anniedeighnaugh

Went shopping yesterday...so sad...

Annie Deighnaugh
last month
last modified: last month

...to see retail's demise. I went into Jo-Ann's and their decorator fabric department is a shadow of its former self. I went into Christmas Tree Shop and they've cut their inventory by about 1/3 as they spaced out and made more room around all their displays. And driving down the road, to see so many vacancies and so many for rent signs on buildings...or projects started but never completed...a coming soon sign that's rotting away. But the liquor store was busy!

It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. The less they have, the less shoppers will find to buy in store, the more they'll shop on line, and the more they shop on line, the less the stores will be able to afford to carry, and so on.

It was quite depressing.

So much for retail therapy!

Comments (82)

  • arcy_gw
    last month

    The cure is killing us. The economy may never recover. Depression/chemical use/Suicide have killed more people in the same time as *19 every will. Wearing masks is one thing but shutting down businesses and strangling eateries is insane.

  • Lars
    last month

    We went shopping in the Uptown Design District of Palm Springs a couple of weeks ago, and it looked like business as usual to me, but everyone was wearing masks and respecting social distancing. Also, there were acrylic barriers to separate the clerks from the customers. I did not notice that anything was closed or going out of business.

    Restaurants have expanded outdoor dining in Palm Springs, and parts of Palm Canyon Drive are now pedestrian only. This seems to help both the restaurants and the shops around them.

    The cure is not killing us where we are, but the disease could if we did not protect ourselves.

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  • lily316
    last month

    Most of the new Covid cases say they have eaten indoors recently which is why I definitely won't for a very long time. My health is more important to me than someone's business.

  • maifleur03
    last month

    A dead person no longer buys things. People with disabilities caused by a disease or other health crisis may no longer have the income to buy things. Both affect the number of goods and services purchased. When people post about silly things they need to remember both of these because they will eventually be in the first. The second is something that they can lessen the chances of.

  • nickel_kg
    last month

    arcy_gw (and others), if you read more science fiction, perhaps you'd share my opinion that Covid-19 is really not that bad. Do I believe worse is coming? Oh yes. Inevitable. Hopefully not in my lifetime, but ???

  • functionthenlook
    last month

    Business are doing ok since they were permitted to open. At least the ones that survived. Except for some items I always have gone to the stores to pick up what I needed or wanted. I would say the amount of people in the stores are up to or close to the level as before the lock down. The level of merchandise isn't though. It surprises me some of the things that are slim pickens or not available. I wanted to buy one of those tall propane heaters for my porch at camp. No go. So I got a firepit table instead. Plenty of them. But finding a 20 gal propane tank was a challenge. The foam pumpkins that the dollar tree always carries this time of year are non existent this year.
    Restaurants are struggling since they are only allow to operate at 25%. But most are operating over that. They have too to keep their doors open. I know the restaurant we went to on Thursday was over 25%, but they still could accommodate the 6ft between tables.

    The close to 200,000 deaths aren't going to be noticed by the retail/food industry. The 646, 000 heart dz deaths or the 599,000 cancer deaths a year isn't noticed, so the covid deaths wouldn't either. That's only 4,000 per state. With the amount of stores, restaurants, etc in a state, how can it be noticed. Just in my state alone there is over 26, 500 restaurants.

    Of course the infection rate is up. It was said from the very beginning that 60 to 80 percent of the population was going to be infected. The deaths and hospital admissions are down. Now that the health industry knows what treatment works on most covid patients and the younger and stronger people are most of the infected. That was the whole premise of "flatten the curve" was to prevent the hospital systems from being overwhelmed. Most ( few exceptions) were never overwhelmed.


  • Kathsgrdn
    last month

    Not good to hear, Lukki Irish, planning on going a couple hours away to Ikea on Monday in Ohio. I drove downtown on the way to work yesterday and thought about doing some early Christmas shopping downtown locally. Depends on if I can catch them when they're actually open. Even before the pandemic they never seem to be open.

