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LoreD

Dollar General

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I just watched a documentary on Dollar General's move to place stores in small towns all over America.  The small town grocery stores are being driven out of business because of the competition, and small towns are becoming food deserts.

 

I do some volunteer work and drive out to a small town about 20 minutes from my home.  I had noticed that Dollar General had put a store right next to the small town grocery, store.

 

I had been shopping local but had been shopping for some items at Dollar General.  Gourmet beer was $1 cheaper, so I would pick some up when I went out there.

 

I decided to fight the battle with my dollars.  Both of the supermarkets near my house are corporate owned, so  I wasn't happy about shopping there.  I decided to do all my grocery shopping at the small town local supermarket. 

 

I think that I might make the drive even if I don't need to go out there anymore.  

 

 

Dollar General's expansion is putting pressure on small-town grocers

  • Dollar General is putting pressure on beleaguered small-town grocers as it expands in rural communities across the country, according to the Omaha World-Herald. The company operates more than 14,000 stores and plans to open 1,285 locations this year.
  • According to research from Kansas State University, small-town grocers can lose as much as 30% of their sales when a Dollar General store opens nearby. In communities that have one grocery store and one Dollar General, the grocer commonly has 70% market share in the community while the dollar store has 30%.

 

One of the retailers profiled in the Omaha World-Herald story, Chet’s Foods in Moville, Iowa, has seen its sales drop by a third since Dollar General opened a location just around the corner. To stay competitive, the grocer has cut its charity donations, negotiated a lower rent and even started offering a $1 section in his stores.

 

But Chet’s Foods, like so many other small supermarkets across the country, is fighting a losing battle against Dollar General’s low prices and convenient selection. Although these grocers typically sell more goods than the dollar operator’s locations, including fresh produce and meat, they have a hard time coping with the loss of sales that occurs when these pint-sized competitors open shop.

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Sounds like Dollar General is following the business model of Walmart, step by step.  Most local grocery stores attempting a price war with them would probably not have the resources to endure for long.  The only way to defeat a giant like Dollar General would be if enough citizens, like you, were willing to make the financial sacrifice and shop local.

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I've been trying.  I'm a city girl, who retired to a smaller town to be closer to the grandkids.  I'm used to commuting longer distances.  I checked out the small rural towns and was surprised that they had a lot of things I wanted.  I don't mind driving 15-20 minutes for that great local diner that has been around for about 60 years.  Or that family owned pizza place, or bakery, that got 5 stars.  I've driven out and found a bistro in the middle of nowhere.

 

When I lived in the Chicago suburbs, we used to drive 30 minutes to pick up donuts on Saturday morning.

 

The small supermarkets are trying on the service.  When I mentioned that I wanted the smaller size of my favorite popcorn, I was told it would be there next time I shopped.  And they loaded my groceries into the car.

 

I don't mind dropping $200+ there.

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2 hours ago, LoreD said:

The small supermarkets are trying on the service.  When I mentioned that I wanted the smaller size of my favorite popcorn, I was told it would be there next time I shopped.

 

Very unlikely you would get that kind of personal attention at Dollar General. 

 

2 hours ago, LoreD said:

And they loaded my groceries into the car.

 

This is a truly outstanding service that would especially attract many elderly people who have trouble walking and lifting.   Still, it remains to be seen, in this case, if better service can compete with lower prices.

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1 hour ago, bludog said:

 

Very unlikely you would get that kind of personal attention at Dollar General. 

 

 

This is a truly outstanding service that would especially attract many elderly people who have trouble walking and lifting.   Still, it remains to be seen, in this case, if better service can compete with lower prices.

 

I looked at the prices, and they were OK.  I don't eat a lot of packaged food, so Dollar General never had a lot of products for me.  No Hamburger Helper and sugar sweetened cereals for me.  And after watching the stories about chinese counterfeit soap, shampoo, etc; I would never shop for those items at a Dollar Store.  I even purchase natural shampoo, soap, and cleaning products from a woman who makes it in the back of her shop.

 

I think it was mostly moving from corporate stores to small locally owned businesses.  I even tracked down locally owned clothing and shoe shops.

