“death by a thousand cuts”: U.S. Retail/Banking/Service sector collapse, December 2017

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

More proof that the claim that the internet is killing off brick-n-mortars is bullshit as European brick-n-mortar owner Unibail-Rodamco announced it is willing to spend $15.7-billion USD taking over British empire Australia based U.S. commercial brick-n-mortar owner Westfield, for the purpose of building even more brick-n-mortar operations!  And as I’ve been saying since 2012, this whole brick-n-mortar shutdown thing is a False Flag by REITs (Real Estate Investment Trust). 

According to Fung Global, 2017 experienced far more U.S. store shutdowns than store openings; 6-thousand-885 announced store shutdowns versus 3-thousand-443 announced store openings.

Chapter 7 bankrupt Calypso St. Barth shutting down all remaining stores in New York, Georgia, Massachusetts, Colorado, California, Florida, Arizona, Maryland and South Carolina.  Don’t blame the internet, the women’s clothier has a website; www.calypsostbarth.com.

The world’s second largest clothing retailer, Sweden based H&M, announced it will shutdown stores in 2018, including in the United States, due to crashing global sales. H&M also plans to sell its clothing on China based online site Tmall.

Arizona: In Phoenix, after six decades Los Olivos Hand Car Wash shutdown, the land is being re-developed into housing.

 California: The Fresno Bee reporting that at least 40 businesses in the Fresno area shutdown in 2017, saying “…2017 was the year of closures.”   The Tribune reported that at least 11 businesses shutdown in San Luis Obispo County in 2017.  In Alameda, after more than eight decades Doumitt Shoes shutdown its last store. In San Bernardino, after 42 years Westway Western Wear shutting down once the inventory is gone, after a failed attempt to sell the popular business. In Chico, after 20 years Herreid Music shutdown, the owner blamed online competition, even though people who bought their instruments online ended up coming to him for help setting up the instruments.  What housing market recovery?  San Francisco based Too Big to Jail Wells Fargo continues killing mortgage jobs, this time at least 60 mortgage division employees suddenly laid off.   Sherman Oaks based luxury real estate developer Woodbridge Group of Companies now chapter 11 bankrupt busted, due to a possible $1-billion USD worth of investor fraud.  RMR Financial revealed it shutdown its Los Gatos office, 17 jobs gone.  In Burbank, Warner Music revealed it laid off 43 people months ago.  Fitness center Crunch issued a shutdown WARN for its Redwood City location, 48 jobs gone by the end of January 2018.

Connecticut:  Danbury based corporate ‘relocation’ service company Cartus asking U.S. employees to voluntarily quit as it “aligns its global workforce with business realities.” 

Florida: At least 20% of Harbor Community Bank’s employees will become jobless after competitor CenterState Bank completes its take-over in January 2018.  CD International Enterprises, a company focused on doing business with China and the U.S., is now chapter 7 bankrupt dead and being liquidated.  In Lakeland, after 30 years of selling U.S. made gifts Brooke Pottery shutting down in January 2018, so the owners can retire. In Tampa, Jackson National Life Insurance eliminating 62 jobs by February 2018.  What housing market recovery?  Mortgage banking firm Walter Investment Management now chapter 11 bankrupt busted, blaming three years of losses and more than $800-million USD of debt.

Suddenly shutdown the Wednesday before Xmas!

Suddenly shutdown the Wednesday before Xmas!

Idaho:  In Chubbuck, the local office of temporary employment agency Personnel Plus shutdown without warning just days before Xmas.  Sometime after Xmas a sign was posted saying it was “closed indefinitely”

"Closed indefinitely"

“Closed indefinitely”

 Insiders told me the temp agency suddenly lost all its Pocatello/Chubbuck area ’employer clients’, and that of all the Personnel Plus offices throughout Idaho the Chubbuck (officially, and incorrectly, referred to as their Pocatello) office was the only one that had consistent trouble finding temp work for its employees.   California based clothier GAP shutting down its 15 years old Old Navy store in Twin Falls, in January 2018,  as part of a plan to shutdown 2-hundred stores.   The Huckleberry Jam Festival two day music event will not return for 2018, due to lack of attendance (organizers claim they’ll return when they’ve figured out how to actually make money off it).  One local news outlet pointed out that there were other music events going on around the same time, indicating that maybe there are too many music venues for sparsely populated Idaho.

Illinois: Washington Federal Bank for Savings failed, its assets were turned over to Royal Savings Bank.  In Schaumburg, the Recreational Equipment Inc store shutting down in January 2018, the surprise announcement was made on the company’s website.  In Waukegan, after 40 years Midwest Bicycles and Billiards shutdown, so the owner can retire (and because nobody else in the family wanted to keep the popular business running). In Barrington, after three decades Fresh Flower Market shutdown so the owner can retire.  After six decades Wilmette Jewelers shutting down in January 2018, so the owner can retire.  Luxury department store Lord&Taylor shutting down its Westfield Old Orchard Mall location, 119 jobs gone in April 2018!

