“Retail is not a job or a career…” “this year…would be our last year”: U.S. Retail/Banking/Service sector collapse, October 2017

Incomplete list of U.S. retail/banking/service sector job loss announcements and shutdowns made or announced in October 2017:

Alabama: In Homewood, kids clothier Sash & Beau shutdown.  In Vestavia Hills, after five years Fancy Goods Variety shutdown.

Arizona: In Mesa, after 38 years Bubbles of Joy-Groovie Ghoulie’s Costumes shutdown: “Last year was not good. It was not the best so we decided this year that it would be our last year.”-Mary Faber, owner

Arkansas:   In Fort Smith, after 77 years Midwest Sporting Goods due to the death of a co-owner.

 California:   Seven years old kitchen/bath fixture retailer PIRCH issued a shutdown WARN for its store in San Diego, 78 jobs gone a couple weeks before Xmas. It should be noted that PIRCH announced in September it would shutdown all its stores outside of California.  Florida based SeaWorld eliminating 79 jobs in San Diego, right before Xmas.   Solar power financing company Renovate America laid off 76 people in San Diego, and another 1-hundred nationwide! In May, Renovate America (the largest solar financing company in California) laid off 108 people.  In Santa Rosa, an unprecidentedly fast wildfire destroyed several stores.   Also, the Santa Rosa Plaza shutdown due to smoke from the fire, 120 retail shops shuttered until things clear out.  Investment company National Planning Holdings laid off 163 people in El Segundo!   Too Big to Jail Capital One issued a layoff WARN for its San Francisco ops, 132 jobs gone in January 2018!  San Francisco based clothier GAP claims it had to shutdown at least four stores in the area due to smoke from the wildfires.  In Kenwood wildfire destroyed the Fountaingrove Inn and a Hilton Sonoma Wine Country Hotel.  In San Jose, after 62 years Mosher’s Men’s Clothing shutting down due to the owner’s health problems.  In Orange, after 14 years Copperwood Artware shutting down so the owners can retire.  In Bakersfield, the owner of Regency Lanes Bowling Center went chapter 11 bankrupt busted, however, management at the bowling alley claim they will be remodeling, not shutting down.  France based clothier Louis Vuitton shutting down its store in Hollywood, right after Xmas.  ATA Retail Services issued a shutdown WARN for its Hayward location, 74 jobs gone right before Xmas. Engineering services company Jacobs Field Services issued layoff WARNs for its Carson ops, 176 jobs gone right before Xmas!  In Laguna Beach, Andersen Hotels shutting down its Hotel Laguna, 121 jobs gone right before Xmas!   South Africa based Swissport ending airport operations in Los Angeles and San Francisco, 348 jobs gone in December!

Connecticut:  Hotel operator Marriott eliminating 107 jobs in Stamford right after Xmas!  British empire based Too Big to Jail RBS (Royal bank of Scotland) 43 jobs in Stamford right before Xmas.

Delaware: In Middletown, after 69 years W.D. Hatton Watch, Clock, and Jewelry Repair shutdown, the 94 years old owner said “It wasn’t because business was slowing. It was continuous. Sales were going up. I just got pretty old and got tired, too much repairs!”

Florida:  In Winter Park, after 18 years the Doggie Door shutdown.  Jacksonville based department chain store Stein Mart suddenly laid off 48 HQ employees, due to losing $9.3-million USD.  Ritz-Carlton South Beach officially eliminating 281 jobs due to damage by Hurricane Irma, the hotel has been shutdown since 08 SEP 2017!  Hawks Clay Resort officially laid off 260 people, blaming it on damage by Hurricane Irma!  Since the hurricane hit the resort the employees had been receiving ‘hurricane pay’.  After 72 years Burgess Paint Supply shutdown so the owner (who says his ‘wife’ is the store) can retire.  Orlando based SeaWorld suddenly laid off 350 people across the U.S., as part of its plan to reduce costs by $40-million USD!  ValueOptions Federal Services eliminating 115 jobs by May 2018!  Professional Surveys of Pinellas eliminating 182 jobs by mid-November!  Sitel Operating Corporation eliminating 178 jobs by December!

