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Impresario of the Inane


"I'll never drink semen from a fucking cup. Sorry." - Brett Rossi
32109 Posts
8/03
Posted - Feb 19 2013 : 10:54PM

Senior Member

7829 Posts
6/01
Posted - Feb 20 2013 : 1:35PM
They sell nothing but useless, poorly made crap. That's the real reason they're going under. It just took diminishing incomes for most Americans to wake up and realize they were throwing their hard-earned money away.
They also over-built during the "boom times". You couldn't swing a cat without hitting a Kmart around here, and they're still BUILDING Walmarts in my area. Walmarts we do not need! There are 20 Walmarts within thirty miles of my house, 8 of them within ten miles.
Does anyone remember when going to the store to buy things was a big deal? When mom had a list of things she had saved up for, things the household really needed, not junk to buy on a whim. A trip to the mall in the city (I lived in a semi-rural area) was an event. You didn't just go there every week to buy a bunch of stuff to cram your house full of stuff.
I'm quite certain the internet is taking a severe toll on some of these retailers, too. When we shopped for appliances when we bought this house we went to the brick and mortars first, and all we found there was faddish models and incompetent sales personnel. High prices, low quality, poor selection, and stupidity. I mean, just think about it, we were a sales-persons wet dream. Dual income, no children, buying an entire house worth of appliances - clothes washer/dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, stove, stove hood, freezer... you name it, we were looking at it.
We gave up. We went to the internet to find what we wanted. We bought every single one of our appliances on the 'net. Delivery was hassle-free. We didn't have to drive to a bazillion stores trying to find what we wanted. Didn't have to put up with sales people who couldn't answer real questions and tried to sell me things based on ideas they have that have nothing to do with my life or what I want in an appliance. I don't know if we paid more or less, because that wasn't even the issue. You can't sell me what I don't want no matter how low your prices are.

Member

504 Posts
10/06
Posted - Feb 20 2013 : 1:50PM
haha. Investigative journalism right there
 
Impresario of the Inane

"I'll never drink semen from a fucking cup. Sorry." - Brett Rossi
32109 Posts
8/03
Posted - Feb 20 2013 : 2:11PM
Barnes and Noble have been allowing their leases to expire one by one. I suppose so they don't attract attention. I suspect 15 years from now there will be no bookstores, but it's hard to say. Amazon has been around for 20 years selling books on the cheap, so you'd think they would have already put the brick and mortars out of business.

Senior Member

5645 Posts
6/08
Posted - Feb 20 2013 : 2:14PM
There will be book shops, except that they will be even more like coffee shops than they are today. People enjoy paying the premium for that experience.
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Senior Member

12345
12200 Posts
9/02
Posted - Feb 20 2013 : 3:30PM
Yep. The place in this town that feels the most 'prosperous' to me is a bookstore, but they have a Starbucks and they sell luxurious small baby gifts, artsy children's toys, trendy desk knick-knacks, high end gift bags and seasonal things like expensive cashmere throws and Christmas candies. The "other" stuff takes up a fraction of the space, but the gift section probably makes up a good part of sales. We go to the Starbucks there when we are in that area because the ambience is better and we can look at magazines and books. If I find a good book, I get it online. But I've bought a few gift bags and things there.
 
Oblivious

Gold Star Hey!
21857 Posts
1/03
Posted - Feb 20 2013 : 7:31PM
That seems pretty fucked up.
I see news today the two "Office" stores have merged or one bought the other. Now I won't get them mixed up.
I do think the Sears and the Penney's of the world, well, their decline has been ongoing. And Radio Shack!?! Fyck! Bye-bye!
I wonder if there are actual stores (beyond the online obvious like Amazon) that have taken some market share. Boutique stores? Maybe not. I do see lots of small stores at the mall. Mostly targeted to the teen to maybe 25 age group.
And slightly related and not mentioned even once by The Neech that I can find, a year ago apparently J.C. Penney's stopped having sales. Just cut regular prices but no big discount sales days.

