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Okay. Now I'm freaking out a little bit.

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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:33 AM
Original message
Okay. Now I'm freaking out a little bit.
I've been going to "National Faux Upscale-Trendy Mass Retailer Plus Grocery Store Big Box" and the shelves have been partially empty for months. There were only two small lines of buyers on a weekend evening a few days before Christmas. I figured it was just this one chain. (I think another DUer blogs about this chain, in fact.) But tonight I went to "National Business Supply and Print Shop annexed by National Overnight Shipping Agency." I've been to this particular store many-a-time since 2003.

Tonight it was, I'd say, less than 35% stocked. Whole sections were empty. The sections that weren't empty had a few items spread out across them. One shelving unit (4 shelves) had nothing and the next unit (also 4 shelves) had 12 thin packages of DVD 25-packs set along the edges. They'd just take one item and spread it into every area to make the store look fuller. All the stationary was gone. There were even some empty spaces in the CANDY area by the register where boxes used to be. All the ink was gone. About 20% of the card spinner was empty.

Perhaps this particular store (a 24 hour location) is going out of business. I asked the girl at the counter why the store was empty and she said "oh, they just took everything out to inventory it" (???)

It was a little like a disaster movie.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. You thinking the empty shelves are signs America is heading into the abyss?
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:42 AM
Original message
I live in a large city and I'm running into multiple stores without stock.
Stores that always have. Another DU who works in retail management says this has to do with credit--no one will ship products to retailers because they don't trust they have the money to pay them. It's just bizarre. One store is an anomaly. Another friend of mine said a big dollar store chain looked similar. Now this major successful chain is empty. Yes, I think it's not a good sign.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
20. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:42 AM
Response to Original message
2. Everything is under control. Stop asking questions. Are you a Republican troll?
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 01:43 AM by MercutioATC
Seriously, get used to it. Things are going to be ugly for at least a couple of years.

As a "Chicken Little" tip...now might be a good time to start buying an extra can or two of vegetables...or Spaghettios...or whatever...each time you go to the grocery store. Things probably won't get to the point to where food distribution is affected, but they might.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:50 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. I am. I'm not "losing it" or anything. I'm just starting to see the signs of what this might look
and feel like. Quite depressing actually. I am going to stock up. I'm not sure how much food is going to be effected--my grocery store is still full. But I think many inessential services will fade--overnight mail might become outrageous. 24 hour printing and small business services will no be accessible. Gadget stores, malls, etc. (not that I'd miss those.) Perhaps many restaurants will close eventually--at least "slow food" ones.

It was just creepy.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 02:12 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. The best advice of all...
...reduce your dependence on the systems you're used to having available.

Food? Stock up. Buy what you eat anyway and rotate stock.

Power? Buy a small generator...save up for it over time and it's not hard to do.

Lights? Candles and LED lanterns.

Heat? If you have a fireplace, stock up on wood. If not, look for a cheap used woodburning stove.

Medical? Have a good first aid kit and supplement is as you're able.


All of these preparations are useful in the event of temporary disruptions caused by things like blizzards and hurricanes, and they could save your life in more dire circumstances. Just concentrate on gaining alternatives to the systems you're used to having available to you.



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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 02:26 AM
Response to Reply #2
15. We are in the middle of a social revolution
I know every one I say that to thinks I am crazy but to me I think this whole change in the way we live started a good 30 years ago and this is just part of it. Course I am old and I see things not the same as you young people and this seems to be like one of these swings you see in history. Some times read about Europe from about 185o's to WW1. Also sociology was my minor in college and I had to read about these changes so it is stuck in my mind. It is a subject that just interest me. How people change, is one reason I voted for Obama. I think he is the type we need in these times. Bush and his pals are not of the age that is coming. The life we all knew is going to go and we move on to other ways. I usually think for the better by the way. My Great grand parents were born just about 1850 and they came from a town that made carriages, women could not vote etc. and these are the people who I recall and the people they raised. It was like another world to me as a teen ager to hear my great grandmother tell about her life and we are in that time once more. Or so I think. My Great grand mother lived to her mid 90's.
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:42 AM
Response to Original message
3. Weird
I've never heard of 'taking everything out to inventory it.'