 

 

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People will vote with their dollars.  If they like the small town grocers better, Dollar General doesn't stand a chance.  

 

I grew up in a small town (about 2,000 people) that had 4 grocery stores.  They were pillars of the community.  The owners knew everyone by name.  Service and food were good.  

 

Then, someone (this was pre-WalMart) opened a big chain grocery store in the nearest mid-sized town.  My mom started driving there (about 20 miles) to shop for our groceries.  There was no service and no one knew our names.  The owner didn't come out and tousle my hair and poke me in the ribs.  But, the food was good, selection was better, the store was well-lit and clean, and a working-class family like ours could save a few very important dollars, even after accounting for the gas.  We made one trip a week.  Today, there's only one grocery store in that small town.    

 

On 4/19/2018 at 11:02 AM, bludog said:

Sounds like Dollar General is following the business model of Walmart, step by step.  Most local grocery stores attempting a price war with them would probably not have the resources to endure for long.  The only way to defeat a giant like Dollar General would be if enough citizens, like you, were willing to make the financial sacrifice and shop local.

 

Why should citizens "make the financial sacrifice and shop local"?   The dollars we saved by shopping at the chain store were important to us.  My dad was a truck driver raising a family on one income.  

 

I don't live in a small town anymore, but I also don't live in a big city.  About a year ago, they opened a Dollar General just down the road from my house, right across the street from a locally owned (non-franchise) convenience store.  Compared to the nearest full sized grocery store, I can save 5 miles off my trip by going to DG.   Compared to the convenience store, I like the fact that DG's milk doesn't expire tomorrow.   So, if I just need a few things, DG is the way to go.   Several times they've saved a meal when we can quickly buy a missing ingredient instead of driving all the way to the grocery store.

 

I still go to the convenience store for gas and pizza, or in the early morning when the DG isn't open yet.  I still go to the grocery store for big shopping trips.  Whoever meets my needs gets my dollars.  I really don't understand why I should purchase from the store that doesn't meet my needs.  There's nothing sinister involved in giving people what they want.  When I feel like being charitable, I make a donation.

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There are other issues, Renegade, about the prosperity of communities, involving things like keeping the money in local hands. Wal-Mart is a huge money extractor from communities - people can save a few bucks shopping there, but large amounts of money that remain in the community instead leaves for corporate pockets. The community is poorer.

 

If the money stayed there, people are wealthier (despite the savings on prices at Wal-Mart), there is more money for local businesses, higher property values, more money for salaries and charity and local taxes. The corporatization makes communities poorer and pushes them towards a wage slave economy, with fewer and poorer small businesses.

 

There is a place for the benefits of the big corporate cost savings, but the harm they do should be better understood and policies should address the harms. I like that some communities recognize those harms and simply ban Wal-Marts.

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5 hours ago, Renegade said:

When I feel like being charitable, I make a donation.

 

There is nothing wrong with economical budgeting and trying to stretch the family dollar.  However, in the case of most big box stores, there is a steep price to pay

 

Some people, like the OP, choose to do their "charitable" giving in a meaningful, pro-active way.  Invariably, these are people of high moral fiber, who are willing to back up their beliefs by making an extra effort;  Rather than buying at the cheapest and most convenient source.  These activists resent local establishments being pushed out of business.  They want to preserve the quality and character of their communities.  They resent the negative effects of big box stores like increased obesity and higher crime rates:

Quote

The large, anonymous nature of big-box retailers may also play a role in fraying social bonds, which are strongest when individuals feel their actions are being more closely watched, the study found.

For instance, people may be less likely to shoplift at a local hardware store if they know the owner personally.

 

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2347-big-box-hate-groups.html

 

That said, big box stores, in general have mixed effects on the communities in which they make inroads: 

They are often courted by local governments which provide them with generous, but unfair incentives in return for, hopefully,  increased tax revenue.

Quote

as suggested by a 2014 paper from the Harvard Kennedy School. A 2011 report by a Missouri metropolitan planning organization found that over 20 years, more than $5.8 billion had been given to private developers in the St. Louis region, with a substantial portion going to retail-oriented projects. And because big-box stores dominate the malls in which they operate, subsidies continue long after opening day: A study of more than 2,500 stores found that 73 percent of mall anchors paid no rent.

