Closing Remarks

This is how the “recovery” is progressing.

From “CNN Money” – “Staples will close 225 stores in North America by the middle of next year as the office supply retailer tries to trim costs in the face of weaker sales. The store closings will come to about 12% of its stores in North America. The closings build upon the 40 stores it closed in the region in 2013. Staples said it is aiming to save $ 500 million annually through the closings and other cost cutting measures. (Translation: Staples is losing $ 500 million annually.)

“Staples also reported lower sales and earnings in its most recent quarter that ended Feb. 1, a period that included the holiday shopping period. And it warned that sales and earnings would be lower again in the current quarter, missing forecasts of analysts.

“The announcement comes two days after electronics retailer Radio Shack announce plans to close up to 1,100 stores, or about 20% of its locations.” –

From Business Week – “Quiznos Corp., the Denver-based toasted-sandwich chain, filed for bankruptcy days after pizzeria company Sbarro LLC sought protection from creditors, as competition among fast-food restaurants grows in a tight market. Quiznos said it’s seeking to implement a reorganization that would cut debt by $ 400 million. (Translation: Quiznos is losing $ 400 million annually) … Sbarro filed for bankruptcy on March 10, while the owner of Hot Dog on a Stick filed last month, as foot traffic in shopping malls dwindled …” –

During the last few years GAP closed 20% of its locations, and Macy’s, which had forecast strong earnings and is considered the most successful of the mid-market retailers, closed stores recently. Other notable closings include:

– Abercrombie & Fitch announced plans to close 180 of its stores by 2015.

– Barnes & Noble early last year announced plans to shut a third of its stores over the next 10 years.

– J. C. Penney announced the closing of 33 stores to be completed by May.

– Office Depot, since merging with OfficeMax in November, has closed 15 of its stores and seven OfficeMax locations.

– Sears Holding has closed approximately 300 stores since 2010.

– Toys “R” Us – Industry sources say the company will soon close 100 of its stores.

[Do you suppose our unemployment crisis has anything to do with these failures?]