The government issued their monthly retail sales this past week and four of the biggest department store chains in the country announced their quarterly results. The year over year retail sales increase of 2.4% is pitifully low in an economy that is supposedly in its sixth year of economic growth with a reported unemployment rate of only 5.3%. If all of these jobs have been created, why aren’t retail sales booming?

The year to date numbers are even worse than the year over year numbers. With consumer spending accounting for 70% of our GDP and real inflation running north of 5%, it’s pretty clear most Americans are experiencing a recession, despite the propaganda data circulated by the government and Fed. The only people not experiencing a recession are corporate executives enriching themselves through stock buybacks, Wall Street bankers using free Fed Bucks while rigging the the markets in their favor, politicians and government bureaucrats reaping their bribes from billionaire oligarchs, and the media toadies who dispense the Deep State approved propaganda to keep the ignorant masses dazed, confused, and endlessly distracted by Cecil the Lion, Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, Ferguson, and blood coming out of whatever.

You won’t hear CNBC, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal or any corporate mainstream media outlet reference the fact retail sales growth is at the exact same levels as when recession hit in 2008 and 2001. Their job is to regurgitate the message of economic recovery and confidence in the future, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Retail sales are actually far worse than the 2.4% reported number. Excluding the subprime debt fueled auto sales, retail sales only grew by 1.3% in the last year. The automakers are practically giving vehicles away as their lots are stuffed with inventory. The length of auto loans and the average amount of auto loans are now at all-time highs. The percentage of subprime auto loans is surging to record levels, as defaults begin to rise. The percentage of vehicles being leased is also at an all-time high. To call these “auto sales” strains credibility. These people are either perpetually renting their vehicles or just driving them until the repo man shows up.

The relatively strong year over year furniture sales is also driven by the fact that you can finance the purchase at 0% interest for seven years. All is well for the Ally Financial, GE Capital and the myriad of fly by night subprime lenders until the recession arrives, unemployment soars, and defaults skyrocket. Then their bloated debt ridden balance sheets will explode in an avalanche of defaults. That’s when they insist on another taxpayer bailout to “save the financial system”.

The year over year crash in oil prices was supposed to result in a huge spending splurge by the masses, according to the media talking heads. You don’t hear much about that storyline anymore. The talking heads are now worried that oil prices are too low. I guess the tens of thousands of layoffs in the oil industry and the obliteration of the Wall Street financed shale oil fraud storyline is offsetting the $10 per week in gasoline savings for the average driver.

At least restaurant and bar sales remain strong. It seems Americans have decided to eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow they die. I do believe there is some truth to that saying in today’s world. I think people are drowning their sorrows by drinking and eating. They’ve drastically reduced buying stuff they don’t need with money they don’t have. Spending their gas savings at a restaurant or bar is still doable.

With real median household income at 1989 levels, real unemployment north of 15%, a massive level of under-employment, young people unable to buy a home – saddled with $1 trillion of student loan debt, middle aged parents struggling to take care of their aging parents and struggling children, and Boomers who never saved for their retirement, the mood of the country is decidedly dark and getting darker by the day. The rise of Trump and Sanders in the polls is an indication of this dissatisfaction with the existing social order.

The part of the retail report flashing red is the sales of General Merchandise stores, and particularly department stores. This category includes the likes of Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, Sears, Macy’s, Kohls, and JC Penney. General merchandise sales fell 0.5% in July, with Department store sales dropping by 0.8%. Sales at these behemoth retailers have barely budged in the last year, with overall sales up a dreadful 0.3%. The dying department stores have seen their sales plummet by 2.7%. The talk of a retail revival is dead on arrival. Wal-Mart and Target muddle on with lackluster results, while JC Penney and Sears continue their Bataan Death March towards the retail graveyard.

The false narrative of economic recovery can be blown to smithereens by the historical data on the Census Bureau website. Their time series data goes back to 1992. GDP has supposedly risen by 22% since 2007. General merchandise sales were $48.4 billion in July 2007. They were $56.1 billion in July 2015. That’s a 15.9% increase in eight years. Even the manipulated and massaged BLS CPI figure has increased 14.5% over this same time frame. That means that REAL retail sales at the nation’s biggest retailers has been virtually flat for the last eight years. Does that happen during an economic recovery?

The department store data is almost beyond comprehension. July department store sales were the lowest in the history of the data series. Sales of $13.8 billion were 22% below the July 2007 level of $17.6 billion. They were 28% below the peak level of $19.2 billion in 1999. Real department store sales are 36.5% BELOW where they were in 2007, and Wall Street shysters have had buy ratings on these stocks the whole way down. These worthless hucksters remove the buy rating the day before these dinosaur department stores declare bankruptcy. Excluding the debt driven auto sales, real retail sales are flat with 2008 levels.

The data from the Census Bureau has been more than confirmed by the absolutely atrocious financial results reported by Macy’s, Kohls, Sears and J.C. Penney. Retailers do not report results this poor during economic recoveries. The results clearly point to an ongoing recession for the middle and lower classes who do the majority of working and spending in this country. The rich continue to spend their stock market winnings at exclusive boutiques and high end retailers like Nordstrom, but the average American is being sucked into the abyss by rising food prices, rent, home prices, tuition, and the Obamacare driven health insurance and medical costs. With declining real wages, they have less and less disposable income to spend buying cheap Chinese crap at their local mall department stores.

Here is a glimpse into the results of department store dinosaurs headed towards extinction:


  • Overall sales fell 2.6%, while comparable store sales fell by 2.1%, as Macy’s continues to close under-performing stores. News flash: there are many more stores to close.
  • Profits crashed by 25.7% as gross margins declined and expenses rose.
  • Cash flow from operations has declined by a staggering 46% in the first six months of this year.
  • The bozos running this sinking retailer have mind bogglingly burned through $787 million of cash, while adding $452 million in long term debt to buyback their own stock. Executive compensation is stock based, so wasting close to $1.6 billion in the last year as sales and profits fall, is considered prudent management by the CEO.
  • Despite falling sales, the management of this sinking ship have increased inventory by $200 million in the last year. This bodes well for margins in the second half of the year.
  • The long-term future for this retailer gets bleaker by the day as their long-term debt, pension liabilities, and other long term obligations total $10.4 billion, while their declining stockholder’s equity totals $4.8 billion.
  • To show you how far Macy’s has come in the last nine years you just need to compare their results from the 2nd quarter of 2006 to today. They registered sales of $6.0 billion versus $6.1 billion today. On a real, inflation adjusted basis, their sales have fallen by 16% over the nine year period. They had profits of $317 million in 2006, 46% more than the $217 million in the 2nd quarter of 2015. They had $13.6 billion of equity and $8.2 billion of long-term debt.
  • And now for the best part. Despite generating 46% less income than they did 9 years ago, Macy’s stock sits at $63 per share, while it traded at $36 per share in 2006. A company with declining revenue, declining profits and a bleak future should not be sporting a PE ratio of 16. When this recession really takes hold, their 2009 price level of $9 per share will be challenged on its way to Radio Shack land – $0 per share.


  • Overall sales were up a pathetic 0.6% after last year’s 2nd quarter sales were lower than 2013. Comp store sales were up only 0.1% after being down 1.3% the previous year.
  • Profits fell precipitously by a mere 44% versus the prior year, down by $102 million. Margins fell while expenses rose.
  • In the lemming like behavior of corporate CEOs across the land, this struggling retailer thought it was a brilliant idea to go $330 billion further into debt, while buying back $543 million of stock in the first six months.
  • While sales are essentially flat, the executives of this company ratcheted up their inventory levels by 9% in the last year. Flat sales growth and surging inventory levels leads to plunging margins and profits. I guess that’s why I got a 30% off everything coupon in the mail last week.
  • Cash from operations has crashed by 52% in the first six months. You would think prudent executives would be using a half a billion of cash to buy stock and boost their compensation packages.
  • Another comparison to yesteryear provides some perspective on how well Kohl’s is performing. During the 2nd quarter of 2007 they generated $3.6 billion of sales and $269 million of profits. Their overall sales are up 19% (3% on a real basis) even though they have increased their store base by 38%. Profits in 2015 were 52% lower than 2007.
  • Sales per store is 14% lower today than it was in 2007. And even more worrisome for their long term survival, inventory levels are up 59% compared to the 19% increase in sales.
  • Again, the stock price peaked in 2007 at $76 and earlier this year reached a new all-time high of $79. Despite deteriorating financial conditions, poor management, plunging cash levels, and nothing on the horizon to portend a turnaround, the stock trades at a PE ratio of 13.


  • Sears hasn’t reported their 2nd quarter results yet, but pre-announced that same store sales crashed by 10.6% versus last year. They are truly dead retailer walking, as Eddie Lampert’s real estate maneuvers attempt to hide the coming bankruptcy from unsuspecting investors is nothing but smoke and mirrors perpetuated by Eddie and his Wall Street shyster bankers. Excluding his desperate real estate schemes, they will lose another $300 million.
  • In the last four years, during an economic recovery, Sears has seen their sales crater from $43 billion to $31 billion, and still falling. They have managed to lose $7.4 billion in just over four years and their stock still trades at $25 per share – proving there is a sucker born every minute.
  • They continue to close hundreds of stores and still can’t stop the hemorrhaging. The decade of using financial gimmicks rather than investing in his stores  is coming home to roost for Eddie “the next Warren Buffett” Lampert. Of course, he will arrange matters in a way where he wins, while the stockholders lose when the bankruptcy papers are filed.
  • The balance sheet is a disaster. They have generated a Negative cash flow from operations of $1.4 billion in the last twelve months. They have burned through $556 million of cash. They have $8.4 billion of long-term debt and other liabilities, with equity of NEGATIVE $1.2 billion.
  • Sears may be the worst run business in America, and its chances of going bankrupt are 100%, but the Wall Street hype machine has its stock price at $25 per share, 20% higher than it was in late 2008. For some perspective, Sears’ 2nd quarter 2008 revenues totaled $11.8 billion and they made a $65 million profit. Sales in the 2nd quarter of 2015 will be approximately $6 billion with a loss of at least $300 million. Of course their stock should be higher.