Strange.
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:49 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Where would they "take it for inventory"?
More likely is that they can't "pay" for items without credit.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. Yes, that was a crazy made-up -on-the-spot answer.
"Hey Joe? Betty? Can you help me carry these reams of paper out to the truck, we're going to drive them to central distribution to count them then bring them back."

"Aw, how many are they? Paper's heavy!"

"About 30 units. Here lemme count how many before we load them, one, two, three..."
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SmileyRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:44 AM
Response to Original message
4. No credit.
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 01:47 AM by SmileyRose
Big boxers and mom & pops almost all use credit when ordering from their suppliers/factories and then pay on Net terms. If the chain of credit breaks anywhere along the pipeline then your store can't get in merchandise, even if they do have customers.

We have customers with cash who have placed orders and still want the products. We can't fill the order because an outside factory can't secure the credit necessary to purchase the materials needed to produce the highly customized parts we buy from them. In fact, we even offered to pay cash up front for the entire order but were told that will not help at this time because of the bulk size of the materials they really need to order for not only ours, but everyone else's orders.


Edit, BTW even Walmart is having trouble getting stock. Someone I went to school with is one of the head buyers for Walmart. She tells me just the products on her list, 5 different factories either have rescinded Walmart's Net terms, or else the factory itself cannot get terms with their suppliers.
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lurky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:44 AM
Response to Original message
5. I noticed the same thing in Circuit City a couple months
before they announced their bankruptcy/collapse. I'm surprised that Targ... I mean the large retailer was having problems. Usually a downturn is good for these guys, because people want to save money. I read somewhere that Wal-Mart was doing well.

hmmm....
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exboyfil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
6. I noticed this in the Electronics Department of K-Mart
a few days ago.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:52 AM
Response to Original message
9. that Wall Street oracle sez shortages by summer
Time to stock some food.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Which one?
Just curious.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:58 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. I think it was Denninger. (eom)
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inthebrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 01:56 AM
Response to Original message
12. I recall reading something a year ago about the nintendo Wii shortage.
Mainly that because the dollar was shit they were sending fewer here and more to Europe and other countries.

Given that we import everything it's more than just the credit crunch. The dollar is absolutely worthless so you're gonna see less people selling shit here. And what is sold here will be at inflated price and limited supply.
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. Welcome to the third world
Now, will you kindly remove that minimum wage thingy and work for $1.25 an hour so you can buy both rice AND beans for food.

Thank you,

Your local Overlords.
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rockymountaindem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 02:38 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. You're aware that the dollar has had a huge rally over the past 8 months, right?
You wouldn't be peddling the same "total economic collapse" rhetoric from last summer, would you? It's past-date. I'm sure there's got to be new material.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 02:33 AM
Response to Original message
17. A new Fresh & Easy market was built near us.. The shelving is up, lights on
and it's been that way for TWO MONTHS.. The distribution center is IN OUR TOWN, but the store has never opened.. There is also an Italian restaurant that was started & never finished.. the tile roofing & assorted building supplies still litter the fenced-in building site.. The Mimi's restaurant next door is not shedding any tears, nor does the Applebee's on the other side..
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SmileyRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. MIMI'S!!!
I wish Uncle Bob's would come back to my neck of the woods........
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jannyk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:32 AM
Response to Original message
19. Home Depot here on Vancouver Island has lots of empty shelf space too.
We have a cabin here on the Island in BC and have been here since xmas. Doing some fixing up around our place and have been into HD in Langford, just outside Victoria, a couple of times.

Masses of items not available and gaping voids on the shelves. Where they should have 50 faucet choices, they actually have about 15 and these are spread out to fill some of the empty space. Those they have tended to be the lower end items. Same with the light fixtures. Didn't even have any baseboard (of any size)in contractor packs - "haven't had any for a few weeks, don't know when we'll get any", same with some ordinary 3" bolts we needed.

I noticed the same thing in the Emeryville (CA) HD before I left the Bay Area, but thought it was an anomaly. It appears not to be.
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