Indiana: In Valparaiso, after 42 years Engstrom Jewelers shutdown, the owner saying he is focusing on real estate because “There’s been a lot of consolidation. The strong have grown stronger, and the weak have grown weaker.”  In Zionsville, after 27 years Avalon Jewelers shutting down its brick-n-mortar store to focus on internet sales.  In Muncie, after 42 years Brinkman’s Children’s Shoes shutdown so the owner can retire.  God powerless to stop the shutdown of ‘his’ Saint Vincent de Paul thrift store in South Bend, as part of an new alliance with competitor Goodwill.  Local news media reported that in the 1990s thrift stores raked in huge profits, but in the past ten years thrift store sales have crashed.  The South Bend Saint Vincent and Goodwill joined forces to deal with crashing sales.  You know you’re in a depression when people can’t even afford to go shopping at a second hand store.

Iowa: In Dubuque, unique coffee/beer shop and movie house Mindframe Theaters/Molly’s Silver Screen Canteen shutdown due to the greedy landlord, and crashing movie attendance.  On Facebook the owners of the last independent theater in town said ticket sales are at their lowest point, and the property owner wants a bigger theater chain (which could theoretically pay bigger rent) to take-over the location.   Ohio based Nationwide Insurance suddenly laid off 30 people in Des Moines.  In Iowa City, after four decades the owner of University Camera announced it’ll shutdown by the end of May 2018, saying “The summer was pretty bleak. August and September when students came back, we should have done better. October, things literally fell off the cliff…” and describing the entire U.S. economy as “death by a thousand cuts”.   California based GAP and GAP Kids/babyGAP stores in Valley West Mall shutting down by the end of January 2018, as part of a plan to shutdown 2-hundred stores.

Kansas: In Manhattan, after more than 20 years gift shop Kansas Kollection shutting down when the inventory is gone, so the owners can retire.  California based clothier GAP shutting down its GAP Outlet store in the West Ridge Mall, as part of a plan to shutdown 2-hundred stores.

Louisiana:  California based clothier GAP shutdown its Mall of Louisiana store, as part of a plan to shutdown 2-hundred stores.    Coastal Staffing now chapter 11 bankrupt busted after failing to pay more than 1-hundred temp workers for hurricane relief work in Texas: “I have a one year old daughter at home that has to eat.  That’s why I came here.  I came here to make money and they don’t want to pay me the money that I worked for!”-Meagan Williams

Maine: After 15 years Bart & Greg’s DVD Explosion! shutdown.

Maryland: Beltsville based sport apparel chain Sports Zone Elite now chapter 11 bankrupt busted, despite also selling online (sportszoneelite.com). In Smithsburg, after 136 years (surviving The Great Depression and numerous recessions) Cavetown ACE Home Center shutdown due to being sold to a local competitor, who will move from its current smaller location into the bigger Cavetown location.

Massachusetts: Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribal Council suddenly laid off employees working on the new casino project, as well as suddenly shutdown a gaming office, due to lack of funding and massive debts.  What housing market recovery?  Randolph Savings Bank suddenly laid off an undisclosed number of employees in an effort to reduce its mortgage division costs by $1.1-million USD.  Despite declining mortgages the bank claims it is still in growth mode.  The new owner of RadioShack,  Kensington Capital Holdings, shutdown 16 corporate owned stores, leaving only 28 corporate owned stores for 2018.   News reports say more than 1-thousand RadioShack stores shutdown in 2017! 

Minnesota: In Minneapolis, Treehouse Records shutdown, the owner saying he’s ready to “do something else with my life.”

Missouri: In Cape Girardeau, after 72 years Hutson’s Fine Furniture and Mattress shutting down when the inventory is gone. The owners say they’re still figuring out what to do with the property, but it’ll be based on “marketing options”JCPenney shutting down its 70 years old store in the Hampton Village Plaza, by the end of January 2018.  After 17 years Pigg’s Pets shutdown, in the name of ‘progress’, local news media said the owner was responsible for starting the Pacific Police Department’s canine unit.  Gold’s Gym shutdown its 40 years old Westport location in Kansas City, local news media reported that customers suspected it was coming because the gym wasn’t being maintained.

Mississippi: Bed, Bath & Beyond shutting down its store in Meridian, once enough of the inventory is gone, as part of a plan to shutdown 1-hundred stores due to crashing sales.

Nebraska: In Omaha, after 26 years of selling U.S. made art White Crane Gallery shutdown.  After 71 years iconic Canfield’s Sporting Goods suddenly shutdown, the owners gave a list of reasons.

New Jersey: After 35 years Gregory’s Hallmark gift store in Paramus shutting down, the mom-n-pop owners blaming it on a combination of the next door Sears shutting down and on never ending property re-developments (gentrification).  Local news media confirmed that the 1990’s were the Golden Years for U.S. retail as Gregory’s Hallmark alone claimed $2-million in yearly sales!   Bankrupt vulture capitalist REIT owned Toys R Us announced it will shutdown at least 1-hundred stores in 2018 (apparently this does not include the 25 store shutdowns in the United Kingdom), due to a 15% crash in holiday sales.  Heavy construction equipment seller Giles & Ransome eliminating 67 jobs in Hammonton, by February 2018.  France based luxury retailer Louis Vuitton eliminated six jobs in Atlantic City.