Senior Member

2605 Posts
12/10
Posted - Feb 20 2013 : 9:01PM
That article came from the The Economic Collapse Blog, and everything from there comes with a slant to a guns n' gold way of thinking.
Anyway, the economy is no longer contracting so people must be spending money somewhere. Online sales are growing and brick n' mortar sales are shrinking, the result of that has to be closing outlets. Online state sales tax collection for all states would stem some of that.

Senior Member

Keep on trolling. What a bullshit! Im fucking unstoppable now ...
1370 Posts
3/06
Posted - Feb 20 2013 : 10:30PM
The suburbs and sprawling shopping centers are doomed. Follow the Detroit path, bulldoze it all and let it become parks, farmland or good ol' wilderness. Online shopping is just too convenient and there are superior options to the big chains in most cities anyways.
I'll take great stores like over Barnes and Noble anyday. New Egg over Best Buy. Amazon over Walmart.
Edited by - 10000 days on 2/20/2013 10:31:01 PM
 
All-Star Member

13064 Posts
6/00
Posted - Feb 21 2013 : 12:41AM
All of the stores in listed in the article are getting clobbered by online retailers or electronic distribution of the products that they are attempting to sell. It's obsolescence that's killing these retailers, not the economy.

Senior Member

3890 Posts
2/03
Posted - Feb 21 2013 : 12:52AM
I agree the economy is not doing nearly as well as claimed. A few narrow sectors are doing very well - enough to distort the averages - but most sectors are not. And the lower middle class is being gutted since there is no reason to hire an American any more. A "recovery" accompanied by a 10% decline in median income isn't much use anyone, though it is apparently enough to get re-elected.
The Internet really has changed shopping in a very fundamental way. Once you're used to it there is really not use for bricks & mortar any more. And it's not price either.
You can shop at Amazon & friends from anywhere on your smartphone and add complete a purchase in under a minute.
Security. Black Friday says it all. And who wants to wait in a crowded line at Wal-mart during a flu epidemic?
Selection. The Internet has made it practical to go to manufacturer's websites see all of the variants of a product the manufacturer makes - and their competitors - and then price compare at many retailers. At the mall you can only buy what they can be bothered to sell.
(the Internet is also a problem for retailers like Wal-Mart that routinely stock downgraded versions of products to get to a lower price-point, for example a power drill with plastic instead of metal gears)
What I find amusing is the belief by old-line retailers that Internet sales taxes will save them. To the contrary: equal sales tax collection eliminates the only advantage to a city of Wal-Mart over Amazon. Once the city gets the same sales tax revenue either way, why would anyone want a store that is a heavy use user of city resources (police, roads, parks paved over for shopping malls, etc) when Amazon pays the same revenue with none of the cost or pollution?
PS. Internet sales taxes will also remove the barrier to local warehouses for Amazon. It's only a matter of time for them to figure out economical same-day pick-up or even economic overnight delivery once local warehousing is practical from a tax standpoint.

Senior Member

12345
12200 Posts
9/02
Posted - Feb 21 2013 : 2:26PM
That was my first thought. People don't ride the stage coach anymore, now that we have railroads -- er, scratch that, too -- national highways.

Senior Member

12345
12200 Posts
9/02
Posted - Feb 21 2013 : 2:31PM
Not only that, but in some areas, retailers will only agree to set up if the property taxes are waived for them for a specified time, and some sorts of infrastructure are paid for by taxpayers. It is not uncommon for them to argue that they will be bringing jobs, therefore they should be compensated. There is some history of them packing up and dumping a lot of people into unemployment when the incentives run dry.

Senior Member

2605 Posts
12/10
Posted - Feb 23 2013 : 9:15AM
It's more than just big retail too, markets are changing. LA Times today,
"In New York, Jewish delis, which once numbered in the thousands, now total a few dozen. L.A. landmarks are also closed or struggling. Food prices, more restaurant choices are partly to blame."

