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Wed Dec 18, 2019, 10:17 PM

My limited view of retail doesn't look great

I've been shopping this week and the past two. This week, the big-boxers (Walmart, Target) have finally begun to look busy, although both were running about 1/3 of their available cashier lanes.

I also went to a Department Store last night - Dillards. My older daughter wanted some boots, and I was able to order them online for store pickup. Easy, no-hassle experience with no complaints. But the store was dead. A week before we all try to outdo the Three Kings for gift giving - dead. I'd remember being in Department stores in the malls in my 20s and 30s a week before Christmas, and they were packed. The cashier stands had lines. Now racks of clothes and costume jewelry and boxes of Harry & David Moose Munch and Godiva Chocolate go untouched. It came as a surprise partly because I've been told that the higher-end stores are largely escaping the carnage in retail.

I'm just one guy; this was just one store, and I have only been to this store in this place. I have to think that there will be more hemorrhaging in retail in 1Q and 2Q 2020, though. The malls are just not attracting buyers; the remaining department stores seem to not have a market to whom to sell, and free shipping and the time savings are just making online buying so simple.

If you've seen a different story, I'd be interested in you to share it.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Dec 18, 2019, 10:21 PM

1. i have a friend who worked at target, and has talked to her former colleagues.

they report much the same, but also that order online and pick up in store is hot, hot, hot.
we will need to see the numbers.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 18, 2019, 10:27 PM

2. We are having Target ship a bunch to us.

The kids had lists; the local Target didn't have everything, but RedCard = free shipping, so we did that. Lists pretty-much done (except for the boots I had to go to Dillards to get)

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Dec 18, 2019, 10:36 PM

3. Long line at the car parts store today.

I doubt if it was Christmas shopping.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 18, 2019, 10:58 PM

5. Probably people doing the last minute car maintenance before hitting the road

I'm sure some car care products were sold as well. I've done some Christmas shopping there.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Dec 18, 2019, 10:38 PM

4. I'm not sure the MSM is telling us the entire truth.

I've noticed the empty stores, too. We no longer do Xmas gift-giving, so I'm not in retails stores very much, but enough to know something is wrong.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Dec 18, 2019, 11:13 PM

6. I think online shopping has taken a lot of shoppers away from brick and mortar stores.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Wed Dec 18, 2019, 11:44 PM

7. Target has online. Delivery sevice that i use

Competing with amazon

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Thu Dec 19, 2019, 02:53 AM

8. It is possible that on line shopping is so huge that what you see

at a brick and mortar store is meaningless.

I know that I myself am not a very good example. At this point in my life I buy a present for my one son, and maybe something for myself. Actually, I did order something for myself from Wine Country Gift baskets.

But my total spending is at best $150.00. So I am not contributing very much to the GDP.

In terms of my personal shopping, it's important to note that I am 71 years old, have one child, no grandchildren, and no spousal unit. I will be getting together with friends for Christmas Eve and will bring a bottle of bubbly. I really do get it that I'm not at all the average person.

Although I will point out, that some 30 years ago I was astonished at how much money some people I knew spent on Christmas, and I was pretty sure they had less to spend than I did. Weird. Perhaps because I grew up relatively poor, I was never willing to spend more than I could afford at this time of year.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 19, 2019, 02:58 AM

9. got all my stuff online

First year doing it. The amazon trucks are all over my neighborhood.

The Sears at our mall is just huge empty and tragic.

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Response to RANDYWILDMAN (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 19, 2019, 03:08 AM

10. I went to a store to purchase the gift for my son.

But I did go online to get something for myself.

I know I'm not a good example because I do almost no shopping, and spend very little money.

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