J.C. Penney

  •  I found it humorous to see the Wall Street hucksters and their mainstream media mouthpieces cheering on the J.C. Penney 2nd quarter results as “better than expected” and proof they have turned the corner. Their overall sales went up by 2.7% and comp store sales went up by 4.1%, as they continue to close stores. For some perspective on this tremendous sales gain to $2.9 billion, their sales in the 2nd quarter of 2009 were $3.9 billion. When your sales are still 26% below where they were six years ago, maybe you shouldn’t be crowing too much.
  • It seems Wall Street and the MSM didn’t really want to focus on the only thing that matters – profits. They lost another $138 million and have racked up $305 million of losses so far this year. They have lost money for 13 consecutive quarters. That is no easy feat. They have managed to lose $3.6 billion in the last four and a half years, while driving their annual sales from $18 billion to $12 billion.
  • Their balance sheet isn’t as horrific as Sears’, but it is nothing to write home about. They have $6.2 billion of long-term debt and other liabilities, supported by a mere $1.6 billion of equity. Back in 2011 they had $5.5 billion of equity to support $4.9 billion of long term liabilities. The deterioration of this once proud retailer is clear to anyone with two eyes and a brain. So that eliminates all CNBC pundits and guests.
  • Wall Street pumped the stock 5% higher on Friday to celebrate their $138 million loss. A company that is on track to lose $500 million has seen its stock price rise 32% this year on hopes and dreams. Wall Street has had buy ratings on this stock from its peak of $82 per share in 2007 on its 90% downward path to its current price. I’m sure they’re right this time.

The truly disturbing revelation from the Census Bureau data and the terrible financial results being reported by some of the biggest retailers in the world is that it is occurring with unemployment at 5.3%, the economy in the sixth year of a recovery, and a Fed who has pumped $3 trillion into the banking system while still keeping interest rates at 0%. What happens when we roll back into the next official recession, unemployment soars, and consumers really stop spending?

What is revealed when you look under the hood of this economic recovery is that it is a complete and utter fraud. The recovery is nothing but smoke and mirrors, buoyed by subprime auto debt, really subprime student loan debt, corporate stock buybacks, and Fed financed bubbles in stocks, real estate, and bonds. The four retailers listed above are nothing but zombies, kept alive by the Fed’s ZIRP and QE, as they stumble towards their ultimate deaths. The coming recession will be the knife through their skulls, putting them out of their misery.

“Retail chains are a fundamentally implausible economic structure if there’s a viable alternative. You combine the fixed cost of real estate with inventory, and it puts every retailer in a highly leveraged position. Few can survive a decline of 20 to 30 percent in revenues. It just doesn’t make any sense for all this stuff to sit on shelves.”

Marc Andreessen


  1. There is J.C. Penny, Kohls and Sears then there is Sak’s Fifth Ave, Nordstrom’s and Nieman Marcus I suppose. While I don’t buy Burberry, Louis Vuitton or Brioni brand stuff, it would be interesting to see how the high end apparel stores are doing.

    While the old mall around here is dying, they put up a new one that feature Saks , Nordstrom’s and a Capital Grille steakhouse. Maserati has a local dealership nearby too. If I had trusted in Ben Bernanke
    and the Fed I might have even bought one instead of a Mazda. Instead I asked my financial advisor to just get me 3% and I’ll sleep better at night but even 3% seems risky today.

  2. I just buy gold and silver, put it in the safe, and will later have an unfortunate boating accident losing the precious metals.

  3. Thanks Admin. Inflation plus population expansion are far in excess of sales growth. Be we iz in a recovery!

    Stupid knows no bounds.

  4. In my town there is a shopping center with J.C. Penney, Marshall’s, Kohl’s, Target, and Dress Barn. In a burst of confidence surely generated by too much drought-related sunshine, the new addition to the mall has just opened and we now also have Nordstrom Rack, T.J. Maxx, Ross, Old Navy, and Gap and Banana Republic outlet stores. I am interested to see how this will work out.

  5. When was the “Summer of Recovery” ?? Five years ago? TBP is behind times. The government says everything is great but we still have work to do. Same line every month for the last 5 years.

  6. These retailers are probably going the way of on-line purchasing. In the long run they need less staff, no middle man, and less bills to pay! Personally, I find it far easier to shop on-line!

  7. Excellent analysis, as always, extra brilliant bits hidden in there this time as well-

    “and blood coming out of whatever.” priceless.

    Big problem with this kind of data is that the vast majority of Americans simply do not understand what it means (recall the failure of the 1/3 pound burger to unseat the McDonald’s 1/4 pounder because people thought the 4 was bigger than the 3 therefore the guys selling the 1/3 pounder were ripping you off?)

    It’s like the periodic table to most people- percentages, earnings, profits, P/E- those are just confusing wordy things. NPR is the best example I can think of at dumbing down the economic news of the day by playing a snippet of either “We’re in the Money” or “Stormy Weather” before reading the DJIA for the day- and NPR listeners represent the intelligentsia of modern America compared to FOX or MSNBC viewers. It would be desperately sad if it weren’t kind of funny.

    Let me give you my view from the sticks of New England. We moved right at the time of the ’08 collapse. I thought for sure that the implosion was unstoppable. Driving the last load of our stuff up here on the day the Dow dropped 777 points was exhilarating. At that time the area around us had several of the store types you mentioned a Sears, a massive Lowes under construction a quarter of a mile from the Home Depot, a Blockbuster, Staples, etc.

    Fast forward 7 years and all of them are gone. The Sears even abandoned their delivery truck in the parking lot when they departed and it sits there to this day, tires flattened, graffiti on it, windshield caved in now, like something from a war torn area in Bosnia. The Blockbuster put a tarp over their sign instead of taking it down and now it’s shredded to hell and kids have stoned it until there are more holes than sign. Everywhere there are half to three quarters empty mini-malls, vacancy signs, abandoned retail stores with almost nothing replacing what has left. The only new commercial construction has been a couple of gas stations- this is an area of forty or fifty square miles from where we live. Our state has no real urban areas with the exception of the Capitol and a sister city that last saw an economic boom when they were turning out wool uniforms for the Army of the Potomac. The biggest changes we’ve witnessed are the following-

    HUGE influx of non-assimilated refugee types from places like Bhutan, Senegal, Syria, Cambodia, all wearing their traditional garb as they slowly wander back and forth between government buildings and subsidized housing, their woman following a respectful thirty feet behind with their covered heads downcast. And lots and lots of brand new police cruisers that always seem to be rushing full speed with lights flashing to wherever these refugees dwell. Oh, and graffiti which when we first arrived was noticeably absent. There is also an explosion- if the news can be believed- of heroin deaths, and massive drug busts involving heroin.

    The brand new Lowes that spent God knows how many millions to build a stone’s throw from the Home Depot went belly up in less than a year but has since been replaced with a Runnings Store which, like the other new retailer Tractor Supply, always seems to be busy and well stocked (both cater to homesteaders/gardeners/farmers/ranchers/do-it-your-selfers).

    I have noticed that any service type business has shifted to a pay up front type policy with big signs on desks telling you that money is expected either at the conclusion of your visit or even upfront- the local vet is an example I noticed where you pay before they even treat your animal. Lots of aggressive style upselling with costly markup type items, increasingly poor service at restaurants by increasingly larger and more tattooed and pierced servers with surly attitudes and little or no training with the requisite hike in cost of 75-100% over five years ago.

    Two anecdotes:

    I needed white athletic socks- most of the ones I had left were either worn out or my oldest son took the best with him when he moved out. My wife brought home a pack when she went to the Capitol to pay taxes. I opened the pack and pulled out a sock to put on and had difficulty getting it on my foot. When I examined closely it turned out I was trying to pull on a pair rather than an individual sock. The thickness of the sock was so thin it seemed like one rather than two. The first pair developed holes at the toe within a month. Crap. Major manufacturer, same style and type as I have always worn, twice the cost of the last ones I bought.

    A family we know lost their business and declared bankruptcy- lost their house, their vehicles, everything. Very sad story, really nice people, hard workers, etc. last week the husband bought a brand new Ford F-350 fully loaded with every type attachment and add-on. They just bought a house as well. Less than a year since bankruptcy. I have no idea how they were able to swing it, I’d never ask, but I can see what they have and it makes me wonder what kind of risks are being taken by banks right now and how that will play out as things decline.

    I’m grateful that we no longer are in the buying stage of our lives and we’re able to feed ourselves, repair or make do, can trade for services and goods and are healthy enough not to require medical care because in virtually all of these areas the service and product are clearly inferior with the cost having in most cases doubled.

    In conclusion, drug sales and spray paint up 5%! Government assistance to immigrant populations up 50%! Farm and garden type stores up 100%. Everything else either down or closed already.

  8. Great retail analysis as usual Admin. It will be interesting to see how the back to school sales go this year, it used to be a very profitable sales period for us in the 1980’s at Jordan Marsh where I was a manager, fresh out of college. I love reading your detailed analysis because it shines a bright light in the rotting insides of this supposed recovery. We are so over retailed it amazes me how many of the companies stay in business as long as they do. As for me and my daughter we will continue to shop at Savers second hand store. Recently purchased a practically new pair of Johnston and Murphy dress shoes (sole barely scuffed) worth well over $100 for $15. She bought 6 sweaters last fall for under $30. Being cheap does not mean you cannot dress well.

  9. Between Walmart and the internet I don’t see the need for any of those stores.

    I think I was in a Kmart within the last year, but I can’t remember the last time I was in any of those other stores.

  10. Let me give you a view from another perspective. I live in a government town. Right beside an army post that houses an infantry division. We are BOOMING. Flush with Fed printed government funds. Our local governments get “impact funds” so every form of local government have built palaces for themselves so that they can “govern” us accordingly. New retailers are flocking here.


    ……… because when all those Big Box fuckers disappear, SOMEONE can make a killing cuz people still need to buy shit.

    Who better than James Quinn, ex-Ikea Executive extraordinaire, to swoop in?

    Fuck ‘Murika coffee mugs, Shit Thrower clothing line, a special section for Village Idiots, Trufers Are Morans tee shirts …. … all paid for via the STM Credit Card

  12. The internet changed people’s buying habits permanently. Rent must be cut, utilities also, and taxes and even gas cost and maybe people will come back.

    Otherwise it will be a merry go round with land owners as one business after another closes down on them.

  13. Good retail read Admin.,

    Home Depot, Costco, Tractor Supply Co, Trader Joes, and the Internet round out my retail needs.
    Even Tractor Supply is sending out 10% discount coupons, so would guess they are not setting the world on fire.

  14. The big losers are China and the corptocracy……..why should we care? Let them sell all of that crap to the Chicom population where it is made, not my problem. Oh, that’s right they only make $5 per day.

    1. The MSM cackles about the tremendous performance of Home Depot.

      Some perspective is necessary.