Often giving big box stores an overwhelming advantage over local retailers.  But, sometimes, increased tax revenue never materializes as local businesses fail.  And many times, big box stores pay the help so little, that local government loses money on assistance programs.  Which leads to the question:---  Is it an appropriate use of public funds when local districts give generous financial incentives to big box stores.

 

All this allows big box stores to charge lower prices and "people vote with their dollars".  But this is not healthy, capitalist competition.  It is a scheme devised by design.  And the majority of customers who save money at say, a small-town Dollar General, are paying with increased obesity,  higher crime rates and often higher taxes.  Because once the giant retail outlets become established, their influence on local government gets out of proportion to their worth.

 

After driving many "mom and pop" establishments out of business, big box anchor stores typically attract new, smaller retailers of other products, that pay elevated rates in hopes of getting spillover traffic from their neighboring giants. 

https://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/municipal/impact-big-box-retailers-employment-wages-crime-health

 

Most of the studies of big box stores have been done on Walmart but they apply equally to most of the other retail giants:

Quote

 

"When Walmart comes to town, it is going to reallocate sales and its impact is going to be a function of the difference between what is currently being paid in wages at the existing stores and what Walmart pays," Fowler said.

That redistribution in sales is estimated at $25 million annually, according to the research. This means that nearly $660,000 in wages is lost annually.   

"Walmart may say they help people 'Live Better,'" said David West, executive director of Puget Sound Sage, a nonprofit public policy organization that looks at regional economic issues. "But this study shows that communities will be much worse off, with lower wages and less money in the community, after a Walmart opens."

The losses are tied mainly to the low wages Walmart pays its employees.

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2405-real-cost-walmart.html

 

 

Quote

 

 

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I think I remember stores. The old A&P chain, the great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, and I think I can remember S&H green stamps, and all this next to the small hardware store

where minimum wage was a good wage and fathers almost all new fathers bought cigars and handed them out for each new born. They were different times of course, they were'nt

right, they were racists, like a lot of things were wrong, but still they call them simpler times. 

The truth is, nobody was more focused about the world then than some of our young kids now. Detroit was actually a prosperous place once upon a time. 

A lot of black people came from the South and actually made a good life out of their own hard work. But it wasn't equal.

There's always this neglect, has always been a neglect. Call it a starting point where some people could more easily capitalize on the economy and did. 

But it wasn't right. Something was always missing.

 

Peace!

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12 hours ago, bludog said:

 

There is nothing wrong with economical budgeting and trying to stretch the family dollar.  However, in the case of most big box stores, there is a steep price to pay

 

Some people, like the OP, choose to do their "charitable" giving in a meaningful, pro-active way.  Invariably, these are people of high moral fiber, who are willing to back up their beliefs by making an extra effort;  Rather than buying at the cheapest and most convenient source.  These activists resent local establishments being pushed out of business.  They want to preserve the quality and character of their communities.  They resent the negative effects of big box stores like increased obesity and higher crime rates:

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2347-big-box-hate-groups.html

 

That said, big box stores, in general have mixed effects on the communities in which they make inroads: 

They are often courted by local governments which provide them with generous, but unfair incentives in return for, hopefully,  increased tax revenue.

Often giving big box stores an overwhelming advantage over local retailers.  But, sometimes, increased tax revenue never materializes as local businesses fail.  And many times, big box stores pay the help so little, that local government loses money on assistance programs.  Which leads to the question:---  Is it an appropriate use of public funds when local districts give generous financial incentives to big box stores.

 

All this allows big box stores to charge lower prices and "people vote with their dollars".  But this is not healthy, capitalist competition.  It is a scheme devised by design.  And the majority of customers who save money at say, a small-town Dollar General, are paying with increased obesity,  higher crime rates and often higher taxes.  Because once the giant retail outlets become established, their influence on local government gets out of proportion to their worth.