    Bob_cville, every Chick Fil A is like that here. Even when the line wraps around the building, it goes super fast. I've waited longer in other fast food restaurant's short lines than in a Chick Fil A that was wrapped around the building.


  • lily316
    last month

    So while husband was picking up Thai food next door, I checked out TJ Maxx and it was sad. Very empty and the dressing rooms are closed. In precovid days I usually hit that store every week or two and it's been six months now. I was there very briefly so I didn't check the clothing supply but their hard goods were skimpy.

  • Raye Smith
    last month

    Here's something to ponder, if masks are the solution then why did the virus spread in China? A large portion of their population wears masks which presumably should have stopped the spread.

    I agree with Arcy, people dead from suicide and untreated medical conditions don't shop either. By definition people will die during a pandemic but those that had heart attacks, strokes and depression should have to.

  • dallasannie
    last month

    Sure, we continue to flock out to shopping venues in the face of the virus, just like those zombies in the old original "Night of the Walkin Dead". Remember how they all came out and zeroed in on the closed doors of the shopping mall?

    Just because folks are out shopping does not negate the fact that, if things don't change, the supply of goods to shop from is going to decrease more and more.

    The supply chains are broken or have just disappeared.

    I haven't been into a department store since last Winter. I used to browse the shopping center stores, but not anymore. I did go in to Walmart once to look for something only to see so many empty shelves. And, the item that I wanted to buy was one that I discovered was also on the list for a lot of people and was sold out everywhere......canning lids. I had no idea at that time that that was the situation.

    It is going to get worse. Everything in our country is just about to sink into chaos. And, it is not just the virus. If we had a more stable society and an intact democracy we would have been better equipped to handle the upsets and maybe even come out of it with a new and progressive direction. With such####### forces at the top, we are doomed. ( I have run out of words to describe the atrocity of what has happened to our society and democracy.)

  • functionthenlook
    last month

    Dallasannie, sorry but the US isn't a democracy it is a constitutional republic.

    The broken supply chain was caused by the lockdowns ordered by each states individual governors.
    Some manufacturers were closed down deemed unessential. Others were at reduced production. Then you have the other countries that import items to us also in the same boat. You also have demand out stripping supply due to hording or people purchasing products that they normally didn't buy.

    As the US and other countries open up our supply chain will normalize.

  • Raye Smith
    last month

    Many of the broken supply chains are causes by the products originating in China. Because many people will only buy the cheapest products they can get it encouraged & forced many manufactures to go cheap and buy from China.

    Other supply chains are in trouble due to increased demand for items that can't switch from commercial style to residential style manufacturing. Paper towels and toilet paper are examples of that issue.

  • maifleur03
    last month

    The supply chains will not open up until more people feel safe or have the virus and must still work no matter how ill they are. I find it very interesting that the same old tripe of when you have the virus you will either die or get over it. For many there will be no getting over it. The supply chains are no longer based on the blacksmith down the street but are an interconnected web with parts coming from all over the world.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    FWIW, resellers like TJMaxx, etc. depend on overstock from bigger retailers, and big retailer buying basically fell off a cliff over the past 6 months, so there went their inventory.

    It's true, everything is interconnected. Many of the suppliers for big retailers are small businesses, so when the big stores stopped buying, small suppliers were hit pretty hard, and many folded or went into bankruptcy.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    To quote my own comment above:

    "

    " it's the reaction to and the legislation that has produced this damage to the economy."

    What legislation?"

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


    I was asking raye to clarify her seemingly off that wall comment. As often done, it was a hit and run event, said but with the originator having no interest to explain.

    This is what happens when people shout soundbytes at one another and have no interest in discussion. Doing so makes the person lose credibility and makes it seem like such comments are simply made-up, fabrications, untruths.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    I think some of you misunderstand and are misusing the term "supply chain".

