Closings, Bankruptcies, Job Loss: Retail Sector Still Collapsing

Obama’s continued sluggish economy has been called a “jobless recovery,” an “illusory recovery,” sluggish, and slow. But even as most say a recovery is happening, it is still hard to tell from the retail sector, which continues to shrink. This month is no exception with many national chains announcing layoffs, cut backs, and closings.

For instance, retail giant Target is cutting another 140 jobs at its headquarters and eliminating 50 jobs that haven’t been filled there. This is on top of the 1,700 workers the department store laid off in March. At the same time, it eliminated another 1,400 positions that hadn’t been filled.

Target also closed all its Canadian stores, laying off a whopping 17,000 workers.

Target isn’t alone. Nationwide clothing retailer Gap, Inc. is closing 175 locations across the country and eliminating 250 jobs at its San Francisco headquarters.

Many of the Gap’s stores are in shopping malls, and this has presented a problem for the longtime retailer. Malls have been in a steep decline for years now. Retail traffic in the nation’s shopping malls experienced another 11.4 percent decline in 2014, and this is just a continuation of similar yearly declines since at least 2010.

On top of the Gap’s woes, J.Crew fired 10 percent of its workforce, and retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Aeropostale are closing stores all across the nation.

Last year, the retail sector reported a profit quarterly drop. Revenue also rose at its slowest rate since 2009. Early in the year, it was reported that thirty-four percent of retailers had missed expected estimates.

Other areas of the economy are also seeing contractions. The Orlando Sentinel reports, for instance, that Universal Orlando theme parks has announced that after 38 years in business, said to be the world’s first thrill water park, Wet ‘n Wild Orlando, will be shutting down for good.

The longstanding water park had recently fallen to fourth place in attendance among the area’s other water parks, and Universal decided to cut its losses.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.


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