Member

504 Posts
10/06
Posted - Feb 23 2013 : 10:05AM
^ LA Times paywall
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Member

504 Posts
10/06
Posted - Feb 23 2013 : 10:05AM
NM, they set a limit on free articles per visitor each month now.

Senior Member

3520 Posts
8/09
Posted - Feb 23 2013 : 1:45PM
I know most of last year's Christmas presents in my household were bought online, many at Wal-Mart's website. With my bad back and aversion to Black Friday crowds it was much easier just to have everything shipped to me. I do go to Wal-Mart once a month to stock up on paper plates, paper, pens, cat and dog food, etc. but most of my large items lately were purchased online. However, my mother did get an excellent deal two years ago at Wal-Mart on two new computers (a Dell business-type computer complete with 23 inch monitor that was ten times the computer she needed and an eMachines laptop). That was a quick $900 (about 600 for the desktop and 300 for the laptop). She wanted a desktop with wifi capability and ended up with a computer made for Kink.com-style video editing and AutoCAD as well, I tried to explain to her that a wifi dongle was less than $20 so the $300 desktop would work fine for her (and I already had the wiring to run a wire to the living room anyway) but she didn't get it. Oh well, the computer will probably still be usable in ten years which is more than I can say for any computers I have bought lately.
 
Big Double Everything Fan

Poor Turkey running for her life with Christmas Hat
9726 Posts
9/01
Posted - Feb 24 2013 : 7:53PM
Still it is nice to browse through a real store as buying online has its own unexpected surprises.
Several trends probably account for the demise of traditional shopping:
1. Changes in shopping from brick and mortar to online.
2. The austerity pushed by one party has not helped the economy. This is occurring in the US and more so in Europe including Spain, Italy, Greece, England, etc. Austerity only helps the financial class make sure that they get their money back without taking a hair cut.
3. Labor's share of the pot has not kept pace with gains in productivity. For the majority working class, wage has remained flat in spite of the gains in productivity. The financial class has managed to keep all the gains in productivity made by labor. What this means is most workers work harder for less money, while the top managers get the gains. Consequently, the economy suffers as the majority cannot afford to spend.
4. Globalization and off-shoring of jobs do not help. People who lose their jobs do not spend.
5. Poor quality products also do not help.

Senior Member

3890 Posts
2/03
Posted - Feb 25 2013 : 3:15AM
Most of this political rant ignores the issue of why online retailers are doing well, or how Apple has made so much money in the last few years.
Productivity in the US is poor and getting much worse.
*Output* is great. The problem is cost: that output is so expensive it's cheaper to go overseas even if the output is less.
Too bad nobody is willing to address the causes of this problem.
 
All-Star Member

"You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
6309 Posts
8/10
Posted - Feb 25 2013 : 9:02AM
Clear your cookies and try again :)
 
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Woman of the Decade
13912 Posts
1/08
Posted - May 17 2013 : 12:10AM


Senior Member

2115 Posts
2/08
Posted - May 17 2013 : 4:43PM
There's no doubt the saturation of the Home Depots and Wal Marts is a reason for some of the closures. Another massive reason, at least for me switching to more on line purchasing is the total lack of service and comptency in sales associates in those stores. The irony here is that is exactly what the brick and motor stores tout about as an advantage over on line. They are in large, rude, sparse, and their product knowledge is virtuially non-existant.
Sure, the ecomony is a part of this but it was tanking for the past ten years and continues to do so. The middle class is indeed being reduced with the massive increases in the salaries in those in the upper tier as well as the increased dependency on social programs by those in the lower tier. In fact the shrinking middle class probably is spending less as far as a percentage of their disposable income, that either of the other two. The high income is really immune from the market influences and probably their spending habits vary little as their income is so high. At the lower end, since the many of the dauly expenses are covered by social programs, from section 8 housing, WIC, welfare, SSDI and so forth those people are freed from having to worry about scrimping on non essentials. In my area we have seen obscene abuses of ABT card benefits.
How do we "Fix" this? There really isn't a fix, the whole retail environment is simply evolving and the retailers will have to adapt.
 