      Home Depot 2006 annual sales – $90.8 billion

      Home Depot 2014 annual sales – $83.2 billion

      Down 8.4% from eight years ago.


      1. Some perspective on Best Buy financial results:

        Best Buy 2011 Sales – $49.7 billion
        Best Buy 2011 Profit – $1.5 billion

        Best Buy 2015 Sales – $40.3 billion
        Best Buy 2015 Profit – $1.2 billion

  15. As usual, thorough and educational analysis. Suggestion to Administrator and Burners: Keep the posts and responses as concise as possible.

  16. Many communities are wondering what they will do with derelict malls. Locally, the former regional mall is now down to a Sears store and, I suppose, a few hoodrat shoe and apparel stores. I don’t go near the place anymore. The whole mall sold for $25 million 18 months ago when Macy’s was still there.

    It occurs to me that with new 2000 student high schools costing $100 million or more school districts should consider buying derelict malls and converting them into community colleges or K-12 school complexes. They have the necessary square footage and parking, even food service and how hard would it be to convert a movie theaters into a lecture halls. They are centrally located with good road access and our local one even has a police substation located across the street!

  17. I agree with the vast majority of this analysis. Stores are struggling. There are too many, they are all pretty interchangeable and quality of goods and service is low. The masses don’t have the income for the nice things they just had to have ten years ago. They can order through the internet and not deal with traffic, screaming children, inconsiderate and unsightly citizens and non-citizens alike. At this point I think most retail is in extend and pretend mode; the managers are just trying to milk the cow long enough to pad their resumes, squeeze their stock options, and deploy their golden parachutes. Retail isn’t about making profit anymore. It’s about grifting investors for as long as possible.

    With regards to Americans eating and drinking their misery away, the eating part is true. Restaurants are packed. But the drinking thing is way down. I live in a tourist down and do some work in the nightlife industry. This is the summer that wasn’t. Most bars are empty during the week. On the weekend the bulk of patrons were either born in ’93 or ’94. Only the recently legal are coming out because the novelty has not worn off yet. The rest of the population is either broke or over it all. Probably both. They gasp at the thought of a $5 cover charge. Tipping is way down. Everyone wants a “special” or a freebie. They want to buy a 40 oz. at the bodega and bring it into a bar.

    Yes, the restaurants are doing well, but this has much to do with the obesity epidemic and half the shows on cable being about extreme eating. If you look closely you will notice most ordering water with the meals to save money.

    Americans have limited funds and they are using them accordingly. The old essentials were material goods, brand name clothing, a night out on the town. The new essentials are Netflix, Xbox, smartphone, and some sort of bacon entree.

  18. “…and some sort of bacon entree.”

    That there is laugh out loud funny, Tumbleweed!

    I agree with every word you wrote and love how you topped it off with bacon!

  19. I wonder how much of the downturn is due to general malaise. At some level, the middle class knows that life is changing dramatically and it will never go back to the way it was in 2005. Since worry about children’s futures, societal breakdown, and the iffy retirement benefits to come take up an inordinate amount of attention, the thought of recreating by shopping at the mall doesn’t seem so attractive. Better to belong to Amazon Prime and get same day delivery – or maybe two days’ – on many things you need. We’ve come full circle since Sears and Roebuck catalogues could provide everything a household required, including a kit for building the house.

    The Boomers demographic is well into retirement now and thus is cutting spending. The Millenials are broke and/or not nearly as interested in buying cars and houses and furniture as their parents and grandparents. The majority of immigrants have yet to join the middle class.

    It feels like spending money just isn’t as fun as it used to be, even if you have it to spend. Maybe it’s part of the darkening mood of the Fourth Turning.

  20. Sorry, this is not a very balanced article. You didn’t bother to mention online retailers, like Amazon, for instance: sales #s (2010) 34.2B (2011) 48.08B (2012) 61.09B (2013) 74.45B (2014) 88.99B. You also didn’t mention the big box stores, like Walmart, Costco, Home Depot or Lowe’s. Another thing you didn’t bother to mention was that while under roof malls are dying (who the hell can afford to heat them and cool them), butnopen air “Town Centers” concept malls, and gentrified downtowns (like Denver, Co) have been kicking butt.

  21. Rich

    Not balanced my ass. The national retail numbers include ALL retail. It includes on-line. Read for comprehension.

    The retailers I listed all have on-line sales in their figures.

    Please list Amazon’s profits. Oh you can’t. They continue to lose money year after year. I guess that is success in your book.

    Read my comment about Home Depot. Sales are 8.4% lower than they were 8 years ago.

    Wal-Mart’s results have sucked for years. Do some research before spouting nonsense.

  22. From time to time I wonder if Admin gets exhausted from predicting the doom of retail years in advance to no mainstream avail or credit. I predict when the illusion comes crashing down and the first time MSM shrills taut “Nobody could’ve seen this coming” he’ll have a heart attack, stroke, and brain aneurysm all at once.


  23. Zero Hedge has had this article at the top of their page all evening. It’s up to 72,000 reads so far.

    At this point it’s not even a prediction. The actual results confirm a downward spiral.

    Remember my never ending articles about Radio Shack. They are now in the retail graveyard.

    Sears will be next. Then JC Penney.

  24. Rich, are you residing in a mental institution? It’s ok I know people who can help. But, just don’t comment on current financial goings on. You sound like a retard.

  25. M brotherhood in w h in key positions.IMO goal to collapse the country.Epa now dumping toxic waste in US water supply.I would never trust vaccinations

  26. Admin- I think you should start writing about restaurants again. A little known tidbit of restaurants is their vending contracts are based on 18-month futures. A great way for them to benefit from inflation but I am predicting an all out collapse of all corporate restaurants based on slumping commodities and deflation. Considering nearly all use the same vending companies such as Sysco.

    1. Stephanie

      I’m unfamiliar with restaurant vending contracts. Wouldn’t they benefit from commodity deflation, as their input prices decline?

  27. Steph, he had better not get tired of it. Jim is just reading the fundamentals, they used to call that sort of thing economics. Criminality has made the charade go on far longer than I thought possible. Jim is as correct about retail and commercial property, as merideth whitney is about municipal bonds. It’s onl a matter of time. y

  28. The way vending contracts work (as told to me by a Denny’s owner I once worked for) is they buy contracts 18 months in advance for today’s food prices. This works great for them as long as inflation continues because they can inflate menu prices based off of food costs for 18 months ago. If food prices decline it will crash all of them.

  29. I certainly see the subprime vehicle explosion here in Washington State.
    The cook at the little Mexican fast-food place where I often dine drives a $40,000 pickup truck.
    Perhaps he paid cash.

  30. Ok admin, thanks. I’m jealous. It’s not really generous in SSS terms, but it’s the best I can do. The rest of the cheap bastards should pony up. Donate today you bastards. Admin has several hungry boys he has to feed and put through college. Put up some change you donkeys, you cheap bastards.

    Admin brown bags it each day. He can hardly afford to eat a damn cheesesteak in south philly once a month. He can only afford the west philly kind, decent but not stellar. That’s bullshit. Pony up up you bolshevik bastards.

  31. Admin works 60 hours a week at the university, 20 at home on the blog, and another 20 teaching his children. And another 20 writing articles. His free time is between 1 and 4 AM.

    Donate the damn money you cheap bastards. You like this blog, the best of its kind? Fork over the cash, you Bolshevik bastards.

    Llpoh exempted.
    Stucky exempted.
    T4C exempted.
    SSS exempted.
    HSF exempted.

    But, The rest of us must pay. Do it now.

  32. Quite the little cherry picker, aren’t you? You forgot to include this:


    “Sales for the first quarter increased 5.4 percent to $14.1 billion from $13.4 billion in the first quarter of 2014, and comparable sales for the quarter increased 5.2 percent. Comparable sales for the U.S. home improvement business increased 5.3 percent.

    “I am pleased that we executed well and delivered another strong quarter,” commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. “We generated comparable sales growth in all regions of the country and across all product categories, driving strong earnings per share growth. I would like to thank our employees for their dedication to serving customers.”

    Delivering on its commitment to return excess cash to shareholders, the company repurchased $1.0 billion of stock under its share repurchase program and paid $222 million in dividends in the first quarter”

    And this:

    Which proves that Amazon’s sales are booming, and the profits, that you either don’t (or refuse to) comprehend, are coming along nicely.

    And this:


    “Delivering a solid financial performance I’m encouraged that Walmart’s fiscal 2015 revenue grew by more than $9 billion to nearly $486 billion and earnings per share were $4.99, a nearly 3 percent increase from the prior year. But, we have higher expectations. Our priority is to run great stores, clubs and e-commerce everywhere we operate to grow the business. Walmart U.S. delivered net sales of $288 billion, a more than 3 percent increase, and improved its sales and operating income trends each consecutive quarter during the year.”

    Now who can’t comprehend shit?

    1. Rich

      Do some basic research and don’t read press releases, you moron.

      Yes profits are overrated. They only determine whether you stay in business over the long run. Jeez, you’re a rocket scientist.

      We have enough cut and past bullshit already. Try investigating the facts behind the numbers.

      Go back to 2007 and see Lowes and Wal-Mart results to see how much progress they’ve made in the last 8 years.

      I really should require an IQ test to weed out the intellectually inept like Richie boy.

  33. Nice job Richie rich boy. Can you please tell us from which mental institute you are spewing this bullshit? I have an uncle who can help you.

  34. Rich, when you have 137,000 reads and counting over on ZH, let us know. Just a day that ends in a Y for jim quinn. Knowhatimean?

  35. Just 3K shy of 150k now. Should reach 200k easily. Maintaining a 4.9 rating. Hit it outta da park with this one Admin. A ‘wake-up n smell the coffee for fucksake’ post that resonated with the peeps. Congrats.

  36. Wait, I meant for that comment to be applied to your “American Malls In Meltdown – The Economic Recovery Is Complete & Utter Fraud” post. So solly.

  37. Rich

    You quote the CEO of Lowe’s as proof that Lowe’s is doing great? What could be wrong with that? LOL

    “Delivering on its commitment to return excess cash to shareholders, the company repurchased $1.0 billion of stock …” ———— CEO’s statement

    What a crock of shit!! Buyback is a company moving cash from its left pocket to its right pocket. It reduces the firms’ investments or increases its borrowing … both of which reduce future earnings. So, it is of no real value to shareholders. However, it does increase diluted earnings per share …. giving the ILLUSION of earnings growth and that the company has met analysts’ earnings forecasts … i.e., a well run company.

