A Dollop of Consumer Guilt

Just curious if I’m the only one feeling a little sorry for retail stores. Back when I was learning how to read a balance sheet, they always struck me as mostly cashflow companies with tiny profit margins (well, in terms of percentage anyway). So when I see baseline prices drop like the Dow (e.g. Old Navy perfect tees are now 2/$12 instead of 2/$15, which is what they were earlier this year) so soon after a period of worldwide oil-related inflation and a weak dollar, I don’t get how they have a shot at survival. I mean, the goods we’re buying cheap now were the most expensive to manufacture and transport, like, ever. Throw in buzz words like “credit freeze”, and you’ve got to wonder how many of these overgrown mega-stores are going to survive.

Which ones would you hate to see disappear off the American retail map?
Personally, I’d hate to lose Target, Old Navy/The Gap, and CVS. For historical reasons, I’d like to see Macy’s survive (but their flagship here in Manhattan is too big and crowded to be useful to me).

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5 Responses

  1. I don’t think the consumer/retail market is going anywhere. I work for a company that provides music, video, messaging and media services for TONS of retail establishments. Old Navy is one of our customers. I think we will all get through this credit slump because even though there is a shift in consumerism there are still loads of people out there who like to buy.

  2. yes, I agree, it is a very scary time for retailers. i live in such a podunk place now, we don’t have target or much of anything else here. just big lots and grocery outlet and walmart/kmart. i hear a lot about CVS from hanging out on the mybargainbuddy website..but that must be an east coast thing. never heard of it out here. and by the way, it sounds like you’re doing quite well with your couponing. don’t beat yourself up! this year in particular, the xmas sales seem to be starting earlier and the on-line or in-store deals are up like crazy. i used to be an HSN all the way junkie as they had complete steals. before that it was whoever (whomever?) else had the steals, now out of biz. now i shop wherever, although i’m so stocked up on stuff i need very little. just things i can’t afford…like a new car! wish i was good at selling as I could use the money to onload some of it but i’m really bad at that and our craigslist here gets pretty scary. lots of scammers. lots of stores going out of biz along with everybody else. just hope like hell that the economy improves soon. the thread i hang on gets narrower by the day…

  3. I’d hate to see Target, Best Buy, and Ta Ta Ta TJ MAXX go bye bye 😦

  4. Oooooh I love CVS! I want WalMart to stay too. I think I could live without the other stores.

  5. OMG. I haven’t gone shopping in so long I can’t say which one I’ll miss. I guess I would miss Target. I would also miss Ann Taylor. I like their clothes. 😛

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