 

After driving many "mom and pop" establishments out of business, big box anchor stores typically attract new, smaller retailers of other products, that pay elevated rates in hopes of getting spillover traffic from their neighboring giants. 

https://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/municipal/impact-big-box-retailers-employment-wages-crime-health

 

Most of the studies of big box stores have been done on Walmart but they apply equally to most of the other retail giants:

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2405-real-cost-walmart.html

 

 

 

 

There is also the issue of the Walmarts and Dollar Generals driving the small town groceries out of business, and then closing those stores.  It leaves a community without any food resources.  

 

I have been through Dollar General.  It is like a large convenience store.  Snacks, pop, canned goods, Hamburger Helper, and frozen processed food.  I can't imagine that being the only store.

 

It isn't just rural areas.  Urban food deserts will have 4 Dollar stores, and no supermarket.

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19 hours ago, Craig234 said:

There are other issues, Renegade, about the prosperity of communities, involving things like keeping the money in local hands. Wal-Mart is a huge money extractor from communities - people can save a few bucks shopping there, but large amounts of money that remain in the community instead leaves for corporate pockets. The community is poorer.

 

If the money stayed there, people are wealthier (despite the savings on prices at Wal-Mart), there is more money for local businesses, higher property values, more money for salaries and charity and local taxes. The corporatization makes communities poorer and pushes them towards a wage slave economy, with fewer and poorer small businesses.

 

There is a place for the benefits of the big corporate cost savings, but the harm they do should be better understood and policies should address the harms. I like that some communities recognize those harms and simply ban Wal-Marts.

 

Shopping at a chain store will make the local grocer poorer, but not necessarily the community.  If 200 families save money while 1 family becomes poorer, I think you need to do the math before you jump to the conclusion that the community is poorer.  Perhaps the grocer finds something else to do and everyone is happy and richer.   

 

Also, when money leaves one community, it goes to another.  When we drove to the chain store, we took our money to that community and allowed it to grow.  I'm not seeing how that's a bad thing.  It's not like we burned it or gave it to Russians or something.  Some profits will go to corporate headquarters in New York, San Francisco, or Bentonville, allowing those communities to prosper.  Some profits will flow to investors (including unions and retirees) in communities everywhere. 

 

I never have understood the logic of banning Walmart or Uber or Airbnb or whoever.  I don't even know why it should be legal.  The whole purpose is to maintain inefficiency.  It's the local equivalent to Trump's tariffs.  If your people don't want Walmart then there's no need to ban it.  If your people do want Walmart, why do you have the right to ban it? 

 

It's not like Walmart is selling machine guns and cocaine...it's cheap cereal and diapers for low income families!   How do you tell a poor family that you're going to force them to pay higher prices just so you can preserve the profit margin of a (relatively wealthy) grocery store owner?   Just because YOU can afford to pay higher prices doesn't mean everyone should.

 

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2 minutes ago, Renegade said:

 

Shopping at a chain store will make the local grocer poorer, but not necessarily the community.  If 200 families save money while 1 family becomes poorer, I think you need to do the math before you jump to the conclusion that the community is poorer.  Perhaps the grocer finds something else to do and everyone is happy and richer.   

 

Also, when money leaves one community, it goes to another.  When we drove to the chain store, we took our money to that community and allowed it to grow.  I'm not seeing how that's a bad thing.  It's not like we burned it or gave it to Russians or something.  Some profits will go to corporate headquarters in New York, San Francisco, or Bentonville, allowing those communities to prosper.  Some profits will flow to investors (including unions and retirees) in communities everywhere. 

 

I never have understood the logic of banning Walmart or Uber or Airbnb or whoever.  I don't even know why it should be legal.  The whole purpose is to maintain inefficiency.  It's the local equivalent to Trump's tariffs.  If your people don't want Walmart then there's no need to ban it.  If your people do want Walmart, why do you have the right to ban it? 

 

It's not like Walmart is selling machine guns and cocaine...it's cheap cereal and diapers for low income families!   How do you tell a poor family that you're going to force them to pay higher prices just so you can preserve the profit margin of a (relatively wealthy) grocery store owner?   Just because YOU can afford to pay higher prices doesn't mean everyone should.

 

 

You're really not getting it.

 

Let's put your statement about a "relatively wealthy" grocery store owner in the context of the Walton family, who is worth over $100 billion. Relatively wealthy grocer, indeed.