All-Star Member

9920 Posts
7/04
Posted - May 17 2013 : 5:01PM
Yet Radio Shack continues on.
[link inactive:404 - Page not found]Funniest thing I've ever seen in the Onion. Funny 'cause it's true.
 
All-Star Member

Your other left
28335 Posts
3/02
Posted - May 17 2013 : 5:07PM
They must be laundering drug money.

Senior Member

Enjoy!
28284 Posts
3/06
Posted - May 17 2013 : 9:06PM
Maybe they survive because people rely on them not to change too much. You always know what you can find at Radio Shack. Might not seem like a big deal until you need something that you can't find just anywhere.
I've fallen into and out of love with a lot of B&M chains for the simple reason that you never know what they'll have so it's pointless to go there looking for something you need. Most often these are things that I saw there in the past and they just disappear.
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fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - May 17 2013 : 9:21PM
I'd rather pay cash.
My brother had thousands withdrawn from his bank account when he had only hundreds in it. After noticing the first theft they didn't stop the second theft, and charged him four overdraft fees until they corrected the problem. The bank lost thousands, but he lost a larger percentage of his total assets.

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - May 19 2013 : 3:13PM
I forgot about some aspects of retail, such as the crying babies, foilhat vegan bookstore owners, and bottlenecked parking lots.
the unknown pervert
Deactivated User

I'd like to stay but I've got a plane to catch.
17482 Posts
5/06
Posted - May 19 2013 : 4:18PM
I'll use online shopping for stuff that like CDs and DVDs where I pretty much know whether or not I want the item without examining it closely. For stuff like clothes, tools, or other things I want to be able to pick up the product and examine it closely (or try it on in the case of clothes) for defects or other potential problems. For stuff like that the internet is no help at all.

Senior Member

Real news. Fake president.
13914 Posts
3/03
Posted - May 20 2013 : 2:53AM
There's one in my neighborhood. It's never mobbed, but there always seems to be at least a few people in it. I think they may actually have hit on a kind of sweet spot of smallish stores which presumably don't cost them too much to rent and which can be staffed with just a few employees at a time, a range of inventory which seems to be much more thoughtfully selected and a lot less cheesy than in the past, and store layouts and merchandise displays which are much more attractive than they used to be. It really isn't "Rat Shack" anymore. There even seems to be a higher standard of dress and grooming for the clerks than before.
Plus, a lot of their one-time brick & mortar competition has gone by the wayside; there aren't really any independent, neighborhood computer stores nowadays, or TV stores, or places that sell stereo equipment. There are always going to be some people who want to just go into a store and put their hands on what they want and buy it NOW, not order it online and wait for it to be delivered on a UPS truck in three days, or try to deal with gigantic parking lots, hellish crowds and long lines at warehouse stores, just to buy a thumb drive or a roll of speaker wire or a new phone.

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - May 10 2014 : 3:42PM
One aspect of retail is the checkout upsell, usually for discount/gift cards, and sometimes for charities. Asking each customer if they'd like to buy more stuff is more time waiting in line, and a distraction from what could be a quick and simple transaction of money for merchandise. One store waited until after I paid to push a charity, and required me to refuse to donate before I could get change back. I still bought the merchandise, but that was the last time I shopped there. When I can't buy it used, I prefer the self-checkout, without the cashier that is required to upsell or pretend to be friendly to customers.
 
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Woman of the Decade
13912 Posts
1/08
Posted - Feb 5 2015 : 7:27PM
 
Big Double Everything Fan

Poor Turkey running for her life with Christmas Hat
9726 Posts
9/01
Posted - Feb 5 2015 : 8:18PM
^ Rat Shack is going out of business -- so sad. I have some Optimus products from the Rat Shack. In fact, I drove past a Rat Shack today but did not enter.

Senior Member

tGrump has no shortage of assholes.
6974 Posts
11/13
Posted - Feb 6 2015 : 1:46PM
Now that they're dead, they're a pretty nice guy.
 
Impresario of the Inane

"I'll never drink semen from a fucking cup. Sorry." - Brett Rossi
32109 Posts
8/03
Posted - Feb 6 2015 : 4:35PM
I found their stuff to be criminally overpriced.
 