    Many of the shifts going on are about demand, not supply. Not so much in my area but in other parts of the US I've visited in recent years, especially in the South and Midwest, one can drive down the major streets and pass location after location of closed retailers. Sears, KMart, JC Penneys, and others, on and on. Dozen/hundreds of locations closed down leaving behind empty buildings and parking lots with no new tenants to replace them. That trend will continue. Why? Demand changes, these are not places where people buy their goods to the extent they used to. Remaining retailers shelves are on the bare side because they can't afford to buy larger quantities than they expect to sell in a reasonable time.

    Other things people attribute to the "supply chain" are more manufacturing limitations. Demand increases for some goods - think of disinfecting wipes- have skyrocketed to levels that prior-existing production output can't provide. That's being changed but it takes time.

    Other things that were scarce at the beginning of this sad experience, some foods, toilet paper, yeast, paper towels, bleach, etc., were like that because of panic buyers and hoarders. Demand is back to normal, supply mostly continues as it was, and these goods have been replenished and are available. Contrary to what was said just before by another person known to express "alternative facts", goods like paper towels and toilet paper are very available in my area.

  • Sherry
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Things I could buy at a B&M store last year or two, as opposed to this year.

    popcorn popper, pizza peel, food saver bags, rv water filters, foldable step stool, bread bowl for table, rv holding tank chemical, most of the books I like, vinyl health gloves, Salsa Brava Hot Sauce, Hepa filters for air cleaner, vacuum bags for Hoover vacuum, Trac Two razor blades, freezer storage basket, King Arthur self rising flour.

    This is just a short list of what I could go to the store and buy the last year or so and that I have had to order online this year, And they wonder why I do not bother to go to a store and shop. They do not carry anything anymore.

    ETA: I do not shop online to save money, it usually costs MORE! You cannot find it in a store.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Like many other people, I've found that the convenience of having purchases delivered to the door is something that very easily becomes a preference. Except for the odd thing that comes up for something I don't want to wait a day or two for, or the other one-off thing not available from the normal online sources, I stopped going to stores for non-food purchases a long time ago.

    I just saw that Amazon Prime has over 100 million participants in the US right now. Walmart is building momentum with its new and slightly lower priced competitive service. This is where retail is today. The numbers make it easy to conclude on the trends, it's clear what customers want and expressly don't want in the marketplaces of today.

  • abzzybee
    last month

    Going to any store is almost too stressful nowadays. Little to no physical distancing, many either not wearing masks or wearing them haphazardly so not effective.

    I broke my rule 2 weekends ago and briefly ventured into the local Steinmart that is going out of business. It's been a favorite for browsing for unique finds for many years so I went kind of to say goodbye to my favorite shopping destination.

    I did a complete walkthrough in less than 15 minutes and left without anything. It looked like they had brought in inventory from all over and most of it was not the usual merchandise.

    I sure hope Macy's stays in business because that is my only other go to store aside from Costco open air veggie place and Publix for groceries.

    Definitely a new paradigm as to how we now and in the future will shop with the coronavirus not going away anytime soon.

  • nicole___
    last month

    Yesterday....I needed a stereo cabinet...a little 48" one. I don't see people paying thousands of dollars to get real wood that mimics distressed junk. The junk, looks pretty good....next to the expensive quality pieces. ☺ Woodleys & LazyBoy may have to take a hit until the decorating trends turn around, becoming more "high end". It's got nothing to do with the pandemic. It's just supply and demand. I ended up shopping online. It will be delivered to my front door. Much preferred to shopping with a salesperson leading you around a showroom. Times are changing. Convenience rules!

  • functionthenlook
    last month

    I'm not much of a shopper. I know some people like going to stores to just look. It is an outing for them and they enjoy it. . That isn't for me There are just some things I want to go to the brick and mortar store for. Every little every day items, clothing, shoes, things I want to feel, inspect for quality or compare features, or finding the unexpected items I didn't know I wanted. I don't shop often, only about every two weeks for non food items. Food I never use online shopping. I like to pick out my own groceries. That I usually do at least once a week. Even if it for just grabbing a few items.

