What’s next for our Economy?

12/26/2008:

Based on my own observations – as well as recollections from many people I’ve spoken with this holiday season – I have a feeling there will be MANY stores closing up in 2009 – both locally AND nationally.

holiday-sales-are-very-weak.jpg

How bad will it get?

Christmas shopping used to be a frenetic and stressful time. Crowded shopping malls, maniacal deal-seekers, zero parking, and migraine headaches. Other than those low-lives that trampled a Wal-Mart employee to death for some craptastic deal on bottom-of-the-line electronics – it seems as if retail sales were down tremendously this year.

For one, I didn’t even notice an increase in local shopping buzz here in Hoboken. Each and every day and night were no different than any other day of the year. In fact, it seems a bit LESS crowded in Hoboken (possibly due to the empty buildings and folks hunkering down at home to stretch their paychecks?)

stores-will-empty-out-as-the-economy-gets-worse.jpgI also went out to “Mall Capital of the World” (Paramus, NJ) a couple times. No traffic getting there – and minimal activity inside. Those kiosk owners in the middle were so desperate they were all actively seeking out conversations with passing shoppers. It was quite annoying.

Some others said:

Newport Mall:
“I went over to Newport Mall about five times before Christmas, and not once was it crowded. Some stores had NO shoppers inside. I remember in day’s past you couldn’t even walk in the mall it was so busy – not so this year!”

Toys ‘R’ Us:
“Took my son shopping there this week to let him pick out what he wanted. Normally, with hot items such as the Nintendo Wii, they had limitations such as “One Per Customer.” This time they asked me “How many do I want?” The store was so empty, the employees outnumbered the shoppers!”

Is this bleak holiday season just the tip of the iceberg? How many more layoffs, chapter 11 filings, and other bad economic news is still to come?

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21 Comments on "What’s next for our Economy?"

strand tramp
Member
strand tramp

they will stop offering 50% discounts, because they will be closing their doors and going out of business. same for 25-40% of the car dealerships that have GM franchises.

prag
Member

It will be interesting to see what happens now that the holidays are almost over. Will retailers be able to stop offering “50% off” discounts? When the car dealers started offering discounts after 9/11 customers became quickly accustomed to them and dealers had a hard time getting rid of them. Long-term discounting tends to erode the perceived value of your products. It may be the only way to keep people coming to the stores for now though.

strand tramp
Member
strand tramp

retailer consulting group Davidowitz & Assoc reporting wealest holiday sales in 40yrs. they report retailers will close 12,000 locations in 2009. while many large chains have already sought bankruptcy protection in 2008, expect more in Feb when they file financial reports. other estimates coming in with as many as 200,000 store closings possible. Macy’s reported discounts of up to 70% and sales still fell 4% in the final 2 months of the year.

oceanbloo
Member
oceanbloo

411, agree with you about some malls being less busy. We went to Newport Mall a couple of days ago and it was dead. It was really depressing, actually. Macy’s was pretty busy, Sears was a little less so, but the rest of the mall was in sad shape.

MidnightRacer
Member

I can’t speak for Newport Mall, but I went to (the mall at) Short Hills and Bridgewater Commons mall the week before and days after Christmas and can say that it was a mad house. Lines and lines of cars for about a mile waiting to get into Short Hills, same for any traffic northbound 287 going to Bridgewater Commons.

Don’t know how the Hoboken/Jersey City area faired, wasn’t there.

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