 

You seem blinded by low prices. Save a buck oh diapers, that's the whole issue for you.

 

The 'other community' you are supporting is the Walton family first and foremost - and they thank you - well, no they don't - and, sure, stockholders not in your community, whose money you are also sending our of your community into their pockets, making your community poorer.

 

If the only issue were Wal-Mart's efficiencies, that'd be one thing. But it's not. And that's the math you need to do.

 

As for your analogy, if the people want a speed limit, they can just drive that speed. If they don't, what business does the government have banning higher speeds? The governments that ban Wal-Marts recognize them for the predators they are and the harm they do. Yes, people will buy there for those low prices - and cause a lot of harm to the community by doing so.

 

But go ahead and send large amounts of money out of your community and turn another city into wage slaves, to prevent those grocers living like kings.

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19 hours ago, bludog said:

 

That redistribution in sales is estimated at $25 million annually, according to the research. This means that nearly $660,000 in wages is lost annually.   

 

 

Those wages are not "lost", they are "saved".   Those savings are then passed on to customers and investors.  Overall, the world is a better place when we can provide goods and services with less labor required.

 

I think your reports and studies have been overcome by events.  The data they studied is no longer applicable.  Today, malls, and their 'big box' anchors, are going out of business.  Malls are Dying OffSears Auctions off Stores, Toys R Us is going out of business.  The shopping center may have killed off 'Main Street', but now they are dying themselves.  Every time we devise a better way, the old way dies.  It's creative destruction.  It's progress.

 

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26 minutes ago, Craig234 said:

 

You're really not getting it.

 

Let's put your statement about a "relatively wealthy" grocery store owner in the context of the Walton family, who is worth over $100 billion. Relatively wealthy grocer, indeed.

 

You seem blinded by low prices. Save a buck oh diapers, that's the whole issue for you.

 

The 'other community' you are supporting is the Walton family first and foremost - and they thank you - well, no they don't - and, sure, stockholders not in your community, whose money you are also sending our of your community into their pockets, making your community poorer.

 

If the only issue were Wal-Mart's efficiencies, that'd be one thing. But it's not. And that's the math you need to do.

 

As for your analogy, if the people want a speed limit, they can just drive that speed. If they don't, what business does the government have banning higher speeds? The governments that ban Wal-Marts recognize them for the predators they are and the harm they do. Yes, people will buy there for those low prices - and cause a lot of harm to the community by doing so.

 

But go ahead and send large amounts of money out of your community and turn another city into wage slaves, to prevent those grocers living like kings.

 

You're right.  I'm not getting it.

 

I'm guessing you've never been in a situation where saving a buck on diapers is a big deal.  35 years ago, when I was a poor man feeding my family on $10k a year, I would buy the cheapest beans because they were 2-cents a can less.  A dollar on diapers?  That's like hitting the lottery! 

 

If mister Walton could save me money, why should I care if he got rich in the process?  When you're poor, the grocery store owner or Sam Walton both seem pretty much the same.  It's like comparing stars in the sky.  One might be hundreds of times further away, but they're pretty much equally out of reach.

 

The only people who care more about 'community' than 'prices' are people who can afford to pay the higher prices.  They care more about their 'community' than they do the poor people that live in that community.  If prices go up and all those nasty poor people who shop at Walmart have to move away, then that just makes their 'community' that much better.  

 

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2 minutes ago, Renegade said:

 

You're right.  I'm not getting it.

 

I'm guessing you've never been in a situation where saving a buck on diapers is a big deal.  35 years ago, when I was a poor man feeding my family on $10k a year, I would buy the cheapest beans because they were 2-cents a can less.  A dollar on diapers?  That's like hitting the lottery! 

 

If mister Walton could save me money, why should I care if he got rich in the process?  When you're poor, the grocery store owner or Sam Walton both seem pretty much the same.  It's like comparing stars in the sky.  One might be hundreds of times further away, but they're pretty much equally out of reach.

 

The only people who care more about 'community' than 'prices' are people who can afford to pay the higher prices.  They care more about their 'community' than they do the poor people that live in that community.  If prices go up and all those nasty poor people who shop at Walmart have to move away, then that just makes their 'community' that much better.  