    Online yes I do use online, and it is convenient for some items, but i would have to say most of my shopping is in person.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month

    Don't forget many people, millions, in fact, are without jobs now, so they're certainly cutting back on purchasing.

  • Ont_Gal
    last month

    Just a thought about this online shopping people....remember back in the day we did catalogue shopping, and for many people the parcels were delivered by the store(think Sear and Eatons) to your door

  • ci_lantro
    last month

    The biggest factor with my in store shopping has been disappearing product that had nothing to do with the pandemic.

    With the last couple of years, in my local stores, I can't find:

    All powder laundry detergent

    All Oxy laundry bleach

    Finish powder dishwashing detergent

    Smucker's Blueberry syrup

    Krusteaz gluten free flour blend

    Cheer powder detergent--disappeared before Covid but has since reappeared


    It looks like the powder laundry detergent section got shrunk to make way for multiple linear feet of 'laundry scent beads'. Downy Unstoppables @ nearly $10 each! Laundry perfume. So you can smell like a flower and attract even more mosquitoes, wasps, bees & gnats when you step outdoors?


  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last month

    I am surprised by many of the comments here and the gloom and doom nature they portray, as that has not been my experience at all. My only explanation is that it must be a locational thing and that some areas just do not have a population that adequately supports the available retail establishments.

    Where I live, small businesses are the mainstay. Aside from a grocery store, a hardware store and a couple of pharmacies that are national chains, ALL the retail businesses where I am are small boutique type shops and all have survived the lockdown and stay at home period and are now open for business. This is also a very foody-oriented town but I know of NO local restaurants that have closed permanently. Many have outdoor seating and most have limited indoor dining now but all stayed open and functioning with take-out or other adaptive business changes in order to survive the weeks or months of closures.

    Sunday, my sister and I took our brother on a little road trip to celebrate his birthday. We drove about an hour north to a town that is a strong tourist draw in normal times due to its waterfront location, Victorian architecture and plethora of shops and restaurants. Other than a requirement to be masked, there was no difference now compared to what it was pre-pandemic. Shops were open, goods available and plenty of folks wandering around and in and out but all masked and all adhering to appropriate social distancing. We did have lunch indoors as the outdoor seating was full and with a waiting list (as much due to gorgeous weather as anything else) but the tables were well spaced and all staff was masked, gloved and never got too close. I felt perfectly safe and enjoyed my lunch immensely.

    I am not a big casual shopper in the best of times and rarely visit malls. But the town where the closest mall is located is really just a major retail destination anyway and any of the stores there I have visited since this all started seem to be operating under the business as usual premise with proper Covid precautions. Some are a bit light in stock but nothing serious.

    FWIW, I only shop online when it is something I cannot easily get locally. I much prefer to support my local economy and the small businesses.

  • Raye Smith
    last month

    GardenGal - it depends what state you live in. I visited Texas this summer and (it was wonderful) business was booming, plenty of stores and restaurants open and very little shortages. My state is the exact opposite, due to months of lockdown most small businesses failed and few restaurants, even the chains, made it. I live in a rural/small town area that had few shopping/restaurant options to start with. Most people here travel to a city to shop and many cross state lines since one state over fared better because it wasn't in lockdown nearly as long as here.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last month

    That's why I said it must be locational! But many of the comments here make it appear that this a widespread phenomenon across the country and that the retail industry (and the restaurant industry as well) is on the brink of permanent collapse! I think that is a overly broad generalization that is just not borne out by reality. I would imagine that more rural areas are suffering more as a) they do not have the population or the spending power of those located closer to large metro areas and b) they were suffering before the pandemic as well.

    But this kind of gloom and doom approach seems to be favored by a very vocal few who are apparently under the impression that the pandemic is no more than just a personal affront to their former way of life and refuse to take the lemons life tosses us from time to time to make lemonade. Guess they'd rather just suck on them and become sour and bitter as well.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month
    last modified: last month

    The majority of small towns never had and never will have retail and restaurant options and choices available in more populated areas. People who live in such areas accept these shortcomings among so many other limitations when they choose where to live.

