The Retail Apocalypse
My article is found on Bloomberg.com from November 8th and discusses the retail apocalypse.
What do you guys think of when you hear the term apocalypse? Do you fear it?
Have you guys noticed a lot of chain stores closing?
Currently, the United States is facing the retail apocalypse in which retailer stores are closing left and right. In the first three quarters of this year, 6,800 retailer chain stores closed. That number doesn’t even include the amount of grocery stores and restaurants that are also closing. Currently consumer confidence is extremely high which usually means consumers are spending more. In addition, unemployment is at a historical low and the economy is continuing to grow. What do you guys think is contributing to the decline in retail stores?
While Amazon.com Inc. is partially affecting retailers and online shopping isn’t helping, the main cause of closings are chains are overwhelmed with debt. This will greatly impact the US economy as far as loss of jobs for low income workers is concerned. Additionally, there will be investor losses on bonds and stocks as well as real estate as these stores are unable to get out of debt. For example, Toys “R” Us Inc. is a good indicator of the struggles other companies will face in the near future. Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy in September due to troubles refinancing their $400 million debt. This was the third largest bankruptcy in American history. Apparel chains have lost 2,500 locations and department stores have seen approximately 550 store closings all in the last year. To give you guys an example of how much debt there is, the eight publically traded department stores in the US have approximately $24 billion in debt. Today, more chains are filing for bankruptcy and rated as distressed than during the financial crisis.
How can this change?