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The truth about the retail apocalypse

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There were a record number of store closings in 2017. But in that same year low-price and premium retailers saw strong sales. So is the hype about the retail apocalypse overblown? CNNMoney's Paul R. La Monica explains why the industry isn't struggling as much as you think.
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Text Comments (96)
howie cheng (20 days ago)
But dollar. tree. Dollar. general family dollar T.J MAX still open
D J (2 months ago)
So basically the death of middle class....
jRex918 (2 months ago)
all of my friends are broke. they make about 800 bucks a month working minimum wage. all of their money goes to bills and mortgage. they don't have any extra money to shop at malls.
Lauryn T (2 months ago)
If you want to work in retail work at grocery stores. You can buy a TV, computers etc online but to get fresh meat, chicken, produce, milk etc you pretty much have to go to a grocery store so those won’t be going out of business anytime soon
ben der (2 months ago)
interesting.
cptdavidwebb (2 months ago)
Wow....CNN told a story that didn't mention the words Trump or Russia not Evan once...And what really made me give a thumbs up...I THINK IT WAS TRUTHFUL.
CrazyBeautiful (2 months ago)
I still do a lot of my shopping in person so I don't have to pay for the shipping. Other times I try to get no shipping fee to save money when I shop online.
Antonio APC79 (2 months ago)
Kmarts in my area claim they will "Never Close."
Camryn VB (2 months ago)
There’s still JCPenneys around.
hyou zan ren (2 months ago)
And when robots take over our others jobs we better start collecting food stamp guys!
Tarzan (2 months ago)
CNN lost its credibility a long time ago.
damatar (2 months ago)
Don't worry about the effects of e-commerce on brick and mortar. *Oh! sighs in relief* ... Oh, it's much worse. It's the continued tale of the hollowing out of the American economy and the end of the great American middle class. *Oh... just sighs*
OnceThereWasAPageWithAReallyLongAssNameAndNowYouAreLookingAtAChannelWithAReallyLongName! (2 months ago)
Sure thing CNN, whatever you say.
Bailey Henderson (2 months ago)
It's the customer opinions put out buy frsh shld jcp
We Smoke Bitcoins (2 months ago)
fake news
MAD MAX (2 months ago)
Malls are not cool anymore, so we shut it down.
charger master (2 months ago)
Retail is failing In the United States for bad management everywhere else in the world its going strong example Australia Kmart is going strong Canada Toys R Us still exists.
schindlerteejay94 (2 months ago)
toys r us is completely destroyed by this apocalypse! where is the giraffe mascot going to be now?
Thecontrodude proversial (2 months ago)
schindlerteejay94 somewhere but when people see the giraffe they thing of toy r us so it might be challenge
James Jarrett (2 months ago)
Honestly, I like the video but now the stigma associated with CNN I don't even belive anything you say. Time to do my own research.
deckard163 (2 months ago)
Translation: DEATH OF THE MIDDLE CLASS. More Walmarts with chinese crap, for all the americans who formerly were middleclass and now are poor. And on the other end, more luxury stores for the top 20% who just keep getting richer.
Justin Hill (2 months ago)
There will come a day when a new brick-and-mortar retailer comes along, undercutting Walmart's prices...
Tom Rutter (2 months ago)
Most of those stores that opened are vape shops.
Donald Kasper (2 months ago)
In recession or depression, low priced retailers thrive.
The Dankk Lord (2 months ago)
Digital stores are Santan! Except for them carrying rare things.
Carmen Meyers (2 months ago)
So some one said it blankly that it's a middle class apocalypse...I have been reading about this and hearing a about it...can you guys CNNMoney report on this please!
anya Rendahl (3 months ago)
everything has its own wiki page
Jon G (3 months ago)
I agree with the middle class struggling factor. However, Amazon is the number one apparel seller. I am guilty too. I research the product on Amazon, as well as customer reviews and I order what I need. That way I do not have to worry about the hassle of going through retail salespeople.
Christian Gonzalez (3 months ago)
I only see more stores closing in my area. I don't think we're getting better.
Jera Flores (3 months ago)
what about toys r us😞
Benjamin Burkhardt (3 months ago)
Target stays relevant by catering to the upper middle class while Walmart attracts the lower middle class. There is still a middle class, but they find it more convenient to shop at multiple stores instead of places like Sears for everything.
Qwerty Plm (3 months ago)
Noggs make big stores running out...
Silver Crypto (3 months ago)
Can't trust this, must be fake!
van lao (3 months ago)
Only one reason: online shopping. Nowadays, people have to work and travel, so they don't really have a lot of times to go to shopping malls or retail stores, and online shopping allow them to practically shop everywhere/whenever they want, and if the thing they bought isn't to their liking ? one click and they can print out a label and ship it back for refund, instead of having to sometimes argue with employees. The convenience of online shopping is quite tempting, especially for young adults who are spending most of their times working . Nowadays, the only stores that survive will have at least one of these 2 options available: shipping or online store.