 

 

The Walmarts did not make rural  America better.  Small towns lost a dependable business that cared about the community.  That is why many communities no longer have any local access to fresh food.  Walmart Express drove the local grocers out of business, and then announced they were closing.

 

Walmart and Dollar General have spent decades turning rural America into wastelands.

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16 minutes ago, LoreD said:

 

The Walmarts did not make rural  America better.  Small towns lost a dependable business that cared about the community.  That is why many communities no longer have any local access to fresh food.  Walmart Express drove the local grocers out of business, and then announced they were closing.

 

Walmart and Dollar General have spent decades turning rural America into wastelands.


The town that I grew up in, deep in rural America, is not better off today.  It's sad for me to go back there and see the condition it's in.  So, I fully acknowledge that small town America is not prospering.

 

You say that some communities don't have access to fresh food because of Walmart and DG.  That's pretty hard to believe.  Maybe we could get them to keep illegal drugs out of our communities while they're at it?   It's very odd to me that communities can't get lettuce but there's no shortage of illegal drugs.  Just as I don't blame Mexico for our drug problem, I don't blame stores for the lack of fresh produce.  It's all about the demand.  If there's demand, people will meet it, even if they have to risk their life in the process.

 

This is what killed rural America:

 

Quote

In the 1930s one American farmer produced enough agricultural product to feed a total of four people; a family farm was literally meant to feed a family [source: Kirschenmann]. Fast forward 40 years, and that number rises from four people to 73. Fast forward through 80 years of agricultural and bioscience innovation, and in the 2010s, one farmer produces enough food to feed 155 people [sources: USDA, Sullivan]. 

 

So, you need only about 2.5% of the farmers that you needed in 1930.  Farmers were the lifeblood of small towns like the one I grew up in.  They were the 'exporters'.  They sold goods outside the community and brought money in.  Today, who does that?  Who brings money into rural towns?   That's what's killing the towns...not Walmart or DG.  

 

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4 minutes ago, Renegade said:


The town that I grew up in, deep in rural America, is not better off today.  It's sad for me to go back there and see the condition it's in.  So, I fully acknowledge that small town America is not prospering.

 

You say that some communities don't have access to fresh food because of Walmart and DG.  That's pretty hard to believe.  Maybe we could get them to keep illegal drugs out of our communities while they're at it?   It's very odd to me that communities can't get lettuce but there's no shortage of illegal drugs.  Just as I don't blame Mexico for our drug problem, I don't blame stores for the lack of fresh produce.  It's all about the demand.  If there's demand, people will meet it, even if they have to risk their life in the process.

 

This is what killed rural America:

 

 

So, you need only about 2.5% of the farmers that you needed in 1930.  Farmers were the lifeblood of small towns like the one I grew up in.  They were the 'exporters'.  They sold goods outside the community and brought money in.  Today, who does that?  Who brings money into rural towns?   That's what's killing the towns...not Walmart or DG.  

 

 

I'm not really seeing an issue with people promoting "Buy Local."  And I don't know why it is an issue with you.

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5 hours ago, Renegade said:

Today, malls, and their 'big box' anchors, are going out of business.  Malls are Dying OffSears Auctions off Stores, Toys R Us is going out of business. 

 

The article deals with Sears stores, which happen to be in malls, going out of business.  It makes no false claim that malls are dying off.  Certainly some malls fail while others are flourishing or being newly built.  It is the business model of Sears that is to blame, not the malls that host it.  Same with Toys R Us.  A study recently found that Macy's had to close stores that were less than 10 miles apart ...  This does not reflect on the malls which rent out space to Macy's.  A 2017 article:---  https://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/26/why-these-malls-are-thriving-while-others-die.html

 

A major factor in the failure of many brick and mortar stores are the online giants like Amazon.  Brick and mortar stores which survive are the ones able to adapt and change.  Perhaps Amazon itself sets the model for a successful non mail order store:---   https://gizmodo.com/amazons-first-automated-brick-and-mortar-store-opens-to-1822277611  Automated stores like Amazon's are not a new idea as anyone old enough to remember Horn & Hardart can testify.  In the end however, Horn & Hardart was not successful.