Impresario of the Inane

"I'll never drink semen from a fucking cup. Sorry." - Brett Rossi
32109 Posts
8/03
Posted - Feb 6 2015 : 5:09PM
I had one of these things when I was a shortwave radio nerd in junior high school (circa 1978). Realistic was the RS in house brand. This was one of the few things reasonably priced, $190
PO6091t.jpg

Senior Member

tGrump has no shortage of assholes.
6974 Posts
11/13
Posted - Feb 6 2015 : 6:23PM
Hell, I bought a kit there to make a morse code oscillator, about 1969.
It looked like the silver one on the right. It came with all the capacitors and transistors and resistors and wires and switches, and you had to solder the innards all together (I did it for project for an electronics class in summer school 7th grade). The knob changes the pitch, and you can switch from light to tone or to both with the switch. I could play Old McDonald on it.
morse code.jpg

Edited by - Pieps on 2/6/2015 10:00:08 PM

 
Big Double Everything Fan

Poor Turkey running for her life with Christmas Hat
9726 Posts
9/01
Posted - Feb 6 2015 : 6:48PM
I have some Optimus speakers from the 80's. Maybe a collector will pay a lot of money for it. I also have Optimus speakers from the 90 ' s that I am using with my desktop.
 
All-Star Member

9920 Posts
7/04
Posted - Feb 6 2015 : 8:02PM
There are different kinds of bankruptcy. There's bankruptcy with reorganization (General Motors) and bankruptcy with complete liquidation (Montgomery Ward). A lot of companies file for bankruptcy protection and come back. Sometimes they get their act together; sometimes they don't.
I'm sorry for a lot of their employees, but that's about it. I have no positive nostalgia for the store, brand, etc. I've written about this elswhere--they do everything half-assed, and they ride the current fads and hope they can catch the next one. The current iteration is a cellphone store that has dribs and drabs of other crap, with emphasis on crap.
For me they were always the store of last resort. I went because there was one down the street and whatever I wanted was there when I couldn't get it from a better store or didn't want to wait for mail order. Some businesses are built on customers who buy from them for those reasons, but they tend to fail when legit competition shows up.
So again--I feel bad for a lot of employees who are going to be unemployed through no real fault of their own, but nothing for the morons who have made long term strategic moves that put them where they are now.
But I'm shocked it took this long. I thought this would have happened 20 years ago.

Senior Member

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” - Kierkegaard
7236 Posts
8/09
Posted - Feb 6 2015 : 9:58PM
E-commerce
reports showed consumers aren't as dumb as companies think. They go into stores like BestBuy, see the thing first hand and buy it online. Who wants to buy a computer hardware component brand that is unknown like Rocketfish for hundreds of dollars at Best Buy when it's the same or cheaper for well known, reliable (and better performing brands) online.
Personally, except for MicroCenter, most retail stores don't usually carry the models I am looking to buy when it comes to electronics and computer parts. I do a lot of researching and reading reviews (professional and users) before I choose a model. It's all about researching purchases before, especially the more it costs.
 
Big Double Everything Fan

Poor Turkey running for her life with Christmas Hat
9726 Posts
9/01
Posted - Feb 7 2015 : 10:02AM
Rat shack used to carry products for the hobbiest at huge mark ups. With less people going dyi, and most products now easily available online, the business model no longer works. I looked for parts at the shack and they had very low quality parts at high prices. Buy at rat shack when things go on sale.

Senior Member

2759 Posts
11/09
Posted - Feb 7 2015 : 11:11AM
Secondary stores, and so called thrift, charity stores are popping up everywhere. I never buy anything except underwear, and food new. What for? New books?
And since I sell all the time why bother ever really spending any money.
Walk into a store around Halloween, or Christmas and tell me why are we producing this stuff every year? Not to mention the endless production of things in general. Saturation? It's really not that smart, and the short sighted public is as clueless as ever.
If you are in another place in the world you may not see it as much, but in the U.S.?
Just imagine if we put all the effort we put into manufacturing garbage into solving problems (You can actually make money doing this) how much further we would be ahead as a civilization overall. The problem is the masses are..........