    When I think of restaurants, I'd not include chain and franchise locations. Those can be anywhere and usually not worth patronizing. I avoid them myself but those can be found even out in the boondocks at interstate highway offramps.

    The pandemic has and will cause changes in the economy. Business types and locations already struggling have been and will continue to be pushed over the edge. Forget the local businesses for a moment, many of which offered limited choices at high prices anyway. How about all the office buildings, the demand for which has and will continue to plummet and not recover because people now prefer to work at home and will do so whenever possible. How about mall and other large retail properties, struggling before but perhaps with a death knell as buying habits shift.

    A lot of small businesses will close. Those that fit into the changed world will return when life returns to normal. Those that don't, won't, because they're not needed. The owners of such places in the meantime will have a hard go of it.

    Imagine the plight of those who owned a liquor store, a bar, a brewery, when Prohibition came in. Most went out of business and found employment elsewhere. When it was repealed, the closed businesses came back. The same will happen with many small businesses and owners of same.



  • Raye Smith
    last month

    GardenGal - this area was doing well prior to the lockdown. New restaurants were opening and brick & mortar was staying the same.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I find it disturbing the way some folks seem to be suggesting that protecting lives is less important than protecting commerce.

    Businesses can be rebuilt. Once a life is lost, it's not coming back.

    Other countries are providing funds to workers & employers so they can stay home and preserve life, and so business can restart more smoothly.

  • Raye Smith
    last month

    I find it disturbing the way some folks seem to not see that both keeping the economy running and protecting those at high risk is best solution for all people. Why sacrifice those that work and provide needed goods and services. How will they pay their bills and keep food on the table without an income. Money doesn't grow on trees and high tax rates hurt everyone. Europe has decided that locking down as infection rates as risen is no longer acceptable.

  • maddielee
    last month

    ^^^ Raye, you might find this news from the BBC interesting. Not a total lockdown yet, but new restrictions are ordered for the UK.


    BBC News

  • functionthenlook
    last month

    Where In the US constitution does it state that an individuals health comes before constitutional protected personal freedoms.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month
    last modified: last month

    The constitution is a framework of government, an outline. It's changeable and subject to interpretation. It's not a comprehensive rulebook, nor should it be - I don't want the views of the Caucasian, slave owning landed gentry from more than 200 years ago unduly influencing modern life. It doesn't relieve anyone from the need to think and use common sense.

    Make your own decisions about what makes sense. I suspect from your comment that you know very little about it and that your notions about the US Constitution are NOT based upon your own reading, study and understandings of same.

  • maifleur03
    last month

    Function it is actually in the Preamble to the Constitution where this little phrase is used. " promote the general Welfare". General Welfare while not itemized should include the health of the citizens. All citizens.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month
    last modified: last month

    maifleur, to be fair, it's a political outline for you to understand just as much as it is for anyone else. A suggestion, not a rule. It doesn't mean anything with respect to anything specific until the relevant governmental bodies, whether political or administrative, have assessed and determined an appropriate action and have acted within their mandate under the law.

  • maifleur03
    last month

    Elmer, function asked where it was mentioned. I provided the source. It is up to function as to if it includes physical health or is just a bunch of words on an old piece of paper. Actually at that time it was probably parchment which is not really paper as people now think of paper.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month
    last modified: last month

    We can disagree. I don't think what you cited means anything at all, certainly nothing specific.

    To illustrate simply, when there are competing choices and interests for the "general welfare"- general health versus general economic activity and livelihoods - which has priority? Answer - there's no answer given nor should one be expected. It's an outline only, for the political processes and government of the day to figure out.

  • functionthenlook
    last month
    last modified: last month

    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Maifleur,

    General welfare in the preamble just the reason for creating the government. It is meaningless legally

    General welfare is also mentioned a second time in the constitution., but has to do with taxation.

    Nothing about the individual heath.

    The constitution is not a good time document to be discarded or ignored at trying time. A lot of governors are breaking the law of the land and some are being called out for it.