    It’s all BULLSHIT and a fools game. The cash managers are using to buy back shares could have been put to much better use. One should probably RUN from companies who do this crap.

    1. Richie Boy

      Now listen closely. I’m going to teach you something. It requires math skills, so you might seek the help of a 3rd grader to explain it to you.

      Lowes sales in 2007 – $46.9 billion
      Lowes number of stores in 2007 – 1,385
      Lowes Sales per store in 2007 – $33.8 million

      Lowes sales in 2015 – $56.2 billion
      Lowes number of stores in 2015 – 1,840
      Lowes sales per store in 2015 – $30.5 million

      Now the math. Lowes stores are selling for 10% LESS than they were in 2007.

      More math. Inflation is up 14% since 2007. Therefore, Lowes REAL sales per store is down 24% since 2007.

      I know that probably hurt your pea brain, so make sure you think before responding. I look forward to kicking you in the balls again.

  38. Apparently, my idea regarding QUINN’S CHEAP ASS DEPARTMENT STORE is not being supported by the majority of TBP readers.

    Cheap bastards.

  39. Hahahahaha! I knew Rich was gonna get kicked in the nads.

    Archie – I appreciate the mention. But I am gonna keep donating now and then. Everyone should.

    Any place that puts up with my horseshit is worth the price of admission. That Admin keeps doing this is an act worthy of sainthood.

    Thank you, Admin, from the bottom of my tiny little black heart. You are the man.

  40. I haven’t been to a Kohl’s since an idiot cashier couldn’t figure out how to apply my $10 off coupon to a purchase, told me it was only ten bucks and made me so mad I went home and wrote such a scathing email that I got a phone call from Kohl’s HQ by that afternoon and told them I would never shop in their dive store again. It became a joke around my office when someone wore something I complimented and they told me it came from Kohl’s “but YOU can’t buy it!!!”

    My son is finishing up an internship as a professional engineering intern here in the beltway and that required a professional wardrobe. The only items I purchase new were socks and underwear. My husband took him to Payless for shoes. Haha.

    I scoured the thrift shops for new and almost new business casual slacks, khakis, shirts, polo shirts, etc. and he now has an awesome wardrobe. Many of the items I bought for $2 and $3 had tags on them from Sears, JCP and Kohls stores that were closing down and selling merchandise to thriftshop vendors en masse. Works for me and what my son doesn’t know has served us well. He got the same toy for three years straight until he remembered it at age three and said “Oh, good, I lost the one I got last year.”

    They paved the neighborhoods and little apartments and parks across from Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City to build a giant strip mall a few years ago. And then, the Air Force Base CLOSED the gate that fed that strip mall where all the restaurants were built, hoping to become the go to place for military lunches. LOL The place was packed initially, but before we left, there were lots of empty parking spaces almost always. I only went to the Kohls ONE TIME.

  41. Admin, you really need to see someone about that NPD problem. How can Lowe’s same store sales not be down when they are flooding the market with more Lowe’s stores every 30 miles or so? Their aggregate sales are up, and, consequently, people are spending more money at Lowe’s today, than they did yesterday. Gotta love that BH&G channel and all those traveling house flipping “seminars”, coming to a town near you soon.

    “Rocket scientist”, “pea brain”, “moron”; damn, if you had an original thought in your head, it would be lonely. Still, I am impressed with the group of confirmation biased “ditto-heads” you’ve got following this blog. They’ll probably never figure out that you prey upon the obvious. But who am I to knock it? After all, look at all the success Trump is having doing the same thing, on a much larger scale. He, of course, is far more entertaining. So tell me, Admin, what percentage of your followers do you think is intelligent vs broke-dick/ pissed-off?

    Since you refuse to notice, I’ll explain what’s happening to you (indulging in a little prey upon the obvious, myself). What we are witnessing is Business Darwinism. Instead of shopping for higher mark-up crap, in sticks and bricks malls, the hoi polloi now spends borrowed money online at Amazon, Ebay, etc, on $40,000 trucks (using subprime loans), on student loans, on Apple and Droid cell phones and minutes, on streaming, and on eating out, drinking out (and, in Colorado, on zoning out). Those without money spend their EBT cards at any Walmart they can reach by bus.

    America worships at the Church of I-Am-What-I-Have. This is a country in which people spend money they don’t have, on shit they don’t need, to impress other people they don’t like. America is not the same country it was when those shopping malls were built in the 1960s. The credit card has long since taken the place of lay-away financing. Well paying blue collar jobs are all but extinct, and our young choose to live in cyberspace. It’s called devolution. Acknowledge it and get used to it, because it ain’t gonna get any better.

    1. Rich

      I know you are desperately attempting to not look like an idiot by spewing as much gibberish as possible, but I’ll obliterate your latest bullshit about Lowes with some more facts.

      Lowes has virtually stopped building new stores because they were cannibalizing the shit out of themselves and reducing profitability. Back in 2007 they were opening 150 new stores per year. They opened 8 last year. They’ve only opened 91 stores in the last 5 years.

      They’ve stopped expansion because profit margins have declined.

      Lowes Profits as a % of Sales in 2007 – 6.62%
      Lowes Profits as a % of Sales in 2015 – 4.8%

      More math – That’s a 27.5% reduction in profit per sale.

      Here’s some more facts that will blow your little mind:

      Average ticket 2007 – $68.98
      Average ticket 2015 – $65.61

      So their average transaction is DOWN 5% in 8 years. In case you don’t understand inflation, their REAL average transaction is DOWN 19% in 8 years.

      Some more data Richie:

      Sales per square foot 2007 – $300
      Sales per square foot 2015 – $280

      Down 7% and Down 21% on an inflation adjusted basis.

      I’m sure you understand balance sheets, since you are a retail guru. How about these facts:

      2007 Long-term Debt – $4.4 billion
      2007 Equity – $15.7 billion
      2007 Debt to Equity Ratio – 22%

      2015 Long-term Debt – $11.4 billion
      2015 Equity – $10.0 billion
      2015 Debt to Equity Ratio – 53%

      Their balance sheet continues to deteriorate as they borrow money to buyback stock. If the retail business is so good, why would they be using their money to buy billions of their own stock and only build 8 new stores?

      I know this question is too hard for your pea brain to comprehend. I look forward to your six paragraph gibberish answer attempting to look like like you know anything about retail.

  42. As the Zero Hedgers say, when the Muppets don’t have jobs, they can’t shop. Besides, the average
    American has a closet full of clothes, shoes, etc. Ever see the never (seemingly) expanding self
    storage places? We already have lots of “stuff”. What we need are quality jobs. But TPTB are sending them all hither and yon via trade treaties. Unless you make things (like the USA used to), you can not have vibrant economy. We have too many slackers, government workers, and financial types, and not enough producers. One day it will all come crashing down and we’ve let the politicians lie to us and yet they still get reelected by hook or by crook (or is that crooked).

  43. “My son is finishing up an internship as a professional engineering intern here in the beltway and that required a professional wardrobe” ——- Maggie

    Please tell us how his first day at work went.

  44. “The Lowe’s store, located about a quarter mile from its main competitor, Home Depot, opened in May 2010 after spending multiple years and millions of dollars cleaning up contamination on the property. Lowe’s closed the store in November 2011, citing a weak economy that did not recover as expected from the recession. ”

    “The company closed one location nationwide in 2009, three in 2010 and, before Sunday’s closings, had closed seven so far in 2011.”


    – See more at:

    That’s the quote from the Lowes I mentioned above.

    1. Build a multi-million dollar store 1/4 mile from your competitor.

    2. Give it some time to develop a customer base, like 18 months, then fire everyone and sell what’s left for next to nothing.

    3. Sell it for 1/8th of the cost to build it.

    4. Cite “an economy that did not recover from the last recession” as the reason for closing despite the fact that your corporate brags that its getting better.

    5. Repeat.

    How can that not be a good business model?

  45. Admenstruater

    You ferget Dollar General:

    1950: 5 million in sales
    2002: 6 billion
    2014: 17 billion

    Me n Billy git our cigarrettes, frozen pizzas and canned dog food Billy Jr’s sloppy joes there. There ain’t as concerned as walmart about people with shit in their britches neither. I just love the place ter death.

  46. With unofficial employment at 23% and 50M people lining up at food banks, how in the hell can anyone call this a recovery?

    Confirmed global depression is more like it. Don’t tell the American public, they might demand action. Too bad the only thing their government does well is wage war. Hey, wait a minute…

  47. Admin – those debt to equity percentages look out. Your point is accurate, but the percents are off, seems to me.

  48. Not sure how his first day went, but I’ll let you know how his last day goes… Have been invited to the going away happy hour event at the local hangout. He has been asked to remain “temp on call” since some of his database work has been so helpful they feel they may want additional input from him over the coming months.

    I really am very proud of my son. And except for the snake, he would look good in that getup.

  49. In spite of my story being self-serving (bragging on my son), it was meant to show that most of the big retailers are dumping their merchandise to thrift stores, where people like myself who are savvy enough to realize it can buy their “quality” dry goods for pennies on the dollar.

    I have an acquaintance whose job is simply to call and schedule pickups of truckloads of items being purchased from final day going out of business sales or flea market types of events that are ending. I was really shocked to learn that was a “full time job” not only for her but for a whole office full of people like her. She said they get bonuses if they can get pickups after church bazaars because there are usually some high quality items donated to those events that sell well to vendors.

    Just think about that… someone knows that the U.S. retailers are in so much hot water that they set up a business to buy their merchandise when they are going out of business and then sell it to thrift stores. And, they can make enough of a profit to pay people to find going out of business sales, flea markets and other types of garage type sales where cheap items might be had by the truckload cheap.

    But our economy is booming.

  50. Empire State index in August tumbles to worst level since recession

    By Steve Goldstein

    Published: Aug 17, 2015 8:30 a.m. ET

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — A reading of New York-area manufacturing conditions tumbled in August to the worst reading since the recession, the New York Fed said Monday. The Empire State general business conditions index nosedived to a reading of negative 14.9, from positive 3.9 in July. The index, on a scale where any positive number indicates improving conditions, was far worse than the positive 4.5 forecast in a MarketWatch-compiled economist poll. The new-orders component sank to negative 15.7 from negative 3.5, and the shipments index sank to negative 13.8 from positive 7.9. Oddly, perhaps, the index for future business activity climbed seven points to 33.6.