Illinois: Furniture seller Land of Nod eliminating 25 jobs as part of consolidation ops.   OfficeMax shutting down its Springfield store on West Iles Avenue in time for Thanksgiving, “As part of the three-year strategic plan announced in August 2016″.  In Jacksonville, after ten years sexist female only fitness center Curves suddenly shutdown and now for sale, to fund the co-owners’ retirement.  Office services company Conifer Revenue Cycle Solutions issued a layoff WARN, 34 jobs gone by November.  Marketing consulting company Direct Energy issued a shutdown WARN for its Buffalo Grove location, 98 jobs gone by March 2018, due to consolidation ops.  Too Big to Jail Capital One issued a mass-layoff WARN for its Rolling Meadows ops, 452 jobs gone between December 2017 and April 2018, no reason given!

Indiana: What construction/real estate industry recovery? House flipper Chart Properties now bankrupt busted, local news reports say more than 120 customers are ‘screwed’!

Iowa: Hotel operator Sheraton laying off 30 people in Iowa City right after Xmas.

Hawaii: Island Air now chapter 11 bankrupt busted due to legal problems with the company that leases aircraft to the airlines.

Kansas: The Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Argonia failed, assets turned over to Conway Bank.  In Shawnee, after almost 40 years Fun Party and Wedding Services shutdown so the owners can retire.

Kentucky: In Shelbyville, after 90 years Biagi’s Appliance shutdown.  In Lexington, after 56 years Howard-Knight Tall & Big clothiers shutdown because the 85 years old owner wants to retire.  Texas based Dignity Memorial suddenly shutdown its 1-hundred years old Barbour and Son Funeral Home in Tollesboro.

Louisiana: In Shreveport, after 66 years Toy Fair shutting down after Xmas, it’s for sale, the owner says he wants to focus on his other business. Pennsylvania based clothier David’s Bridal shutting down its ten years old store in Alexandria by mid-December, as part of plans to shutdown U.S. stores and open new stores in Canada.  After 88 years Vermilion Oaks Golf Club suddenly shutdown, and as proof the economy has not recovered the operators said “Golf is a luxury income business, and not a lot of people have a luxury income right now.”

Maryland: In Hagerstown, after more than 40 years Charlene’s Hair Gallery shutting down right before Xmas, the Christian owner wants to spend more time volunteering at her church.

Massachusetts: After 61 years Country Curtains killed off by stockholders, all 19 stores shutting down, assets being sold-off due to millions of dollars in losses since 2015, 360 jobs gone!  

Michigan:  In Midland, after more than 50 years Meier Camera Shop shutdown, the owners moved back to Traverse City.  Pennsylvania based clothier David’s Bridal shutting down its ten years old store in Fort Gratiot by mid-November, as part of plans to shutdown U.S. stores and open new stores in Canada.  OfficeMax shutting down its store on east Columbia Avenue in Battle Creek, in time for Thanksgiving.  Also in Battle Creek, after 66 years Jim Hazel’s Citgo & U-Haul shutdown and sold-off.   In Dearborn, after more than 50 years iconic Wonderland Music shutdown.

Minnesota:  In Duluth, without warning Lake Superior Zoo eliminated 12 jobs due to lack of cash.    In Minneapolis, after 19 years music venue Triple Rock Social Club announced on Facebook it will shutdown in time for Thanksgiving.  In Fairmount, after 53 years Enderson Clothing shutting down: “Retail is not a job or a career, it’s a lifestyle and I’m fortunate it’s been good to me and I’m capable of retiring and I’d like to take advantage of it.”-Brian Sandberg.

Missouri: After more than 50 years Ferguson True Value Hardware shutdown, blaming crashing sales dating back to 2010 and damage caused by riots in 2014.  Central Bank of Boone County shutting down Columbia Mall branch by the end of January 2018, due to lack of business.  In Saint Louis, after 86 years Oak Hill True Value Hardware shutdown, the building is being turned into apartments.

Montana: In Great Falls,  after 22 years Lakota Woman Pawn & Trading Post shutting down at the beginning of November, due to the owner’s ongoing health problems.

Nebraska:  In Omaha, the Shopko in the Frederick Square Shopping Center, as well as the OfficeMax at Shadow Lake Towne Center, both shutting down anytime between now and Xmas.

New Mexico: Los Alamos National Bank laid off 26 people, blaming it on high labor costs.

New Jersey: In Maplewood, after only two years Shenanigans Toys announced on Facebook it shutdown, the owner saying “Please shop locally. The extra trip it takes you around the parking lot means a store can last for another day and it’s employee’s will continue to have work.”  In Chatham, after 34 years clothier D.J. Craters shutting down after Xmas.