  • maifleur03
    last month

    function have you ever looked up the definition of Welfare? Perhaps it would answer your questions.

  • functionthenlook
    last month

    Maifleur, Welfare is a broad term. You have to interpret it within the contents of document or conversation as to the meaning .

  • Raye Smith
    last month

    "The general welfare" also includes those that are younger that are working and at lower risk of illness, the majority of the population. Think about what happens to them when they don't have a job. They can't pay their bills, they ruin their immune system with the stress, their credit is ruined, they deplete all of their savings and so on. What about those that run out of savings, are you going to support them when they can't afford to buy basics such as housing and food?

    What happens to those of us that are retired when the younger and healthier aren't allowed to work. Shortages of products including foods and medicines, store closures, declines in investment values, loss of stocks and their dividends, reduced payouts from Social Security, increases in taxes, higher crime rates, lost pensions - these effect your income and ability to pay bills also.

    So keeping the younger and healthier from working is a negative for ALL!

  • dallasannie
    last month

    Elmer, you can buy toilet paper but not a new stove. TP is made right here, not so much the components that make the stove.

    It will. not be long before the supply of new clothes gets scarce, too.

  • dallasannie
    last month

    bzzybee, what you saw at the liquidation sale at Steinmart is typical of these new modern ways.

    They get bought out by these capitalists and they move in excess merchandise from other business that they have eaten up

    I saw the same thing happen at Borders when they went for the big sell off. All manner of pure junk flooded the store space. None of that stuff was ever part of Borders inventory.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    What about all the 'essential' workers who ARE at risk? Youth is not an across the board protection. Many young people have been infected and died or are now disabled, facing lifelong economic hardship. This virus can be spread by people who do not feel ill.

    200K dead people - and likely double that by the end of this year - puts a pretty good dent in an economy, FYI.

    Not to mention the strain on our healthcare system and its workers.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month
    last modified: last month

    "Elmer, you can buy toilet paper but not a new stove."

    If you're referring to distance buying, sure. It's easier and better to buy such large things in person from a kitchen store or Home Depot-type place. But for other retail purchases, and aside from food, drug store items, and a few other sectors, I think there's a whole swath of retail businesses (including many so-called "locally owned" shops) that will be diminishing in number outside of urban, central district locations.

  • nickel_kg
    last month

    I think some of ya'll need to consider moving.

  • dallasannie
    last month

    No, Elmer, let me clarify. I was not talking about distance buying. I was talking about availability. Toilet paper is on the shelf. If you need a new appliance you are going to find that a hit or miss experience. You may be told that there will a wait and uncertainty if it will ever be available at all.

    The components of most appliances, most clothing and many other things are all dependent on foreign industry and that dreaded supply chain where the raw materials to produce any one component may come from one place in the world and be manufactured in another , before ending up in the place where the finished item is assembled and then is has to be shipped out to where it will be used in the world.

    In other words, it is a complex and highly convoluted journey from a raw material to a finished product in the showroom or on the rack at the department store or the shelf at Amazon. THAT is the supply chain that has failed.

    On the retail end of it ,all that we see is but the very tip of the tail, the gleaming new stove, the unworn garment, the brand new bluetooth speaker. Everything in that item, no matter what it is, has had it's origins in obscure places and from obscure sources that one can hardly even imagine.

    It is not all about the dance between the retailer and the consumer. There is much fancy footwork gone on way before that.


  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month
    last modified: last month

    What supply chain has failed?

    Global trade of materials and goods is centuries old. It became more elaborate and more ubiquitous in the 20th century but it's nothing new. It works fine and brings you and me goods we want at prices we want to pay. Manufacturers source raw materials from where they're available, there's nothing sinister going on.

    The phrase "supply chain" is relatively new but is hardly a pejorative.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    I forgot to ask - are you encountering supply shortages of large or big ticket items? That isn't something I've seen. Buying has slowed for some things and in some locations, yes, with people out of work, but if anything that can result in oversupply before manufacturers ease off production levels.