 

The only constant is change.  However malls are hardly dying off.   There is much new building of malls and plenty of retailers to fill them up.  I see it where I live.  Here, malls are flourishing.  A Sears recently went out of business in a mall very close-by and the space is now filled by a Pizza Pie Cafe which appears to be doing very well ...  They have a decent salad bar too, for those so inclined.

 

Quote

Those wages are not "lost", they are "saved".   Those savings are then passed on to customers and investors.  Overall, the world is a better place when we can provide goods and services with less labor required.

 

Actually, upper management gleans most of the savings achieved by low wages.   Low wages constitute redistribution of wealth upward.   The only part of it that is "saved" gets secretly deposited in Swiss banks by Plutocrats for the purpose of illegally avoiding tax on their profits. 

 

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1 hour ago, bludog said:

 

It is the business model of Sears that is to blame, not the malls that host it.  Same with Toys R Us.

 

Actually, these things have a lot more to do with Wall Street garbage. In the case of Sears, a Wall Street guy got control and was convinced he knew best how to 'fix' it, and instituted things like pitting all the departments against each other to 'make them more competitive' - resulting in a loss of cooperation and sabotaging each other to come out on top, and excessive debt.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/business/the-incredible-shrinking-sears.html

 

In the case of Toys R Us, it was that Wall Street groups, including Bain Capital, did what Wall Street so often does - a leveraged buyout, putting the cost of buying the company onto the company's debt, crippling it.

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-09/toys-r-us-downfall-is-ominous-reminder-about-debt-laden-deals

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2 minutes ago, Craig234 said:

In the case of Sears, a Wall Street guy got control and was convinced he knew best how to 'fix' it, and instituted things like pitting all the departments against each other to 'make them more competitive' - resulting in a loss of cooperation and sabotaging each other to come out on top, and excessive debt.

 

Yes.  CEO Eddie Lampert did indeed change the corporate atmosphere or "business model" if you will, of Sears, to it's detriment.

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15 minutes ago, bludog said:

 

Yes.  CEO Eddie Lampert did indeed change the corporate atmosphere or "business model" if you will, of Sears, to it's detriment.

 

Ya, I'm just clarifying that rather than the phrase 'business model' which can support ideas such as 'their business model of retail is running into Amazon' as the only explanation, that it's good to understand the specific pernicious Wall Street culture role, all that power money gives them to harm and how badly they're using it.

 

Again and again, Wall Street abuses cause these harms.  Renegade talks about saving a little on things - is he aware how energy speculation, including the Koch brothers, drove up gasoline an estimated 50 cents per gallon? How Goldman Sachs monopolizing the aluminum supply to profit from futures drove up the costs of everything made with aluminum?


We could go on with examples - but take one outside business, where Republicans have crippled the post office by making them pre-fund healthcare for *75 years*.

 

Of course they do this to turn around and when the Post Office has problems because they can't invest in operation because of the crippling debt, Republicans say that justifies privatization - and it doesn't hurt that it harms the unions.

 

Renegade doesn't get more than the price of diapers it seems, that will keep such people in poverty. The $5 trillion tax heist, the cutting of wages by a third to make the rich richer. 

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1 hour ago, Craig234 said:

 

- snip -

The Shadow of Low, Low Prices
Almost every dollar spent super-shopping immediately leaves town for corporate headquarters out-of-state, never to re-circulate again in the local economy. Life blood lost.

Wal-Mart is so powerful, it usually gets its way through sheer economic force. It can under-price local businesses because it coerces suppliers to cut their costs in order to get the contract with them. As a result, manufacturing jobs fly to places like China, where girls and young women in sweatshops slave under horrific conditions for next to nothing, so Americans can buy cheap clothing & widgets 10,000 miles away. What a deal! The local hardware store, bookstore, sporting goods store, bakery, electronics store, music shop, toy store, food market—all closed through lack of local support because Americans chase those guaranteed lower prices. The local factory—you know, the one that used to manufacture widgets, that used to employ 100 local people at family wages with benefits; the one that was part of the town’s identity? Closed. More life blood lost. Money is the blood of a local economy, and this community is bleeding to death.

