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Old 04-16-2014, 04:33 PM
1,714 posts, read 3,141,429 times
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Originally Posted by spicymeatball View Post
The decline of Sears/Penney over the past 30 years or so mirrors the fall of the middle class.

I think it mostly has to do with the rise of Target, Walmart, and Amazon. There are also many more clothing stores than before, like H&M, Forever 21, GAP, Banana Repubic, etc. Then there are also stores like IKEA and Home Depot getting their shares too. The middle class is just purchasing goods elsewhere nowadays instead of relying on oldschool department stores.
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Old 04-16-2014, 04:35 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 25 days ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,017 posts, read 102,674,652 times
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Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
Is it that Sears & JCPenney dying will sound another couple of death bells for malls... or is it that the gradual death of currently-moribund malls is bringing down Sears & JCPenney?

Honestly, I find no reason to shop at Sears or JCPenney. I don't like Wal-Mart but they generally carry the same stuff for better prices. I've been doing a good bit of shopping at K-Mart recently but that's only because my new home town has a K-Mart and no other department store. I'll seek out a Wal-Mart. I won't seek out a Sears. When I think of Sears & JCPenney, I think of "overpriced stores that require me to deal with a mall". I hate malls. The mall is so 1996, when I needed a place to go for a date. "Hey, ya wanna go to the mall on Friday?" When your date shares your last name and wears the ring you put on her finger, there's no reason to go to the mall unless it's the only place where you can find a specialty store you need. Similarly, there's no good reason to go to Sears or JCPenney. That 48" TV is for sale at Wal-Mart for 15% less. No, I don't want your stupid rewards program - just drop your prices like Wal-Mart does... or sell some better-quality stuff so that you're not just an overpriced Wal-Mart. I'd seek out places like Sears if they did a better job of stocking things I really want to buy, such as American-made goods... but none of these places ever do.

So what'll happen to malls if Sears and JCPenney go belly-up? They'll probably die. However, it seems an inevitable symbiotic death. If Sears & JCPenney die, it's probably because the malls were dying. If the malls die, it's probably because Sears & JCPenney were dying.

Of course, I can always hold out for every shopping mall to replace its dead Sears and/or JCPenney with a COOL anchor store like Guitar Center, Cabela's, Gander Mountain, Bass Pro Shops, Tractor Supply, Camping World, etc. That'd bring me back into mall territory.
My spouse swears by Sears tools.

I don't recall ever going on a date to the mall, or to any kind of shopping, either. Maybe to a restaurant that was in a downtown and then walking around later, but not with intent to buy!
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:31 PM
Location: Northern Maine
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"I think it mostly has to do with the rise of Target, Walmart, and Amazon."

Bingo, but spicymeatball is on the right track too. The middle class has been under attack for decades. Wages and salaries comprise the smallest portion of gross national product in 60 years. That's 1954 when Eisenhower was president. He helped the economy recover after the Korean War.

Amazon and the other on-line retailers are carving ever bigger market share. Target and WalMart sell cheap stuff to low and middle income buyers. That said, the day of the $49.95 microwave oven will very soon be over. You see, Red China can't make and ship it for that price. Their goal was to provide products at lower cost than American plants can produce the same product. They know that Americans have no product loyalty. American plants closed. Red China controls our markets.

Some here may remember the huge oil price increase in 1974. Here's the short story. Saudi Arabia wanted us to give them jet fighters. Henry Kissinger told the Saudis that we could not do that. Congress would not allow it because it would displease Israel and Israel's supporters here. Kissinger told the Saudis to just raise the price of oil from $3 a barrel to $30 a barrel. Then they would have plenty of money to buy all the fighters they wanted.

For all intents and purposes, Henry Kissinger and his handlers created OPEC. The rest is history. The effect on American industry and the American middle class was enormous. Industry faced large cost increases. They could not cut employee wages so they simply left to stay in business. Consumers had less to spend, but target and WalMart need to be nervous because the next lower tier is garnering a bigger share of the market which means that WalMart and Target's total market share is decreasing. The new Sears is Harbor tool.The new WalMart is Dollar General or The Dollar Store. There are lots of smaller chains hawking Red Chinese products.