Michael Choe (3 months ago)
what is considered middle class anyways?
KTWEBS (2 months ago)
Michael Choe from what I understand they are the bigger consumers because they have more disposable income. So maybe making 60 to 70k a year? Or a little more I think. They are the ones who keep these places thriving. But even people making 100k a year aren't doing very good. It depends where you live. My dad makes that much and says after taxes it's about 60 to 70k. This is not a fact just what I understand.
Judas-Priest (3 months ago)
The low unemployment rate is a direct result of Obama's policies. Obama put millions of people on welfare so they never have to work again. Loser Donald is stealing all the credit !!
The Fagens (3 months ago)
It feels like dishonest reporting. They purposely manipulated the data by leaving out 2017 US median household income which was over $59,0000.00. That would have greatly changed the visual of the graph. I am unsure why, it doesn’t change the story. It only allows the reader to have all of the facts in order to have an informed decision.
Ronald Malcolm (3 months ago)
The thing that hurt retail maybe even more is over expansion from the 1980s through to the beginning of the millennium. CEO bonuses were pegged to performance metrics which included increased numbers of locations. Add the surge in online retail which so many companies ignored and you have an exacerbated market correction that was accelerated by the 2008 financial crisis.
moviedude22 (3 months ago)
Corporate America while on the one hand receiving record breaking tax incentives, choose to reward their shareholders and not their workforce
Phil Merc (2 months ago)
moviedude22 I can't see that ending well in the long term.
David VR (3 months ago)
Part of this is due to demographic changes. Baby Boomers are retiring and are winding down their consumer spending. Millennials aren't spending as much on consumer goods and often shop online. There simply isn't as much retail demand as their was in the past.
T G (3 months ago)
Retail stores SHOULD shut down, since they consume too much land. e-Commerce is better. The shut downs are not happening fast enough.
Gery A (2 months ago)
E commerce is boring an inhuman.
Wilfred Peake (3 months ago)
eCommerce has it own faults the winner take all problem as well only providing jobs in certain areas while also causing loads of environmental harm
NC Styles (3 months ago)
Reasons. 1. People can easily shop around online in their comfort of their home. They will also find the best deals.
NC Styles (2 months ago)
Justin Hill Most online retailers offer one day shipping.
Justin Hill (2 months ago)
Not all cities and towns are like that. Some have low crime rates. I don't want to wait for my items to come through the mail, I WANT IT NOW!!!!
NC Styles (2 months ago)
Justin Hill Convenience. Also safer. You don’t risk yourself from getting a vehicle accident or being robbed at the store parking lot.
Justin Hill (2 months ago)
L A Z Y
ಫ್ಲಾಯ್ನ್ ರೆಬೆಲ್ಲೊ (3 months ago)
I still buy clothes & shoes from brick & mortar stores. I want to see if it fits me because their ‘medium’ is either too small or too big.
Juan Fredic Carlos (3 months ago)
CNN apocalypse
bigbabyzubas (3 months ago)
*gets out the paddles* LIVE MIDDLE CLASS! LIVEE *SHOCK*
bigbabyzubas (3 months ago)
Internet sales tax! That will level the playing feild
Ain't no Slice (3 months ago)
ah, so another consequences of Reagan's destructive economic agenda
Ain't no Slice (3 months ago)
+David in Suspenders Imagine being so ignorant and economically illiterate that you don't see the long-term impacts of past economic decisions, or can't see the course of neo-liberalism that Reagan embarked us on. I'm sure its just a coincidence that middle class wage growth started stagnating under Reagan and hasn't grown since (when he dismantled unions and employer regulations). I'm sure its just a coincidence that America's debt spiral started under Reagan when he alone increased the debt by 186% [more than any president before or since ww2] (when he gave massive tax cuts to the rich and corporations while at the same time ramping up military spending and funding jihadist overseas). I'm sure its just a coincidence that America's economic system started becoming increasingly unstable, and crashes and bubbles, far more common under Reagan (when he, and his political decendents, almost completely dismantled the financial regulation system, which is what created the unstable and unregulated environments that gave us the dotcom crash and the GFC). I'm sure its just a coincidence that the American political process started to become stagnant under Reagan (when he brought money back into politics making our reps at the whim of lobbyist, pacs, and private interests). I'm sure its just a coincide that since Reagan both Republicans and Establishment democrats have embarked on this big-business focused neo-liberal agenda that sold out the middle class for corporate interests, (seeing the success his rhetoric and charisma got him in both elections). I'm sure its just a coincidence that all our countries current economic problems started appearing under Reagan. Yes it was Reagan. Look at any map of US economic figures in the last 50-100 years. You'll see it started going to shit with Reagan (and thats not even mentioning his destructive social, environmental, and diplomatic policies).
