“I am fighting….an unwinnable fight.” : U.S. Banking/Retail/Service sector destruction December 2016

Incomplete list of U.S. retail/banking/service sector job loss announcements and shutdowns for December 2016:

Alabama: JCPenney shutting down their Madison Square Mall store, 120 jobs lost by the end of January 2017!  Local news reports partly blame a major taxpayer co-funded ($12-million USD coming from the city of Huntsville) redevelopment of the mall, which requires the mall to be demolished.

Arizona: Tempe based skateboarding clothier Industrial Ride Shop now chapter 11 bankrupt busted.  News reports indicate that Industrial Ride Shop hasn’t paid rent on several of its U.S. retail locations.

 California: Texas based Tuesday Morning shutting down its Granite Bay store when the inventory is gone.  Bankrupt busted Los Angeles based American Apparel shutdown 12 of 13 British empire United Kingdom stores, and sold its global rights to British empire Canada rival Gildan Activewear, on top of suddenly shutting down nine stores across the U.S.    France based fashion retailer Louis Vuitton shutting down a San Francisco location, 37 jobs gone by March 2017. Also in San Francisco, after 30 years Russel’s Convenience Store forced to shutdown by the evil landlord who suddenly altered the lease. In San Diego, Sea World issued a layoff WARN, 60 amusement park jobs gone by February 2017, as part of SeaWorld Entertainment’s plan to kill 320 jobs across the U.S. in 2017!  In Santa Clarita, Princess Cruises issued a layoff WARN, 61 InfoTech jobs gone by February 2017.  What housing market recovery?  Prospect Mortgage issued a layoff WARN for their Sherman Oaks ops, 94 jobs gone by the end of January 2017.  Retailer Target issued a shutdown WARN for their Cupertino store, 208 jobs gone by the end of January 2017!  In Vista, 58 years old Dura Paint Store shutting down by February 2017, the owners are moving to Colorado. In Santa Maria, after more than 30 years Betty’s Fabrics shutdown: “People are not making clothes anymore……There are two generations of young ladies who did not learn how to sew.”-Betty Pilkington, owner

Colorado: Iconic outdoor gear company Coleman shutting down their HQ in Golden, 54 jobs gone by February 2017.  The evil owner of Coleman, Georgia based Newell Brands, is consolidating ops to Illinois.

Connecticut: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) issued yet another layoff WARN, ten more people in Stamford jobless by February 2017.

Florida: Tennessee based marketer and job outsourcer Sitel issued a shutdown WARN for their Pompano Beach operations, 804 jobs gone by the end of February 2017!  Facility maintenance company Encompass Onsite laid off 162 jobs in Fort Lauderdale!  Reports that Ohio based clothier The Limited shutting down all Sunshine State stores in 2017! Jennifer Lopez’s Endless Jewelry North and South America now chapter 7 bankrupt, which usually means they’re dead.  In Tampa, after 25 years Olga’s Bridal Boutique shutdown.  Local news media say it was the oldest family owned bridal business in Tampa.

Georgia: In Columbus, after 87 years V.V. Vick Jeweler shutdown, the owner Penny Vick stated “Because of my medical condition, I have no choice.”  In Dalton, after 10 years popular Bear Creek Bicycle shutdown:  “I am fighting, in my opinion, an unwinnable fight. ….. I don’t begrudge people for shopping on the internet, because we all do it. I don’t blame them for making a fiscally sound decision, but I am having to make a fiscally sound decision myself. And that means I am having to move on.”-Shane Adams, owner

Illinois:  In Kankakee, Volkmann Diamonds shutdown, the owner lamenting “It just doesn’t pay to keep this going anymore.”  Cole Haan shutdown their Magnificiant Mile clothing accesory store, due to not being able to afford the new lease.   Chicago based internet financier Argon Credit now chapter 11 bankrupt busted, right after promising to hire 150 people. Fitness center operator Club Ventures Investments suddenly shutdown a Chicago location, 57 jobs lost without warning.  Club Ventures Investments told state regulators it was due to “financial” reasons.  The Inn of Chicago shutting down, 89 employees unemployed by the end of January 2017, due to being sold. Nordstrom’s clothing supplier Trunk Club shutting down their Goose Island distribution center, 157 jobs lost by September 2017!  Also in Chicago, RPM Advertising eliminating 50 jobs by the end of January 2017.  In Des Plaines, Van Ru Credit laying off 37 people by February 2017. In Gurnee, Packers Sanitation Service lost their contract, 40 jobs lost in January 2017. In Jacksonville, after 45 years autoshop Ken’s Garage shutdown.  In Farmer City, Harris TV & Appliance shutdown after 63 years: “We have the greatest customers in the world. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough of them. You get to the point where you are basically just writing checks for insurance and utilities and you don’t even pay yourself. Actually, my brother and I haven’t paid ourselves in years.”-David Harris, co-owner