And guess what? Your job at the local supermarket is about to be sucked dry, too. You see, Wal-Mart doesn’t pay its employees what you get paid, nor does it give the benefits you receive. So, to remain competitive, your employer has just lowered your pay and cut your benefits! Don’t like it? Not gonna stand for it! Fine, they say. Go try to find anything better in this dying town.

The cycle affects everyone in the community. Everyone is sucked into the downward spiral. And that sound you hear? Yes, indeed, it’s a sucking sound. Wal-Mart is a parasite on the town body. Like a giant tick, it attaches itself to the side of a community, digs in and begins to suck the money out. It entices local folks with goodies at prices unheard of. Like innocents entering an opium den, people succumb to the illusion of prosperity, not realizing the enormous price to be paid soon after. Everything sinks to the lowest denominator (or is that dominator)—wages, prices, products, and services. Until most people have to shop there, because either they can’t afford to do otherwise, or there’s no other widget stores left.

Maybe that $14.95 widget wasn’t so cheap, after all.

Every purchase is political.
Every purchase affects the environment.
Every purchase is your conscience.
Every purchase is a vote.
Every purchase is a prayer.
Every purchase matters.
Buy local. Buy little. Buy organic.
Live in the world you want to create.
Create the world you want to live in.

 

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12 minutes ago, bludog said:

 

- snip -

The Shadow of Low, Low Prices
Almost every dollar spent super-shopping immediately leaves town for corporate headquarters out-of-state, never to re-circulate again in the local economy. Life blood lost.

Wal-Mart is so powerful, it usually gets its way through sheer economic force. It can under-price local businesses because it coerces suppliers to cut their costs in order to get the contract with them. As a result, manufacturing jobs fly to places like China, where girls and young women in sweatshops slave under horrific conditions for next to nothing, so Americans can buy cheap clothing & widgets 10,000 miles away. What a deal! The local hardware store, bookstore, sporting goods store, bakery, electronics store, music shop, toy store, food market—all closed through lack of local support because Americans chase those guaranteed lower prices. The local factory—you know, the one that used to manufacture widgets, that used to employ 100 local people at family wages with benefits; the one that was part of the town’s identity? Closed. More life blood lost. Money is the blood of a local economy, and this community is bleeding to death.

And guess what? Your job at the local supermarket is about to be sucked dry, too. You see, Wal-Mart doesn’t pay its employees what you get paid, nor does it give the benefits you receive. So, to remain competitive, your employer has just lowered your pay and cut your benefits! Don’t like it? Not gonna stand for it! Fine, they say. Go try to find anything better in this dying town.

The cycle affects everyone in the community. Everyone is sucked into the downward spiral. And that sound you hear? Yes, indeed, it’s a sucking sound. Wal-Mart is a parasite on the town body. Like a giant tick, it attaches itself to the side of a community, digs in and begins to suck the money out. It entices local folks with goodies at prices unheard of. Like innocents entering an opium den, people succumb to the illusion of prosperity, not realizing the enormous price to be paid soon after. Everything sinks to the lowest denominator (or is that dominator)—wages, prices, products, and services. Until most people have to shop there, because either they can’t afford to do otherwise, or there’s no other widget stores left.

Maybe that $14.95 widget wasn’t so cheap, after all.

Every purchase is political.
Every purchase affects the environment.
Every purchase is your conscience.
Every purchase is a vote.
Every purchase is a prayer.
Every purchase matters.
Buy local. Buy little. Buy organic.
Live in the world you want to create.
Create the world you want to live in.

 

 

Well said. 

 

I have really tried. I have found that after I retired that I didn't need so many things.  I could afford to pay more because I didn't have the space for so many things.  I have 4 or 5 dressy tops, 3 dressy pants, a selection of t-shirts, 5 pairs of jeans, and some yoga/lounge pants.  I can afford to pay more at a local store because I don't need so much.  

 

There is a whole youtube movement talking about only having less than 30 items in a closet.  When I put my winter clothes away, it fits into one large rubbermaid container.  

 

The reason that these retailers are going out of business is because they bought into the fashion "that goes out of fashion in a week" business model.

 

I found a locally owned salon, that only accepts cash to keep the price down.

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