Ain't no Slice (3 months ago)
+T G Lol, which party is always trying to cut taxes for the ultra rich? which party is trying to gut regulation on corporations? Which is the party of big business? If you're going to make up stuff, at least make it believable.
David VR (3 months ago)
Still blaming Ronald Reagan in the year 2018?
T G (3 months ago)
Reagan? The party of the ultra-rich is the Democratic party.
John Q (3 months ago)
So it's a middle-class apocalypse. Makes more sense.
willinton06 (3 months ago)
John Q and it’s worst
David Jj (3 months ago)
1 word amazon
John Molnoy (3 months ago)
ask the jews who is behind the retail apocalypse, the wars, etc
wealthy black man (3 months ago)
Feminazi fascist scum destroyed America! MGTOW TODAY! KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT EVERYTHING!
D.E. Sarcarean (3 months ago)
I agree 100%. You hardly see the argument of "shrinking middle class" over "its amazon's fault". I would also add, the retailers in the middle are to blame too! They hire very low-educated workers to save money and they make me want want to go there at all!
Varun Jain (3 months ago)
Nicely explained !
Tyler Pelletier (3 months ago)
And did any of the new stores close? 2018 still isn't over ;) the recession is on the Horizon.
Raymond (3 months ago)
Oh look. Graphs. You want the data? Lol! Just see the graph. And oh, hillary have 95 percent chance of winning.
Felix The Cat (2 months ago)
What are you smoking?? Malls are closing down all over the country. The ones that aren't are desolate and empty. Most consumers are going to places like Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, and other value stores. You can even buy clothes there. The middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate. The younger generation is not making enough to sustain a middle class lifestyle.
meowmeow (3 months ago)
indonesia = islamic jihadists
Blood Angel (3 months ago)
There's a difference between hard data and unrepresentative opinion surveys.
Wilfred Peake (3 months ago)
so im guessing your not a math major
doomtomb3 (3 months ago)
Sry CNN try again. This report was super predictable: "as with all things, it's somewhere in the middle"
mixed emotion (3 months ago)
The rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer. 💹
Marco Renteria (3 months ago)
mixed emotion oh well
Artanis (3 months ago)
Abraham Lincoln there is no middle class. There never was a middle class.
mackjeez (3 months ago)
We live in a time where people in the west are coming out of poverty at an incredible rate that has never been previously recorded in history, let's put it this way anyone making more than $24,120 per year falls under the world's 1%. As for this report it's a total mess of misinformation and bias research, I work for a pretty small online marketplace with 14 employees yet we made 28 million dollars in sales last year, I haven't stepped into a retail store since 2014, I buy everything minus food and construction material exclusively online, this is not uncommon, you can compare product prices and get something specific with ease online.
Abraham Lincoln (3 months ago)
Nope. Poor are staying poor due to taxes & social programs, & middle class are getting richer.
miniimufin (3 months ago)
mixed emotion yea because the poor spend their money on things that won't make them more money!
Wendy Alexander (3 months ago)
The vultures who take the stores over after they overload themselves with drive drive them under. This needs to be stopped.
Arturo Garcia (3 months ago)
Don't worry The store's not going To the end
Health, Weight & Real Talk (3 months ago)
Macy's is still around. i have two in my area
D J (2 months ago)
They said Macy’s are reducing stores not going out of business. I work as a vendor to all these big name department stores, and I can tell you retail in general is suffering like you can’t imagine. Retail landscape is changing for sure, but what worries me is all the unemployment that will soon follow after they do the actual closing. A lot of money is being made is the US but it’s not going to reach lower class.
Aaron Newell- Tutu (2 months ago)
Pamela C. You must live in a pretty big city. We only have one.
Mike Hoard (3 months ago)
They said shuttering stores not closing all. Several have closed in the Atlanta area but not all
Nina Matthews (3 months ago)
Macys isnt that expensive. They have a bunch of clearance sales and coupon deals all the time so its probably on the lower end nowadays.
Health, Weight & Real Talk (3 months ago)
rivera752 I lived in my area for 20 years and shop in the Macy’s stand alone store in one area and in the new one in the new mall in Baychester New York. Not a Liar
jason (3 months ago)
rip toys r us
rayt (3 months ago)
in the 80s and 90s they gouged their customers badly they desrve to be put out of business no tears from me.
The MalWare (3 months ago)
Those are some awful tight pants you got on, where did you get em, Queers R Us?