Kansas: In Shawnee, She’s A Pistol gun-shop shutdown, due partly to legal costs after a fatal 2015 gun fight that took place inside the store. Four armed robbers shot and killed one of the co-owners, the other co-owner (and spouse of the murdered co-owner) tried to keep the operation going, even after one of the criminals threatened a lawsuit due to being wounded during the crime: “Mounting legal fees, the increased labor expenses, things like that. I got behind, and as you get behind, the late fees and penalties pile up and it creates a vicious cycle that just puts you further and further in debt….  There’s just nothing left.”-Becky Bieker, co-owner and survivor of armed robbery that took the life of her husband, commenting to local Fox4KC TV station

In Topeka, Hair Secrets shutdown after 26 years of supporting women with cancer.   Iconic outdoor gear company Coleman shutdown their last U.S. service center in Wichita.  The evil owner of Coleman, Georgia based Newell Brands, is consolidating ops and claims that only 1% of the repair center employees lost their jobs, which is hard to believe as Newell Brands’ consolidation will result in the shutdown of 16 of its 32 “business units”.

Louisiana: In New Orleans, after ten years t-shirt shop Storyville shutdown, due to a copyright battle with the National Football League (NFL).   Toys R Us shutting down its Marrero store, by the end of January 2017.  Local TV news reports say customers are pissed because it is a popular store, and Toys R Us admin refuse to say why they’re shutting down a store that seems to have a lot of sales.

Maryland: In Towson, upscale (elitist) children’s store Corduroy Button shutdown.

Massachusetts: In Wareham, Taylor Rental shutdown after 42 years.  In Amesbury, Fiddlestix Toys shutdown right after Xmas: “It’s has been a hard recession……I need to have a knee replacement and I would like to see my brothers.”-Joyce Reed, owner

Michigan: In Grand Rapids, after almost 50 years Elliott’s News and Tobacco shutdown: “Profit margins aren’t as good as they used to be and the cost of rent downtown has gone up tremendously.”-Bill Bennett, owner

Minnesota: Ohio based Macy’s shutting down its iconic Nicollette Mall store in 2017.  In Rochester, the Arrow Ace Hardware in Miracle Mile shutting down in January 2017, due to a construction project.   In Stillwater, after 110 years Gaalaas Jewelers shutdown. California based Williams Sonoma shutting down their Mall of America store by mid-January 2017.  Thrift store Isle Helping Hand Clothing Closet shutting down by March 2017.  Historic 122 years old Godahl General Store shutdown. It was the third oldest general store in the United States: It’s a financial issue. It’s been in trouble for 15 years.”-Nate Frederickson, Godahl Store Board member

Missouri: In Kansas City, after 70 years Crick Camera Shop shutting down by January 2017.  In Paris, after more than 35 years McLaughlin Western Store shutdown, the owners saying they must change “our focus a little bit.” In Sedalia, Stage Stores owned Goody’s clothing store shutting down, 11 jobs lost in January 2017.  It’s part of Stage Stores plan to shutdown stores in 2017.  In Springfield, Mitt Romney wunderkind Staples shutting down a store on the North Kansas Expressway, by February 2017.  After 45 years John’s Suit Shop shutting down in January 2017, co-owner Steve Divine reminisced “Suits used to be $25, with two pairs of pants, reversible vests, made in the U.S.A.”

New Hampshire: Hubert’s Family Outfitters shutting down their 20 years old Woodsville store when the inventory is gone, their four years old Goffstown store is already shutdown: “The business decision is pretty easy. If you’re not seeing a profit, and the future doesn’t look brighter, it’s not really a difficult decision……The challenging part of the closing is the people”-Tom Hubert

New Mexico: In Albuquerque, 98 years old Valiant Printing shutdown due to the property being sold.  Golf course Club Rio Rancho shutdown due to financial troubles like not being able to pay the $350-thousand USD water bill.

New York: Retailer Gracious Homes issued mass shutdown WARNs for three stores, 142 people jobless between now and the end of January 2017!  In Watertown the 84 Lumber store shutdown after 19 years, it’s part of their plan to consolidate stores across the U.S.  Gift store Hallmark shutting down their Destiny USA store by the end of January 2017.  Hotel operator Marriott International laying off 15 people at its StarLab Ops, by the end of March 2017.  Laundry service Prestige Industries shutting down their Bay Shore ops, 141 jobs gone by January 2017, due to “Unexpected collapse of the tunnel washer system.”   Fitness center operator Club Ventures Investments suddenly shutdown four of their David Barton Gyms, 238 jobs lost without warning just five days before Xmas!  What housing market recovery? PHH Mortgage issued a shutdown WARN for their Williamsville operations, 254 people jobless by mid-2017!  In Orchard Park, Stein Mart shutting down by February 2017, management refused to say why.