New York: Public Service Insurance Company told the state that it is shutting down its NYC office, but gave the date for shutdown as “to be determined” Hutchin Hill Capital-Portfolio Management issued a mass layoff WARN for its NYC office, 121 jobs gone by the end of February 2018!  Warner Music issued a shutdown WARN for its NYC office, a second phase of layoffs in March 2018, with shutdown by September 2018.   California based clothier GAP shutting down its Staten Island Mall store in February 2018, as part of a plan to shutdown 2-hundred stores.  NYC based clothier J.Crew shutting down 39 stores by the end of January 2018, after reporting a $161-million USD loss for the first nine months of 2017 (don’t blame the internet, they have a website).  NIKE issued a shutdown WARN for its massive NYC store, 357 jobs gone by March 2018!   In Waterloo, clothier Tally-Ho Trading Post shutdown due to a failed attempt to sell it.  Kenneth Reeve Apparel announced its shutdown with computer printouts taped to the windows.   After 34 years iconi Skaneateles Furs shutdown so the owner can retire.   Xeno Zero game store suddenly shutdown.  New York LaGuardia Airport Marriott hotel issued a shutdown WARN, 140 jobs gone by February 2018, supposedly due to remodeling!

North Carolina: In Chapel Hill, Grimball Jewelers and Twig both shutdown.  In Greensboro, Mechelle’s Boutique shutting down in January 2018, the owner says she is going “to work less” by focusing on internet sales only.

Ohio: Cosmetics pusher New Avon issued a shutdown WARN for its Springdale product returns ops, 55 jobs gone by March 2018.

Oklahoma: After 109 years (surviving The Great Depression and numerous recessions) Sand Springs Flowers shutting down mid-January 2018, oh but wait! There is a Santa! After news broke out, that the iconic flower shop was shutting down, a Secret Santa stepped up and bought the shop with the promise to keep it open. Turns out the buyer was wanting to own a flower shop for some time.

Oregon: In Portland, Kroger owned Fred Meyer shutting down its store on Southeast Foster and 82nd, by the end of January 2018.  For some reason the Fred Meyer Fuel Center will remain open.  The last Blockbuster in Portland shutdown, local news media said the only reason the brick-n-mortar video store lasted so long is because internet streaming in the area really sucks.

Pennsylvania: After 38 years Carol Schwartz Gallery shutdown so the 75 years old owner can retire.  In New Cumberland, after 78 years West Shore Theatre shutdown.  In Beaver Falls, the manager of a local Dollar Tree reported that the store is being shutdown, no reason was given by corporate.   In Paoli, after 60 years Main Line Electric shutting down, the owners will focus on selling L-E-Ds at a different location.  Embassy Suites Pittsburgh Airport issued a shutdown WARN, 1-hundred jobs gone by February 2018!

South Carolina: In Charleston, after 134 years (surviving The Great Depression and numerous recessions, and even a fire which destroyed the building in 1987) clothier Bluestein’s shutting down when the inventory is gone, the owner says the past ten years have been the worst.

South Dakota: In Sioux Falls, Unglued Gift Shop shutting down one of its two stores, in January 2018, due to lack of sales.

Tennessee: ‘Upscale’ ThriftSmart shutting down its Franklin location as soon as the second-hand inventory is gone.  Don’t blame the internet, they have a website ( www.thriftsmart.com).

Texas: Houston based Mattress FIRM announced it will shutdown 2-hundred stores across the U.S., as their leases expire.  One news report said you could figure out which store was being shutdown by looking at the ‘store locator’ on the company’s website.  Houston based retail chain charming CHARLIE now chapter 11 bankrupt busted and will shutdown 1-hundred stores.  Mostyn Law Firm shutdown offices in Austin and Beaumont six days before Xmas, supposedly in connection to the owner’s suicide.  In Lubbock, after 67 years Spears Furniture shutting down in January 2018, the owner lamenting “Everything was locally owned in the ‘50s and’60s….Now very few of them are left anymore.”

Virginia: Furniture seller Schewels shutting down its 120 years old Lynchburg store in January 2018, saying sales didn’t justify having two locations.   In Williamsburg, after 27 years Bassett’s Christmas Shop shutdown, no reason given.  In Roanoke, after 95 years (surviving The Great Depression and numerous recessions) iconic Sam’s Uniforms suddenly shutdown due to a failed attempt to sell it, employees are shocked.  In Richmond, after more than 40 years W. Hirsch Oriental Rugs shutdown: “Our children are grown. I want to free myself up from retail so I can better assist my family in Puerto Rico, post-Hurricane Maria.”-Sally Irizarry Hirsch

Wisconsin: Big Lots shutting down its Kenosha store once the inventory is gone, no reason given.  New Comfort Furniture and Mattress suddenly shutdown its Cherry Point Mall store, all remaining items were donated to Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

WARN=Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification






U.S. government shenanigans, December 2017:“IT’S NOT JUST A ONE-YEAR BLIP…DECLINES CONTINUE TO GET BIGGER…”