general: November 2008 Archives

Black Friday

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Retailers and economists watched Black Friday with nervous anticipation as consumers began their holiday shopping. (The Times also reported Friday on the striking product discounts in effect at many retailers.)

The New York Times reported typical crowds with fewer bags--an unnerving start to the season. More unnerving was the Wal-Mart employee trampled to death in a 200-person stampede for discounts. Four other people were injured in the melee, including a pregnant woman who reportedly lost her baby. (This author is not going to speculate on whether the frenzy was related to the economy.)

The day in bankruptcies, Nov. 20

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Perhaps none of these will heavily affect consumers, but a lot of filings came over the wires yesterday:

  • DayJet, a regional airline that closed up shop, filed for Chapter 7 liquidation
  • CPG Marketing, which processed rebates for third-party companies, filed Chapter 11 with heavy outstanding liabilities
  • Beaudry RV, a regional dealership, caught without money to repay debts
  • Getrag, transmission manufacturer (but it seems only for one plant)

Retail sales "collapse"

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Yesterday's industry-wide retail news was incredibly bleak--so much so that the nation's leading newspapers reached for uncommon adjectives to describe it.

Whatever the word, the industry's news was full of negative figures from a variety of retailers. Only discount chains like Wal-Mart were able to post gains in an industry that saw an 11.7% dip overall.

Among the reports:
  • Neiman Marcus -28% (WSJ: "staggering") including a 23% online and catalog decline
  • Abercrombie & Fitch -20%
  • Saks Inc. -17%
  • Gap -16%
  • Nordstrom -16%
  • J.C. Penney Co. -13%
  • American Eagle -12%
  • Kohl's Corp. -9%
  • Limited -9%
The Los Angeles Times' report does list a very good October for American Apparel, the lone brand with a double-digit increase.

Timely Demise tracks the retail industry as it changes with our unprecedented economic environment. By David Wertheimer. Did I miss something? Drop me a line.

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This page is a archive of entries in the general category from November 2008.

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