Mid-Year Review of the Retail Apocalypse-Coming Waterfall

By 95 b-body ss [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

For a year and a half I’ve been writing about the retail apocalypse that is going to add to US financial woes. This is not a problem created by economic collapse but a problem that I have said will greatly contribute to economic collapse and that is so massive and widespread that it assures some level of economic decline all on its own. As everyone knows, the problem is largely created by a change in shopping paradigms (mostly due to Amazon) that is shuttering brick and mortar stores as people shop online.

I generally avoid malls, but I had to do some mall shopping the other day, so I used the occasion to survey the condition of our local mall to see how the retail apocalypse was developing in my own hometown where the economy is vigorous. In my estimation, 10% of the shop spaces in the mall were boarded up. That may not sound like a terrible situation, but if you compare the mall to a town, any town that has 10% of its buildings shuttered is in serious economic recession. The town is literally decimated at that number. Imagine walking Main Street of a town you’ve never been in and every tenth store front is covered in plywood. You get a pretty strong impression that things are not going well in that region.

The news I read today confirmed that my local experience represents the national scene well. Retail vacancy rates top 10% in many city’s — not just vacancy in malls but in the whole city!

David Haggith

Read more at http://thegreatrecession.info/blog/mid-year-review-retail-apocalypse/