Retail closures scream recession

First it was Macy’s, who within days of the start of the new year announced store closures and layoffs, and was quickly followed by bell wealth company Walmart, who doubled down and reported the closure of hundreds of stores.  And now we can include at least six more major retailers who are shuttering down their low revenue outlets as economic conditions scream recession a little more than a month into 2016.

Contrary to mainstream business news, last year’s holiday shopping season was a major disappointment with sales growth worse than in 2014.  And after two years of blaming cold weather on slumping sales, these same pundits switched course and blamed warm weather instead.

The following are just a few of the big retailers that have already made major announcements…

-Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores, including 154 inside the United States.

-K-Mart is closing down more than two dozen stores over the next several months.

-J.C. Penney will be permanently shutting down 47 more stores after closing a total of 40 stores in 2015.

-Macy’s has decided that it needs to shutter 36 stores and lay offapproximately 2,500 employees.

-The Gap is in the process of closing 175 stores in North America.

-Aeropostale is in the process of closing 84 stores all across America.

-Finish Line has announced that 150 stores will be shutting down over the next few years.

-Sears has shut down about 600 stores over the past year or so, but sales at the stores that remain open continue to fall precipitously. – End of the American Dream Blog

Equity markets are already reflecting the demise of the consumer, with January being the worst month ever for stocks in the history of Wall Street.  And with countries all over the world suddenly announcing negative interest rates in order to coerce people into spending more, the fundamentals behind lower oil prices are validating that the world as a whole is not only in recession, but spiraling towards even greater financial turmoil.


Since the U.S. offshored most of its productive capacity, their GDP is reflected in both consumers and governments needing to buy and spend just to grow the economy.  And as the Atlanta Fed showed last week by lowering their Q4 GDP estimates down to .69%, expectations of a recovery seem to be less than zero, and where even more retailers will soon be joining the big boxes in shutting down their stores over the rest of 2016.

Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for,, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.