North Carolina: In Washington, the now AMC owned Carmike Cinema shutdown without warning after 40 years, local news media report that management was told not to tell anybody about the shutdown. In Ashville, known for having live concerts Karmasonics Music Video shutdown.  And Rosebud Video shutdown, it was the odlest indepedantly owned video store in Ashville.  After 18 years WallerBears Surf Shop shutdown their South Charlotte location due to not being able to renew the lease: “Small specialty retail, I feel like, is impossible. I’m not sure it can be done anymore.”-Barrett Cornelison, owner

Ohio: Clothier The Limited shutdown two stores in Niles, and is laying off at least 2-hundred people at its HQ in Columbus!  It’s part of The Limited’s plan to shutdown dozens of stores across the United States, in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy.  In Mayfield Heights, one time journalism student and school teacher Barry Siegler shutdown his Lee Jewelers after 68 successful years of “I never had any interest or aspirations to be a jeweler, let alone open a business.”

Oklahoma: Toys R Us shutting down one of three Tulsa area stores, by the end of January 2017.  In Enid, after almost 20 years Hidden Treasures shutdown, local news media called the gift store “iconic”.

Oregon: Taxpayer funded Goodwill shutdown their Rogue River location.  Local TV station NBC5 said employees were not given a reason for the shutdown of the supposedly popular thrift store.

Pennsylvania:  Pittsburgh based 84 Lumber accusing Georgia based New Visions Real Estate, and two individuals, of failing to pay for $60-thousand in construction supplies.    Packers Sanitation Service eliminating jobs in two cities, 161 people unemployed by January 2017!   Quad Graphics issued a WARN for their York location, 193 jobs lost by mid-January 2017! In Pittsburgh, after 25 years furniture store Artistry shutdown.  In Frazer, after almost 40 years John S. Price Jeweler shutting down when the inventory is gone.

Tennessee: Goody’s shutting down their Cookeville store, for the second time according to local news reports.

Texas: In Katy, gift store Cottage Door shutdown after more than 20 years.  In Fort Worth, Leddy’s Ranch store shutdown its Sundance Square location, as part of its plans to consolidate stores.

Vermont: In Burlington, known for dressing up local women for national and international events Marylyn’s shutting down her brick-n-mortar specialty clothing store and turning to internet jewelry sales only.  Too Big to Jail Citizens Bank shutting down their 41 years old White River Junction office by February 2017.

Virginia: In Salem, after almost 75 years Ridenhour music store shutdown so the owners could do “something different”.   Home Depot shutting down their Charles City cabinet warehouse, 70 jobs lost by the end of January 2017.  Home Depot admin claim they tried every option to keep the warehouse open, and even tried to sell it, but it all failed.   Toy store Phyl’s of Bristol shutdown, the owners blamed it on failed taxpayer funded attempts by city leaders to increase business, which actually resulted in two years of crashing sales.  Convenience store Ladysmith Citgo shutdown after 78 years.  The shutdown is the result of a Walmart being built nearby, which will force the construction of a new road right through the iconic store’s property.  Local news reports say the store began in The Great Depression as a general store and post office.

Washington: Sports stadium operator Seattle Sportservice issued a shutdown WARN, 761 jobs gone by mid-February 2017!  In Issaquah, Mitt Romney wunderkind Staples shutting down a store on Front Street North, by January 2017.

Wisconsin: 39 years old Donn Powers Jeweler shutdown.  In Superior, after 18 years (and despite repeated news reports that records are making a comeback) record store Vinyl Cave shutdown.

Retail/Banking/Service sector November 2016: “NOBODY EVEN KNOWS WE’RE HERE!”

U.S. industrial destruction December 2016: “WE DO NOT ANTICIPATE ANY MEANINGFUL RECOVERY”


WARN=Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification.

I found a 2010 AFL-CIO analysis (titled The Public Availability of WARN Notices: Lack of Accessibility and Disclosure…) which proves what I’ve been suspecting in my search of state WARN notices; most states are not complying with federal WARN regulations and are not publicizing or tracking mass layoffs.

Former employees who receive severance are not counted as unemployed!

Employees of religious non-profits might not qualify for unemployment assistance: “If the non-profit organization is a church, you may or may not be entitled to unemployment. It all depends upon state regulations for church employers. In many cases, churches are allowed to set their own rules regarding unemployment benefits, meaning the church can choose whether to offer benefits to former employees.”

The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) no longer issues mass layoff reports: “On March 1, 2013, President Obama ordered into effect the across-the- board spending cuts (commonly referred to as sequestration) required by the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, as amended. Under the order, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) must cut its current budget by more than $30 million, 5 percent of the current 2013 appropriation, by September 30, 2013. In order to help achieve these savings and protect core programs, the BLS will eliminate two programs, including Mass Layoff Statistics, and all ‘measuring green jobs’ products. This news release is the final publication of monthly mass layoff survey data.”