New York:  Bankrupt law firm Binder & Binder continues killing jobs, this time 190!  Insurance and military law firm White Fleischner & Fino issued shutdown WARNs for its NYC offices, 59 jobs gone by the end of January 2018.   Bath & Body Works issued a shutdown WARN for its NYC location, at least 56 jobs being consolidated to Ohio in Spring 2018.  Furniture seller Ethan Allen shutting down its ten years old Staten Island store, no official reason given.  Employment agency LaborTemps issued a shutdown WARN for its Jamaica location, 48 jobs gone right after Xmas.

North Carolina: Morganton Music Center announced on Facebook its shutdown.  What automotive industry recovery?  After 25 years Edenton Motors shutdown after failed attempts to sell the dealership, 27 jobs gone.  In Asheville, after 45 years Kim’s Wig Center shutting down right before Xmas, supposedly to be replace with a beer joint sometime in 2018.

Ohio:  In Dayton, a FedEx Office shutdown, no reason given.

Oregon:  In Ashland, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival laid off an undisclosed number of employees due to having to reduce next year’s budget, which was the result of having to cancel several plays this year because of the smoke from all the wildfires.  In Portland, after 127 years (surviving The Great Depression and numerous recessions) Helen’s Pacific Costumers shutdown.

Pennsylvania:  BB&T shutting down the Susquehanna Bank HQ in Lititz, 82 jobs lost as a result of BB&T’s 2015 take-over of Susquehanna Bank.  Too Big to jail California based Wells Fargo shutting down its Leigh Valley call center, 460 jobs gone!   In Wyoming County, after 57 years Ken Mar Home Furnishings shutting down so the owners can retire.  Christian founded Walmart shutting down its 14 years old store in Bristol Borough, an 197 jobs gone right before Xmas!  In East Stroudsburg, after 33 years jewelry seller Liztech shutdown due to the death of the owner’s husband: “He designed a beautiful platform for me to dance on and in any direction that I wanted……without him, I just never get to make jewelry anymore.”-Jill Elizabeth

South Dakota:  Bettor Racing now chapter 7 bankrupt busted due to failing to repay two Tribal Nations more than $10-million USD.

Texas: In Houston, after 67 years Frankel’s Costume announced on its website it is shutting down after Xmas, due to the property being sold to a developer.  In Abilene, after 73 years Busch Jewelers shutting down when the inventory is gone.  In Amarillo, after 90 years Buck’s Sporting Goods shutdown, the owners blaming competition with big box and online stores for causing “our retail business had been declining over the last 10 years.”

Vermont: In Belmains, Depression Era variety store Randolph’s shutdown, the owners blame increased competition for causing “the lack of good steady flow of foot traffic”.

Virginia: Magic Mart shutting down its decades old store in Abingdon, apparently the property where the store is located is co-owned by a property developer and the taxpayers of Abingdon.  There are plans to turn the area into a mega shopping center-sports complex at taxpayer expense.  In Arlington, after 75 years Belmont TV shutdown, officially because the owner retired, but he also revealed that “By 2008-09, so many electronic companies were going out of business. It was a deeper problem for all of us than the recession.”

Washington: The Bellingham Herald revealed that Whatcom County is in a retail death spiral.  In normal years the county averages 90 new store openings, but since at least 2015 new store openings have been a little more than half that, and then you have to throw in all the shutdowns like JCPenney (pending)Kmart (pending), Macy’s (pending), Wet Seal, Teavana, Family Christian, Radio Shack, Rue21 and Sears Hometown.  What real estate industry recovery?  Mortgage insurer Northwest Trustee Services eliminating 25 Bellevue jobs right before Xmas.  Foreclosure Expeditors Initiators issued a layoff WARN for its ops in Bellevue.  Commercial real estate law firm RCO Legal eliminating 12 jobs in Bellevue right before Xmas. Also in Bellevue, Realty in Motion issued a layoff WARN, 27 jobs gone right before Xmas.

Wisconsin: In Madison, after more than 40 years shoe seller Cornblooms shutting down: “I’m not blaming the mall or the internet or construction. Like anything else it was a cascade. It’s a business and sadly we didn’t make our numbers.”-Jeanette Riechers, owner

WARN=Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification




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U.S. government shenanigans, October 2017:“WHO’S PROFITING…?”


ObamaCare ACA death spiral, October 2017:“BUSINESS AS USUAL.”