will continue to focus on
closing underperforming stores, reducing expenses and improving its merchandise in
2008. At the company's annual shareholder meeting, CEO William Dillard II said
the company will close another six underperforming stores this year.

The above info was excerpted from M_N_D@yahoogroups.com. Google to see if any of it was incorrect. I was unable to find anything that was contrary to the article online.

What does this mean for our economy? The pundits are still saying that we are going into a recession while the president is afraid to use the "R" word for fear that it could make it worse. It looks like a lot of the industries are suffering from the recession (which I believe we are already in but everyone is in denial).

Whether you call it an economic slowdown, recession or a depression, industries are being killed left and right by the lack of economic stability in the United States. While home sales in most places are continuing at a slow pace, other industries are feeling the crunch from the lack of economic flow. Has the trickle down effect slowed to a drip? I think so and so do a lot of the businesses, business magazines and media outlets.

How do you survive in this market that is tanking like the Titanic did in the last scene of the motion picture movie? While other people are following the lame duck president, George Bush's lead and acting as if you ignore it, it will go away, other people have decided to scale back operations, fire employees, move operations overseas, buy inferior products from foreign countries, etc. When does it end and will it end?

While I don't want to scare anybody with talk of the recession and how we are entering a depression, ($4.59 a gallon for gas, that is depressing) I do want to give some ideas of solutions to these problems and would love to hear others comments on the solutions or additional ideas to our current dwindling economic status.

PROBLEM #1: Retailers are scaling back operations. SOLUTION: The way to stop the scaling back and loss of jobs is for consumers to support local retailers by buying products. Local retailers are going to have to drop their markup to make things seem more affordable to those of us that are now paying $50-$100 to fill up our tanks. If retailers want to survive then they are going to have to put their products online for purchase. This may not be possible for all retailers but those that aren't able to figure out a way to do so may just see their businesses dwindle down to what they started with.

PROBLEM #2: Fire Employees or layoff of employees. SOLUTION: Companies have a responsibility to their employees. Although in the state of California, you are considered "at-will" and can be fired without cause. I believe that ethically, a company should find another way to keep that employee hired and paid. Whether it is through retraining for another department, etc. the employee has spent his/her years slaving for the company for what usually amounts to slaves wages. The managers should look into other ways to keep their company afloat and to keep their employees. We have enough unemployed people in this country, we don't need to open up the floodgates and have a crisis on our hands. If the industry the company is in isn't providing the financial backing that the company needs to keep afloat then it is time for the company to start looking at other avenues. There are many people out there who are ready to strike out on their own but need the financial backing, these companies should look for these people, hire them as consultants and if all works out, give them a position in charge of that service.

PROBLEM #3: Move operations overseas. SOLUTION: Without turning this into political diatribe, I believe that this year is going to be the year that the democrats need to be elected into the white house. We need a president, Barrack Obama fits the bill, that is willing to take away the red tape and reduce financial hardships that have caused plants, factories and ultimately jobs to move overseas. We need to figure out a way to create the infrastructure that made our country great many years ago and makes it still great today! We need to bring the jobs back to our country, bring the plants back to our country and ultimately bring the products back to our country. Let's make "Made in America" mean what it used to mean to my grandfather who, still to this day will not buy anything foreign!

PROBLEM #4: Buying inferior products from foreign countries SOLUTION: We need to be more stringent in our acceptance of foreign products in America. While I love my Toyota's, Hyundai's and Honda's, I would love to see American factory workers who lost their jobs, get their jobs back. I would love to see the government release restrictions on these big businesses who provide jobs for the American people. Ultimately, there is a hatred of wealthy people in this country and I would love to see people finally realize that wealthy is what everyone should be. Money is not the root of all evil, tyrants are! Whatever happened to a penny saved is a penny earned? While I believe there are some industries who need governmental regulation, I believe in a free market and the fact that you are only as wealthy as you make yourself.

If we were to provide solutions to our problems with the end goal being that we want to bring jobs, products and integrity to "Made in America" then I believe that the next four years will turn around from where we are now. If not, then we are in for a long one so buckle your seatbelts!

I give permission to anyone who would like to repost this on their blog, website, etc. That goes for any of my blogs. Have a wonderful day and I wish you nothing but the best in all your endeavors!

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