    1. by Karl Denninger

      Here It Comes…. (China & Japan)

      So you think China’s market blowup is isolated eh? That’s what we heard about the Nasdaq blowup in 2000 too.

      TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s economy contracted at a 1.6 percent annual pace in the April-June quarter in the latest setback for the country’s “Abenomics” growth strategy.

      The gloomy preliminary growth data reported Monday was in line with expectations, and raises the likelihood the central bank may opt for fresh stimulus measures in coming months.

      Oh, and wages were down too.

      Remember that back in 2000 the tech market blew up in the early part of the year. It took quite a while before that filtered into the broader market and detonated the S&P 500.

      Likewise, in early 2007 the Asian market took a huge hit, and then in mid 2007 we had the two hedge funds and Bear Stearns in early 2008. It took a few months before the impact filtered through to the broader market.

      The same is likely to happen this time. It is not likely that China’s market blowup will instantly transmit itself to the United States, Japan and Europe — but it is extremely likely that it will eventually do so.

      You have been given plenty of warning and thus have no excuse if you get caught in what is very lilely coming some time in the next 6 to 12 months.

  51. “I know you are desperately attempting to not look like an idiot”. Well, at least one of us is making that attempt.

    Lowe’s has already built 1,875 stores. It had been targeting 30 stores a years, but now, having saturated the U.S. market, it is down to 10 a year. Even 10 year is too much. It is 39 miles from 5110 S. College Rd in Wilmington, NC, to the intersection of HWY 17/HWY 210 in Surf City, NC. Within that 39 miles there are four Lowe’s big box stores. Ten years ago there was one. There are also two Home Depot stores within that 39 mile area. Even the owners of big box stores should, at some time, recognize when the time to chase market shares is over. I’ve already seen this happen to another home improvement competitor, Fergson Plumbing, Lighting and Appliance. In fact but I recently liquidated the contents of one of their showrooms, at 5 cents on the dollar. And I’m now pretty sure that that’s where two fools met, me being the bigger fool. Guess I’ll just have to build some more rental houses.

    Now go ahead and refute some the the other “gibberish” in my last post. You wrote an article that insinuates that the consumer is not spending, because the consumer is not spending in department stores. My contention was that the consumer has been borrowing and spending elsewhere. And, while you admit that the consumer is spending in restaurants. I have still seen quite a few empty former restaurant buildings now housing consignment stores. So, while the consumers may not be shopping at department stores, you might be able to spot them at consignment stores, shabby chic emporiums, neighborhood “estate sales”, used tire stores, Advance Auto, used furniture auctions,, etc. While you are not spotting the consumers spending money at Amazon, Ebay and other online stores, they are still spending serious money there just the same.

    Retail is just changing along with the spending habits of consumers. That still doesn’t mean the consumer is not using two household incomes and heavily borrowed money in order to consume. I’m waiting for the subprime car loan bubble to break for a deal on my next newer used car.

    1. Rich

      Again, you ignore the facts. TOTAL Retail spending went up 1.3% in the last year, excluding the subprime financed autos.

      That includes on-line, restaurants, furniture stores, Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, and every retailer in the country.

      Inflation, according to the BLS is 2%. In reality it is north of 5%.

      Therefore, REAL retail spending in the country is FALLING. It is not growing.

      Keep giving me anecdotes. They don’t refute the facts.

  52. Rich

    You are destroying Admin with your logic and facts. And judging by the voting on your posts, it appears you are making many converts.

    Did you know Admin used to be a radio shock jock? No way he can keep up with you. Keep on keeping on.

  53. Here’s something most retailers probably don’t think about – roughly 55 million of their potential customers were aborted in the US since 1973 (and that’s just the rough estimate from the CDC). Think about all the US citizens that would be in various stages of life that would be buying houses, cars, clothes, furniture, insurance, food, toys, electronic gadgets, baby strollers/cribs, and other such goods that were murdered before they could grow up, get married, have kids of their own and buy all that stuff? Instead, we promote abortion and contraception and “marriage” that goes against nature and cannot result in procreation both in our own country and to other nations as well. We also import millions of people who don’t want to assimilate and depend on the productive class to fund their existence – but they do understand how to vote and will gladly push the button on the electronic voting machine for those who brought them into the land of free stuff.

  54. “Again, you ignore the facts. TOTAL Retail spending went up 1.3% in the last year, excluding the subprime financed autos”

    That’s like saying, other than that, Jerry Sandusky was a hell of a good football coach.

    “Near record high auto sales, rising prices on new vehicles and low interest rates have combined to help Americans take out almost a trillion dollars in auto loans.”

    Yeah, why bother to include a trillion dollars in debts because of record sales? C’mon Admin, a trillion here, a trillion there, and after awhile we might be looking at real money. Not to mention (and you sure as hell don’t mention it) a 2 trillion + US underground market that is continuing to grow. And you know those used tire stores, advertised estate sales, consignment stores, Craigslist sales, Air B&B rooms for rent, etc, who’s reporting accurate sales and taxes on that stuff? Dude, wake up and smell that skinny latte.

    1. Richie, Richie, Richie

      You never tire of being wrong. Even with the subprime goosed car rentals, total retail sales were only up 2.4% in the last year. Again, with real inflation north of 5% (unless you are stupid enough to believe the BLS numbers) real retail sales are FALLING.

      Now you are telling me that the $5 trillion of annual retail sales are not including $2 trillion of underground retailing. The desperation and pitiful display of idiocy from your latest comment is almost beyond comprehension.

      It’s a brilliant tactic when getting your ass kicked with facts. Make up some wild assed number off the top of your head in an attempt to make people think your smart, not dumb like everybody says.

      Your new name is Fredo

  55. I think what Rich is trying to convey is that as long as people make really poor decisions regarding sub prime loans handed out by banks who pay no interest on money created out of thin air by the Fed and businesses continue to pour increasing amounts of borrowed (stock) money into stores that earn declining sales and miniscule profits while either closing the stores they’ve just spent hundreds of millions on to expand into saturated markets with ever smaller returns on their remaindered goods that are already obsolete by the time the shipping containers arrive from China where all of our factories are, then things are actually quite rosy.

    It’s all in how you read between the lines.

    BTW, saw a great little Italian film called Human Capital. Awesome little window into the world we talk about here.

  56. “Now you are telling me that the $5 trillion of annual retail sales are not including $2 trillion of underground retailing.”

    Only because it’s true, but only to those who take the time to do the research. One of the best indicators of sales, is sales tax. Guess what, my solipsistic blogger, the underground economy ain’t paying no sales taxes. Do you have any real world experience? If so, please elucidate.

    And just what’s driving inflation? Why it just happens to be higher rents (along with higher taxes, utilities, healthcare, college tuition, and the financialization of autos). By the way, I just happen to be in the rental business. Not a bad business for a “pea brain” to be in right now. Yeah, we had a lot less rental inflation when people were squatting in their own homes and not making their PITI payments. There was even more money to spend out there in your above ground economy and my underground economy.

    Dude, you grab a few stats, and then make them your own fundamentalist religion. Surely you can find an ophthalmologist to cure your myopia. Get the cure, so that you can say, “Oh Lord, I can see at last. ”

    “Your new name is Fredo”

    And your name has been changed from Burning Man to Flaming Asshole. Capiche?

    1. Fredo

      Please enlighten us with your research on the $2 trillion of retail sales no one knows about. Where is this thorough research you speak of? Provide a link to your data.

      Your idiocy shines through again. Since sales taxes are not being paid on underground sales, that proves $2 trillion of underground sales exist? Yikes. You really are a rocket scientist.

      I know statistics and facts are inconvenient to story tellers and people who like to believe shit that ain’t true.

      As a Rental industry titan you evidently don’t travel the highways and byways of our suburban paradise observing decaying and half empty strip malls, power malls and regional malls. I guess you are busy in your fantasy underground economy that the government doesn’t know about, even though they tax everything they can get their hands on.

      Fredo really does fit, as you are getting more irritated by the minute by your own stupidity.

  57. Richie, isn’t nice that Admin allows morons like you to spew stupid on this site? Anywhere else, you’da been booted out of hand. Here, if you stay around long enough, you may actually learn something.

  58. Looks like Fredo has trouble with posting pictures too.

    I wonder how he gets through the day without accidentally killing himself.

    Don’t go near any sharp objects Fredo. I’m worried about you.

  59. Well, who KNEW that increasing the retail square footage from 4 sq ft per man, woman, and child in the U.S. in 1964… to 42 sq ft per consumer, could result in total saturation?

    And who could figure that dwindling resources, offshoring of our manufacturing, and the disappearance of “breadwinner” jobs to replace them with low-paying, part-time, or on-demand “contract” work could totally decimate the American consumer?

    As for the 40 million or so never born because of abortion, and the tens of millions more never born because of contraception…. if all these people had been born, where would they find the jobs to make the money to buy all the consumer drek that no one is buying anymore, anyway?

    As one poster on another blog commented, we are now up against a perfect Trifecta made of the off-shoring of our remaining manufacturing; increasing automation that is rendering evermore classes of workers redundant; and resource depletion. Which of these conditions would adding tens of millions more people to our population, abate or correct?

    We could be moving into a future in which no one with an I.Q. under 120, and anyone who does not possess advanced technical knowledge and skills, can hope for employment that pays wages above the poverty level, and in which there is such a superfluity of people available to perform “average” work that the pay for jobs requiring some education and skill, but which are not demanding of top tech skills, that wages will be driven down to bare subsistence levels. This is what your kids have to look forward to, and it makes me very glad that I have a whole lot more of my life behind me than in front of me.

  60. I think the bottom line is that everyone has had their fill of cheap Chinese shit. Whether it’s from Saks (which is now just a name) or Sears – it’s the same Chinese shit.

    IMO the two sectors that are going implode are retail and restaurants/coffee shops. At some point the Millennials are going to either wise up and stop buying $5 coffees or run out of mom/dads money.

  61. I know one Admin. There’s a strip mall at 20th and Thomas in Phoenix where no one speaks English. It has a hairdresser, a Laundromat, and a butcher. That’s at least 100 million right there!

  62. I have noticed the last 6 months or so that I am getting coupons from stores that did not really do that before like American Girl. I will also note that Neiman Marcus and similar are offering more rewards points opportunities and definitely claiming to have more sales. I’m not sure what that means, but I suspect stores that stores that cater to those with more disposable income are getting nervous. And there are a few like Restoration Hardware who seem downright desperate…

  63. The 30+ million immigrants also are contributing to retail’s demise. In addition to sending the bulk of their money back home to the parasite country, their main purchases are malt liquor, scratch off lottery tickets, ethnic food, prepaid cell phones, and lap dances. They live 15+ to a house so as not to pay more rent to Fredo. They definitely don’t stop by any of the 8 Home Depot/Lowe’s stores on their bus route in order to make improvements to the property.