Meanwhile, Red China is building cities and plants in Africa where labor is cheaper than in China.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
If the market for a midpriced department store still exists in a community, another chain will come in and fill it, if not then it's the demographic changes that killed it and that can't be helped. If those companies go under, I could see some nimble, foreign chains with a fresher face entering the market to try and fill the vacuum, like Simons or Carrefour.

I think Carrefour learned their lesson in the US market when they opened their first store in a new freestanding building in suburban Baltimore about 20 or 25 years ago, and closed it after a short period of time.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:52 PM
Location: 3rd rock from a nearby star
468 posts, read 581,275 times
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Originally Posted by the city View Post
Do we really think that JcPenney's and Sear's are going to hold on for much longer?
I don't shop at malls, Sears or JCP. If Sears, JCP and all my local malls went under, my only concern would be increased property tax.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
Anyone remember Caldor?

I remember Caldor, also Ames, Clover, and Murphy Mart.

I even remember Bambergers, Sterns, B Altman, Alexanders, Orbachs, Arnold Constable, Bonwit Teller, Franklin Simon, Wanamakers and Strawbridges. The 1970s and 1980s were really tough on nice department stores. I never thought I would be old enough to long for the good old days. Most Macy's stores today are trash compared to what they were in the past.

Sears will go before JC Penney. Penney was profitable and in good shape before the hedge funders put Ron Johnson in there to "revitalize" it. He ruined it and now it is on its way back under the old manager.

Last edited by james777; 04-16-2014 at 07:32 PM..
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:23 PM
3,514 posts, read 4,020,477 times
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Originally Posted by texdav View Post
JC Penny's and Sear's just are dying because of they basically never changed. The same thing happened to downtown areas all across the country. Its now effecting malls because now days people do not want to spend a Saturday walking around to buy one item like in the past. Its also why online shopping is becoming more popular. Now days window shopping is hardly a thing that people do for entertainment like the past. Its not a lack of money has just look at explosion of eating places .In past few middle class family eat out on any regular basis. Their buying happens often involved saving for a house;or vacation. In 60's a side by side refrigerator cost like 1200 dollars ;so it required saving since that was a sold middle income months salary. I live in more rural area and hardly ever go to urban area to shop as all the best shopping is outside near burbs in most places.
Going to have to disagree with the point, at least for JCP. They are dying because they had way too much change.

They were doing ok before they recruited Ron Johnson to become their CEO. I still think he had a good plan, but the execution was awful. To being with, way too much money was spent on new fixtures for many of the JCP stores (financed, surely, by either a lot of debt or their entire cash reserve). That, paired with a poor marketing campaign and poor execution, is what led to their mess.

Sears, I wouldn't be as worried. They hold quite a bit of decent real estate they can sell off, since they own most of their store buildings. They also have a decent e-commerce platform with Shop Your Way, even though few know about it (link: Sears ShopYourWay: Get Online Deals on Appliances, Clothing and More | ShopYourWay )

And Sears' legacy is not rooted in stores anyways. Their strength was always the catalog. And when you think about it, catalog sales are better now than they ever were in the past - the platform just moved online. So one day, if Eddie Lampert ever decides to let someone else lead Sears, they would be nuts if they didn't immediately abandon their store platform altogether and go entirely e-commerce IMO.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:24 PM
9,520 posts, read 14,854,178 times
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
Anyone remember Caldor?
Yes. No loss, really. They were like a crappier K-Mart.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:53 PM
Location: Columbus, OH
381 posts, read 510,418 times
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I don't do a ton of mall shopping, but I find JCPenney has decent prices for most items. Their selection could be improved, however. About five years ago, I purchased a fantastic pair of Stafford shoes for work and they held up really well, even better than a pair of expensive Brooks Brothers shoes. Of course, they no longer sell much in the way of Stafford shoes anymore, which is too bad because I would have purchased another pair of shoes from them.

JCPenney always seems to be packed when they have a sale, at least here in Columbus, Ohio.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:36 PM
Location: Philaburbia
32,403 posts, read 59,899,964 times
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Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Sears and Penney's used to be all catalog sales. It was sort of like the internet stores of today. You didn't have to go downtown.
Plenty of downtowns - even in small cities - had a JC Penney store; I walked into one in Cambridge, Ohio, as late as the mid-90s. No doubt it's gone now. They were much smaller than any mall stores, but they were everywhere, just like Woolworth, Kresge and G.C. Murphy.

Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
My spouse swears by Sears tools.
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