Administration, Defenestration

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14455 Posts
11/99
Posted - Feb 9 2015 : 9:48AM
All the stores listed in the article sell widgets you can easily buy online. Home Depot and Lowes are doing well. While we would rather frequent locally owned hardware shops we have no choice but to shop at Home Depot and Lowes for many items. When you're doing construction/renovation you need stuff right away, and a lot of stuff that can't be shipped - or that you need to see in person before buying. Box stores like that will continue to profit.
That aside, shopping is an "activity" for many people. The store needs to provide an experience, not just widgets.

Senior Member

2759 Posts
11/09
Posted - Feb 9 2015 : 10:59AM
Any place that is well run, and sells food isn't tanking either. Target, Wallmart, and Wegmans aren't going anywhere around here.

Senior Member

tGrump has no shortage of assholes.
6974 Posts
11/13
Posted - Feb 9 2015 : 12:53PM
Every Target in Canada is closing down, though. Bad decisions on their business expansion.
 
All-Star Member

9920 Posts
7/04
Posted - Feb 9 2015 : 8:01PM
^ some interesting articles in The Economist about Target's Canadian adventure.
The problem with going in somewhere new and doing business the way you're used to doing it is that you just don't know if it will work or not. If it does, you're a ground-breaking visionary. If it doesn't, you a myopic fool who didn't do your homework.
 
Poetic Moderator

Long and Cursive road to the Ivory Pagoda in the province of Loraine
12553 Posts
12/03
Posted - Feb 9 2015 : 10:46PM
Poor distribution system and delivery of goods to stores.

Senior Member

tGrump has no shortage of assholes.
6974 Posts
11/13
Posted - Feb 9 2015 : 10:46PM
It's a big factor that Canadians DID know what to expect from Target (they had shopped at Target in the U.S.). But Target Canada didn't meet expectations. The prices were higher, and they didn't carry the designer brands (John Derian, or whatever) that were in the U.S. stores, and that were in the glossy magazine ads. There were lots of people who were excited to see them open, and jammed parking lots when they opened, but you have one chance to make a good first impression, and Target didn't deliver.

The clearance sale has just started, and it's underwhelming. 10% off groceries, 20% off furniture. Whoop de doo. People are complaining that Target just stopped restocking the shelves weeks and weeks ago, and they're just clearing things out by attrition, not by any sort of good deals. They're even closing wrong. The people who aren't bargain hunters are not coming back when the selection is thin. The bargain hunters aren't coming back if there are no bargains.
[stupid apostrophe that didn't belong there]
Edited by - Pieps on 2/10/2015 6:53:52 PM

Senior Member

2759 Posts
11/09
Posted - Feb 10 2015 : 2:55PM
Bargain hunters don't waste their time in retail shops with very few exceptions. The Nordstrom Rack is quite competitive.
Again, location, location, location. Depending on your area these places aren't going anywhere, or are closing.

Senior Member

tGrump has no shortage of assholes.
6974 Posts
11/13
Posted - Feb 10 2015 : 7:45PM
Our local Target was a Zeller's before it was bought out by Target.
When the Zeller's closed down I got a honkin' big load of toys when the whole store was 90% off the lowest marked price (and on some of them the lowest MARKED price was already 75% off). The price was so low that the cashier briefly stopped and confirmed it with a supervisor who was standing nearby. I didn't care too much which toys they were, since they were destined for the annual Christmas toy drive.
Bargain hunters shop retail stores, they just do it their own way.
I'd love it if Target filled my cart with toys for the next toy drive, but I don't think they are going to come through for me. We'll see.

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Feb 11 2015 : 3:39PM
Target gave no fucks for debit card security.
The actions of corporations and governments are explained by [link inactive:404 - Page not found]functional stupidity

Senior Member

2759 Posts
11/09
Posted - Feb 12 2015 : 12:11AM
What part of "few exceptions" is hard to get?
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