  64. Stucky, when it comes to the world’s smoke and mirrors economy, I am a serious doom and gloomer. Until you came along, nobody has called me a “the-economy-is-great Trufer”. But I will cherish that, along with all the other new names I’ve been given on this site.

    Here are a few articles about the size of the underground economy: I don’t expect any of you true believers in government stats to read them, but I posted them anyway.

    1. Fredo


      I click your first article and it says the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you have been spouting. Did you even fucking read it?

      It says that the underground economy results in people getting paid under the table and then spending those dollars at retail stores.

      Jesus H Christ. Your underground economy is in the $5 trillion retail sales number.

      My god. It’s like debating with a shit eating retarded monkey.

      Can you provide more articles that prove I’m right?

      1. American Food Banks Struggle to Keep Up Amidst “Surprising” Demand

        Michael Krieger

        Food banks across the country are seeing a rising demand for free groceries despite the growing economy, leading some charities to reduce the amount of food they offer each family.

        U.S. food banks are expected to give away about 4 billion pounds of food this year, more than double the amount provided a decade ago, according to Feeding America, the nation’s primary food bank network. The group gave away 3.8 billion in 2013.

        While reliance on food banks exploded when the economy tanked in 2008, groups said demand continues to rise year after year, leaving them scrambling to find more food.

        Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Food Banks, who has been working in food charities since the 1980s, said that when earlier economic downturns ended, food demand declined, but not this time.

        From the AP article: Food Banks Struggle to Meet Surprising Demand

        It’s an economic recovery so robust, food bank demand has increased every single year during it.

        It’s an economic recovery so robust, people running food banks say they’ve never seen food bank demand increase during a recovering economy. Ever. Except this time.

        It’s a fraud. The entire thing. This recovery has been a mainstream media meme used to cover up what is really happening: oligarch theft.

        But don’t take it from me. From the AP:

        DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Food banks across the country are seeing a rising demand for free groceries despite the growing economy, leading some charities to reduce the amount of food they offer each family.

        U.S. food banks are expected to give away about 4 billion pounds of food this year, more than double the amount provided a decade ago, according to Feeding America, the nation’s primary food bank network. The group gave away 3.8 billion in 2013.

        While reliance on food banks exploded when the economy tanked in 2008, groups said demand continues to rise year after year, leaving them scrambling to find more food.

        “We get lines of people every day, starting at 6:30 in the morning,” said Sheila Moore, who oversees food distribution at The Storehouse, the largest pantry in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and one where food distribution has climbed 15 percent in the past year.

        James Ziliak, who founded the Center for Poverty Research at the University of Kentucky, said the increased demand is surprising since the economy is growing and unemployment has dropped from 10 percent during the recession to 5.3 percent last month.

        Yes, the increased demand is “surprising” if you get your economic news from the mainstream media, Wall Street analysts and pundits.

        The drop in food stamp rolls by nearly 2.5 million people from recession levels could be contributing to the food bank demand, he said, because people who no longer qualify for the government aid may still not earn enough to pay their bills.

        That’s an interesting angle.

        Feeding America spokesman Ross Fraser said a recent study by his organization estimated that 46 million people sought food assistance at least once in 2014.

        Feeding America, which coordinates large food donations for 199 food banks nationwide, has seen donations of food and money to the Chicago-based organization climb from $598 million in 2008 to $2.1 billion in 2014.

        So donations to food banks nearly quadrupled during the so-called “economic recovery,” yet they still can’t keep up. Got it.

        Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Food Banks, who has been working in food charities since the 1980s, said that when earlier economic downturns ended, food demand declined, but not this time.

        Perhaps because there’s no real recovery?

        In Fort Smith, Arkansas, the monthly food giveaways at a local park by the River Valley Regional Food Bank draw about 1,000 families.

        “When people are willing to stand in 100 degree weather for hours, that tells you something,” said Ken Kupchick, the food bank’s marketing director.

        So why is this happening? Because oligarchy.

  65. “Did you know Admin used to be a radio shock jock?”

    Stucky, you must really worship FA, or why else would you build up his resume like that?

  66. Around my parts Menards is the king of the home improvement warehouses. Their parking lot is seemingly packed every day, but they do have the best location and sell the shittiest shit of all the DIY big boxes at the lowest prices. They also have frozen pizzas in a deep freeze just like grandpa had on the farm at Menards. Nothing like a Jacks pizza to go along with my box of nails and flimsy pressboard shelving unit.

    Costco is the other big box retailer that is ALWAYS shit house packed. My wife has her eye on a $25,000 diamond ring there so they cast a wide net for selling their wares. The parking lot is like the used car lot at the BMW dealer. I like any store that sells red meat alongside tires and liquor so I’m a regular…for now.

    The regional mall down the road is adding a big ass Nordstrom and Macy’s just finished up a huge expansion and renovation. The literal back side of the mall has a Sears, but most people forget it’s even there. Have an old Craftsman socket that broke. Been meaning to take it in there for my free replacement but since I loathe the mall I bought a Chinese replacement at Lowes. Hope that helped goose their #’s.

    Will say that my friend who now owns 3 liquor stores is doing remarkably well. Might get to drive his new Porsche soon. The 2 year old model wasn’t cutting it anymore. And he pays cash.

  67. Menards is a real shit hole of a home improvement store. They’re big in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa.

    Menard has the joo mentaltiy. Every conceivable space in the store has product for sale – pizzas, diapers, shampoo, dog food, milk, nuts – they force you to walk by that shit in order to get to the real merchandise that you came for.

    They fooled me once. Advertised a 11% rebate. I fell for it – needed some building materials – what could go wrong? Well I mailed in my receipt – what I got back was a post card – it was for 11% – that could be applied to my next purchase!


  68. Dutchman – Menards screwed me on the rebate thing too. They have a better lumber selection but wading through the shit drives me crazy. Laugh how they put the employee break area right out on the sales floor and have it “open to the public” just to get some extra sales in the soda machine. Maybe Sears should give that a shot.

  69. “It says that the underground economy results in people getting paid under the table and then spending those dollars at retail stores.”

    Jeez, Honey, nothing I do is good enough for you. That article doesn’t say that there is $2 trillion in underground money going into retail outlets. It says some of the money is going into retail. Did you flunk remedial reading? Believe it or not, underground cash money actually goes into the underground economy. That’s why there is already a war on cash. Did you ever try to buy a house (not a dog house at your parents’ neighborhood garage sale) or a new car with cash? It’s awful tough to do. On the other hand, I’m sure you’ve had no trouble buying your oxys with cash.

    So it looks like you are, at least, no longer questioning the $2 trillion+ underground economy. The third and most recent of those three articles I sent you pegs it at $2.5. Great to see that you are coming around. Now, what is your real job? Surely you don’t spend your life in your parents’ basement grinding out this red meat for your minions.

    I will say that it is a surprise to find someone secure enough in his ignorance to be able to take it and not just give it. Business Insider would have had me banned the first time I trashed Lloyd Blankfeind.

    Please, in the future, try to convince your followers to find enough gainful part-time employment, so that they can move away from mom and dad, and keep us rentiers in the Whole Food’s buffet line.

    That said, I will admit that this is one of the few blogs where the freedom of speech is still a reality. Keep up the good work.

    1. Fredo

      You post a link to an article that repudiates your argument and then you still have the cajones to still make the same failed argument. You are inept but persistent.

      I’m actually getting tired kicking your ass all over this thread. Now get back to being a slumlord and supporting that vast underground economy that is booming and proving that everything is OK in good old ‘Murica. You don’t need more people realizing how low your IQ really is.

      We need eternal delusional optimists like yourself to value reality when it strikes good and hard.

      With your mad research skills, I’m sure you can figure out my job.

  70. Effay, you are the Earl of Equivocation. If you ever come into enough lawn mowing money, I’ll knock a grand off the off-season weekly rent on one of my furnished beach houses. Will I need to put waterproof vinyl mattress covers on the beds and stock the cabinets with packs of nabs, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs? What the hell, for you I’ll even leave a case of diet Mountain Dew in the fridge.

    1. Fredo

      Thanks for the rental offer, but I already own a beachfront condo. I make gobs of underground dough from this website. I actually make $2 trillion. Don’t tell anyone.

      Make sure you fumigate for those bed bugs that have been infesting your rental empire.

      And if the Wizard of Oz can give you a brain, maybe you can come back and try to make a cogent comment so we don’t think you’re a dumbass.

  71. Freelance IT network guy here for many small Auto shops and small Aerospace suppliers. The Seattle / greater Puget sound area is bonkers busy. Every Mall from Kitsap peninsula to Renton to Bellevue to Everett is packed with no parking. I rarely eat out, but yesterday waited an hour and 1/2 to get into Olive garden in Tukwila WA Mall Olive garden fro my daughters 16th birthday dinner requiest. Had to park across the street.

    I ask this question please, Is this unique to this area due to the presence of Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe Real Networks, + tech startups; Boeing and all their largesubcontractor 2 Military bases,

    1. Longtime lurker

      I believe Seattle, San Francisco, Washington DC, and NYC are booming due to their plethora of financial firms and high tech firms who are booming for the time being. Having a high dependence on military spending is also a big plus for now.

      The cities with the biggest booms will likely experience the biggest busts too. It just happens that way. Make sure you put some cash aside during the good times, so you can get through the bad times.

  72. Arrg! Wish I could edit! Hit enter on mistake. one more time.

    Question rephrase: The greater Puget sound area is busy as heck, and my contacts in Sanfran say the same.. Is it that bad elsewhere? and where is that?

  73. Effay, say it ain’t so. You were once a pimp for the biggest pump-n-dump pirates in the housing industry. Talk about a trail of dead bodies left behind. The good news is, you’ve joined the other side. PTL.

  74. Shit, I can’t trash talk you anymore. You’re a homeboy. I grew up spening my weekends in Margate/Wildwood/OC/Beach Haven, and my weekdays pulling a hand truck in the Camden RCA factory.

    You call me an optimist, but I just listened to your Kunstler interview, and, compared to me, you are Dr. Pangloss. How could you have had any expectations for Obama, when his largest campaign contributors were the Goldman guys? Did you forget that while running for Pres, Obama came back to Washington to help ram through the Paulson Plan? Did you also forget that the first person the President-elect hired was JIm fucking Leach of Gramm/Leach/Bliley fame?

    And you spoke about the $700 billion dollar bailout, as if that was big money, when, according to the Paul-Sanders and Bloomberg Fed audits, the Fed was pumping out $23.5 trillion so that the international banksters could take over the western world. The big 6 banks used that free money to quickly pay off those 6% TARP loans. You could have mentioned that in your interview.

    So perhaps you have a modicum of intelligence, after all, but you still might want to look a little deeper at the smaller banks that couldn’t pay off their TARP loans, just to see who now owns them through chains of offshore holding funds. It’s sickening, but it’s the world we live in.

    I always thought that if I made enough money, I could live off of the interest. Now nothing is safe. It’s zugzwang, so I’ll just keep renting my slumlord beach houses until automation takes away what jobs my renters now have.

    Other than arguing about how many angels are on the head of a pin, you and I probably have very little to argue about. You may live under Christie and Norcross, but my state is controlled by Art Pope. Pope, the ultra-wealthy enforcer of the Koch brothers, even makes Todd Christie look like an alter boy.

    1. Rich

      Hatchet is buried. Stick around and have some fun. No censorship on TBP. Just no holds barred jousting and ball busting. You took everything I had and kept coming back for more. That is usually a sign you can stick around.

  75. Debt to equity ratio is total debt divided by stockholders equity. Not D/((D+E). Or so my Yahoo search tells me. But if that is true, is not a ratio above 100% a signifier the company is bankrupt? Admin’s equation may be right.

    Admin says : “And if the Wizard of Oz can give you a brain, maybe you can come back and try to make a cogent comment so we don’t think you’re a dumbass.”

    I’m not handing out brains at the moment.

    Admin, you are TOASTING these asshats. You in full flight makes for a glorious read.

  76. Longtime Lurker,

    The only driver of the economy for the last 5 years has been fiat fraud money pumped out from the Federal Reserve to the government to distribute to its minions. If you are in an area that is largely connected to the federal trough, even through several intermediaries, you are doing better than ever before.

    This would include not only actual government workers, but also defense contractors, contractors of all kinds, the military, mass media, annointed charities and think tanks, Wall Street and other financial psychopaths, big brother corporations like Facecrook, GoOgLe, Crapple, and Microsloth, p.o.s. lawyers, scumbag doctors, insurance goons and accountants milking the healthcare mandate, the prison industrial complex, etc.

    You live in one of the bubbles that is currently receiving more than its share of infinite stealth QE money. The Seattle area is host to loads of government, including military bases, a major port, and swarms of bureaucrats and contractors to supply them all, not to mention all the various miscreants mentioned above.

    Where else has the punch bowl not run dry? Mordor on the Potomac, as well as the wealthy parts of New York City, Long Island, certain parts of New Jersey, Hollywood, S.F., the state capitals (to lesser extent.) Once again the “recovery” is totally conditional upon your connection to the federal government and its ability to continue to print and distribute money to the chosen ones. I though most had figured that out by now.

  77. I know the national economy is toast, but in my neck of the woods things are hot and it has nothing to do with Fed. I see major retail stores and hotels popping up all over the place. Sub-divisions are also exploding. People are moving up here but I don’t see how this growth can be sustained, we don’t really have any major industry.

  78. “Rich. Hatchet is buried.” ———- Admin

    Ya fuckin’ pussy. Ya could waited at least one day … let Rich go to bed with nightmares of you reaming him a 3 foot wide asshole …… but, noooo, you gotta go early on the Kumbaya routine.

    I still luv ya, though.

  79. ” Rich go to bed with nightmares of you reaming him a 3 foot wide asshole”

    Stucky, interesting sexual fantasy you have there. How long did you work as a page for Congressman Craig? Did the Congressman give you the name Stucky?

  80. So far, Rich has been over-matched, but he has shown some fight. Hope he sticks around. We may be able to learn him something. Eventually.


    Wal-Mart cuts outlook as profit falls short

    By Chelsey Dulaney

    Published: Aug 18, 2015 7:30 a.m. ET

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Tuesday slashed its earnings guidance for the year and gave a soft outlook for the current quarter as wage increases and investments in its struggling U.S. business pressure profit at the world’s largest retailer.

    Shares of Wal-Mart, down 16% this year, fell 3.1% in premarket trading.

    “Even if it’s not as fast as we would like, the fundamentals of serving our customers are consistently improving,” said Chief Executive Doug McMillon in a news release. “In this case, our desired changes require investments, which are pressuring earnings this year.”

    For the year, the company is now expecting earnings of $4.40 to $4.70 a share, down from its previous forecast for $4.70 to $5.05 a share.

    Wal-Mart said it expects currency fluctuations to bring down earnings by 15 cents a share, compared with its prior forecast of 13 cents a share, while reduced pharmacy reimbursement rates are expected to weigh on its U.S. margins.

    For the current quarter, Wal-Mart forecast earnings of 93 cents to $1.05 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast $1.08 a share.

    Meanwhile, for the second quarter, Wal-Mart posted a 1.5% increase in U.S. sales, above the company’s expectation for 1% growth, as it drew more shoppers to its stores for the third straight quarter after a long period of declines.

    Wal-Mart has now notched four straight quarters of sales growth in the U.S. as the company has moved to improve store operations by offering fresher produce and better customer service.

    Still, profit continued to be dented by costly investments in wages and e-commerce. Foreign currency movement also ate into profits to the tune of four cents a share.

    In all for the period ended July 31, Wal-Mart said profit fell to $3.48 billion, or $1.08 a share, from $4.09 billion, or $1.26 a share, a year earlier. Wal-Mart had forecast $1.06 to $1.18 a share in earnings.

    Revenue edged up slightly to $120.2 billion from $120.1 billion a year earlier. Analysts had forecast $119.7 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

  82. Home Depot sales up 4.3%.

    Number of customer transactions only up 2.6%. Inflation/price increases accounted for the rest.

    Customer transaction growth slowed dramatically from 1st quarter growth of 4.7%.

    Profit up 9%, but EPS up 13% as they have bought back 64 million shares at all-time highs.

    Sales are still lower than they were in 2007.

  83. Wow, I’m really late to this party. About 400 comments ago someone predicted Quinny would have a heart attack, stroke and brain anurizm all at the same time once his predictions proved true. I would suggest this already happened a few years ago and thus the Burning Platform was born. As for the predictions, our beloved Admin is not exactly a psychic. Anyone within earshot of a regional mall can see what is going on in the retail world. What Quinny does is hit you between the eyes with the numbers so that you can’t pretend your eyes are deceiving you. Retail is a bad place to be right now which is of course fitting because that is the place I currently inhabit.

    1. Skinny

      I’ll help you out by shopping at the new BJ’s at Five Points with the free pass you gave me when we were drinking. We are due for another few rounds at Brittinghams.

  84. I’m here in Mordor on the Potomac area and I can assure you that this area is thriving. After a summer here my son is almost convinced my husband and I should have moved to this area and gotten government jobs with out security clearances years ago so we could be part of this wonderful mecca he’s been introduced to during his internship here.

    What he doesn’t realize is that that’s how they get you…

    After the internship (honeymoon) is over, the slavery begins.

    But, he has to learn that himself. And if this is where he decides to work, this is where he will learn.

    But, yes… here in Mordor, there is NO sign of economic woe except when I had my son take me to Walmart where I knew I could get some tongs I needed to cook some schnitzel for my friends and some of the people in the long lines there did’t look like they were quite as well off as most of the people in the neighborhood where he’s been living and working. He made the comment that he didn’t want to shop there again if he could help it.


  85. Administrator says:

    Some perspective on Best Buy financial results:

    Best Buy 2011 Sales – $49.7 billion
    Best Buy 2011 Profit – $1.5 billion

    Best Buy 2015 Sales – $40.3 billion
    Best Buy 2015 Profit – $1.2 billion
    I’d say that those are pretty good numbers, IF you consider how badly things have gone since 2011. Just to be able to keep the profit margin in this shitty economy is probably a “win” for Best Buy (those figures indicate a better profit margin in 2015 vs. 2011, unless I’m misreading these stats).

    BBuy must realize retail sales can’t be the same upward slope trajectory year-over-year as they were in the 1990’s. If they don’t understand that, they are in for a world of hurt.

    1. Rise Up

      I guess it is perspective.

      Best Buy’s 1st quarter results this year were $8.6 billion of sales and $129 million of profit.

      Their 1st quarter results from FY12 were $11.4 billion of sales and $212 million of profit.

      A 25% reduction in sales and 39% reduction in profits in 3 years is pretty bad where I come from.

      And this has happened during a supposed economic expansion, with unemployment falling.

  86. @Maggie,

    Welcome to my home town. Boy have things changed here since 1953…was mostly sleepy suburbs in the 60’s-70’s-80’s but the MIC boomed in the 1990’s combined with tech/telecoms. I’ve had my fill of this place and have begun downsizing and will be heading for the hills if I can survive another 4 years or so. I’m one of those gov-contractor slaves, too, but the agency I work for won’t give us a long-term contract. It was supposed to end in 2011 but they keep limping us along with 6-month extensions. So there is always the threat of being out on the street.

    Don’t go to Wal-Mart after 9 a.m. The wife and I grocery shop at Wegman’s — if you are close to one check them out. We do a minimal of sundry shopping at Wal-Mart, but only early on Sunday mornings.

    Congrats to your son. Mine is in year 3 of college studying towards a Computer Info Systems degree but I hope he can find work when he graduates in a place less hectic than the D.C. area.

  87. Archie says: “Admin has several hungry boys he has to feed and put through college. Put up some change you donkeys, you cheap bastards.”
    Archie/TBP’ers, I happened to send Jim $60 last week. I usually try to send $50 every six months but lapsed a bit so I sent an extra $10 “late fee”. Which brings up the question, what is a reasonable contribution? Am I too cheap? Don’t know how much you gave Admin so he could buy that cheesesteak–maybe my $60 in comparison only amounted to a pack of gum…

    1. Rise Up

      Your donations are much appreciated. I haven’t gone to the PO box in a few weeks, since it is usually empty.

  88. There are new grocery stores popping up in the Northern Virginia area named “Aldi”. I went in one and was unimpressed. Mostly knock-off brands made to look like the real ones (such as soups with labels like Campbells but with some other brand name). There were few shelves–just rows of cardboard boxes on top of pallets for isles. Square footage not much bigger than a CVS or RiteAid.

    Don’t know if they cater to the immigration population, but they sure are low class/low quality goods.
    I think these stores are also in the U.K.

  89. Rise Up – Aldi is a German owned, I believe, no-frills grocery. Same parent as Trader Joe’s. Their product is pure garbage, but it’s cheap. I refuse to go.

  90. Abercrombie & Fitch’s stock tumbles to 6 1/2-year low

    By Tomi Kilgore

    Published: Aug 18, 2015 12:04 p.m. ET

    Abercrombie & Fitch Co.’s stock ANF, -5.79% dropped 5.6% in active midday trade to a 6 1/2-year low, as the teen apparel retailer’s latest attempt to revitalize its brand failed to spark investor interest. Volume of 2.4 million shares was already more than the full-day average of 1.9 million shares, according to FactSet. The stock was on track to close at the lowest level since March 9, 2009, which was the same day the S&P 500 closed at the lowest point of the 2007-to-2009 bear market. Earlier, A&F announced the creation of six new management positions as part of its strategy to organize executives by brand, rather than product. Five of the people announced to fill those positions are from outside the company, with four joining earlier this year, and a fifth expected to join in September. A&F is scheduled to report fiscal second-quarter results on Aug. 26. Analyst Simeon Siegel at Nomura said on top of trend pressures on the teen retail sector, the fact that A&F has a relatively-large international exposure means it’s facing a big negative impact from currency moves. A&F’s stock has now tumbled 37% year to date, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT, -0.25% has gained 1.6% and the S&P 500 Index SPX, -0.19% has tacked on 1.9%.

  91. “Aldi … same parent as Trader Joe’s. Their product is pure garbage.”

    That’s a blanket statement and you are wrong … partially, imho. I’ll be leaving for Aldi’s right after this post … to take my dad there.

    Their frozen foods are mostly pure crap … lots imported from China … as are many of their canned goods. Even their fresh meats are poor quality. You just have to know what to shop for, and what to avoid.

    The good (imho)

    —- their fresh produce is up to 50% less than your average supermarket I bought a huge watermelon last week for $3.99. Dad gets juicy plump black grapes for $1.38 lb (just these two items are more than double at Shop Rite).

    — toilet paper, napkins, aluminum foil, etc …. paper is paper and, again, waaay cheaper than at the supermarket

    — their cookies / pastry selections CAN be outstanding … many of which are imported from Germany. From time to time they carry cheeses imported from France.

    — they DO carry name brands; Kraft, Lays, Dannon etc. at substantial discounts

    — our Aldi’s carries “artisan” breads made by some Lithuanian joint in Brooklyn for $5 or less …. the VERY same bread sold at the Saturday farmer’s market for $8 bucks.

    It’s all about WISE shopping … not just sticking what-ever-the-fuck in your basket.

  92. What a great read LOL, Admin. was in supreme form. As far a donations, to me how much enjoyment and what you can afford. I’m addicted to TBP and can afford to give more than most. This has been a very good year income wise, so I may throw in an extra hundred, as I’m in AWE of what the Admin.
    pulls off with TBP.

  93. @Stucky: Aldi! You gotta be fuckin’ kidding me. All that goes there are Somalis and other desperate ‘turd worlders’.

  94. matslinger – I do not remember you. But disagreeing with Admin is not enough to get you banned. If that were the case, there would be no one left around here.

    If you were banished, you had to have done much more than simply disagreed. You have to take a major dump on the site to get banned.

    But seems you are allowed in. Use the opportunity wisely.

  95. If you are a wise shopper and know what you are looking at, Aldi’s has some good buys. I was there today. Skip the frozen foods and most canned stuff… UNLESS you know how to look at what you are buying.

    Dry goods are dry goods. Oats are oats.

  96. I lived through the 1979-1983 recession, what I remember most was an emphasis on
    “vital goods and services”… I also learned not to dine at a restaurant that’s having
    financial problems; on that note, I’m seeing more expired goods than ever being left
    on grocery store shelves, there’s even an “expired canned goods” industry developing.
    E commerce is forcing retailers to take greater profits from less customers… suicide !
    There used to be 6 home improving chains in MN, Menards, Home depot, Lowes,
    Builders square, and Knox… now there are 3…
    As these stores stoop to new lows to be profitable, more will disappear… but one must
    consider that some of them will become king of the hill , with government subsidized
    profits, should TPP become law…(or has it already)? hard to say , there are stories
    going both ways.
    With 40% of the nation sporting a sub 90 IQ, how can these unskilled low paid people
    be expected to recharge the system.
    Watch for slowing train traffic… that’s what I remember most vividly in 2008… they ran out
    of side tracks to park idle trains on… the latest US shipping index sucks.

  97. I was just at Home Depot about an hour ago and there was a noticeable change. I noticed that they have turned off every other overhead light. The place has a dark, just plain weird and unwelcome feel and it makes reading labels a bit difficult at least for an old guy like me.

    Could it be they need to cut costs? That’s interesting, what’s next?

  98. Last summer on a hot Sunday, I was at (2) menards….it was a thick and humid , and they
    had the AC shut off! I hope that Menards doesn’t end up king of the TPP hill, and dominate
    the home store business! I’ve had nothing but trouble with his inferior discount crap!
    I was told he owns some of the Chinese sweat shops that manufacture his 3rd rate
    junk. He’s building new superstores all over the place. I wonder if the hierarchy has
    ordered the 140 club to stimulate M2 with needless expansion?… we see it all over in MN..
    huge new facilities with moderate customer traffic. Caterpillar is selling tons of road
    pavers , and millions are being spent on new roads, with BAB – build America bonds.
    One must remember, every mile of 2 lane blacktop consumes 100,000 of oil .
    Lots of things going on that look like WPA and CCC from the FDR era.
    The loudest chirping canary in the coal mine, is depleted silver inventories , and no corresponding
    spot price appreciation…. has anyone ever heard of supply and demand being inverted like that?

    1. Lowe’s second-quarter profit misses views

      By Chelsey Dulaney

      Published: Aug 19, 2015 6:28 a.m. ET

      Lowe’s Cos. on Wednesday reported weaker-than-expected profit growth in its second quarter, though the retailer logged a 4.6% increase in a key sales metric for its U.S. home improvement stores amid sales of big-ticket items like appliances and outdoor power equipment.

      Staples reports profit decline as sales slide

      By Lisa Beilfuss

      Published: Aug 19, 2015 6:59 a.m. ET

      Staples Inc. said its profit more than halved in the second quarter, as sales continued to decline and store traffic dwindled, deepening the chain’s challenges as it awaits regulatory approval for its takeover of Office Depot Inc.

      Earlier this year, Staples reached a deal to buy its rival for $6.3 billion. Staples has been hit by shifts in office needs where basics like paper folders and printer toner are no longer in high demand and where discounters and Web retailers have invaded their turf. Both chains have suffered from declining sales for nearly a decade and Staples has faced pressure from activist investor Starboard Value LP, which pushed for the Office Depot deal.

      Meanwhile, Staples continues to shut stores and shave costs. The company closed 15 stores in North America during the second quarter, bringing the tally to 212 stores since the start of last year and part of a plan to close at least 225 stores by the end of this year. Staples has aimed to reach at least $500 million of annualized savings through the end of the year and said it secured about $50 million of annualized cost savings during the period.

      Currency-adjusted sales in North America slid 3% at stores open at least a year–the 13th straight quarterly decline. The decrease came as store traffic declined about 1% and the average order size fell 2%. Online sales, meanwhile, rose an adjusted 1% from a year earlier. Commercial sales were stronger, rising 2.6% from a year earlier on growth in facility and breakroom supplies as well as furniture.

  99. MSM crowing about Target results.

    Comp store sales up an amazing 2.4%. Wow.

    Dig into the numbers and you see that the number of transactions was up only 1.8%, while prices were up 3.8%. Units bought per transaction DOWN 2.9%. People are buying less stuff at a higher price.


    Bricks and mortar even worse. Actual store comp store sales were only up 1.8%. The other 0.6% was online.

    And lastly, this extremely modest sales increase has been driven by a surge in usage of their Target credit card.

    Things are going so well Target has opened a total of 4 stores in the entire US in the last year on a base of 1,799 stores.

  100. matslinger says: “One must remember, every mile of 2 lane blacktop consumes 100,000 of oil .”
    gallons of oil? barrels of oil?

  101. We shop at Aldi’s all the time. They don’t take credit cards, you need a quarter for your shopping cart (you get it back when you return it) and you don’t get free shopping bags (bring your own). They have fast checkout lines. I don’t buy food from China. I’ve noticed a lot of their frozen fish is from there.

  102. @matslinger: I’m in Minneapolis. Back in PA where I grew up, we would call stores like Menards – ‘Shit Stores”. I’ve bought simple things like nuts and bolts – where you could only use an adjustable wrench – cause they weren’t metric or US – some kind of stamped out shit from China.

    Knox and Builders Square deserved the death they got

    As for Office Depot – the one by me had one clerk for the entire store – what a sorry assed place it has become.

  103. Rich, you’re an embarrassment to people who call Wilmington home, everywhere.

    I strongly suggest you move back to from wherever it is you oozed. Damn liberals and yankees.

  104. @Stucky… no turban yesterday on his last day but I made him stop to pose for me for a “Kodak moment” (remember when that term MEANT something?)

    Shirt — $2 at Goodwill (Dockers)
    Slacks — $3.99 Uptown Thrift (J. Crew)
    Shoes — $20 Payless
    Belt — $5 Teen Challenge Thrift

    3 months experience at computer engineering in the D.C. area with hoity toity gubment big league engineering project managers? — a semester and a half’s tuition in the bank!! and a bullet on the resume.

    Proud Mom with good reason.

    Department stores could have sold us the same things at a decent price and still been in business if the greedy bastards hadn’t decided to export quality and try to force us to be our own customer service in their giant cavernous stores designed to get you lost and make you buy crap you don’t want. Department stores went under because they hired a bunch of “middle managers” who didn’t have a clue. And by the time the morons at corporate who didn’t have a clue either realized that and tried to call their line managers, they discovered their line managers had taken the early retirements their mliddle management teams had suggested would revitalize the industry and “gone home.”

    Total retail cost of daily outfit, average… $35
    Value of experience working with people in $500 suits? Looks great on his resume.Joey%20last%20day_zpsetlcalab.jpg


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