What exactly will 2009 bring us in terms of businesses closing down for good? Estimates are that hundreds of large, name brand businesses will go under in 2009 due to the economy – which while sad for the workers is not necessarily a bad thing. We have consumed ourselves right into this mess, and with people starting to buy what they need rather than what they want, many of these stores are seeing their customer base disappear. Shopping had become a national religion for too many people and stores took advantage of that fact by duplicating themselves on every street corner…only to find their customer base disappear this year. We should have known that this level of consumption could not be sustained forever, but not too many business owners thought long term or of anything other than profit; they expanded into every nook and cranny expecting to continue to reap the rewards of the “American Way” of shopping our way into the poorhouse. After all, Americans carry $2.56 trillion in consumer debt, with the average household’s credit card debt amounting to $8,565! Well, it’s over for many businesses already as of the end of 2008:
Lillian Vernon Corp.
Linens ‘N Things
Steve & Barry’s
Did I miss any companies that went completely out of business in 2008? I know there are many, many more that are either filing for bankruptcy or are already in it, so we won’t know if some of them make it or not. Circuit City is one of those companies that is hoping to make it, but I really don’t see how some of these guys stay in business at all. For electronics, we have Best Buy, Buy.com, Amazon.com, Radio Shack, Fry’s, J&R…never mind the big box stores like Target, Walmart, Sears, K-Mart, etc. …and any Mom & Pop stores, I am just amazed at the amount of duplicity in any given product market. Yet for years they all stayed in business and thrived because we could not stop shopping for anything and everything. But this economy is a survival of the fittest competition, and many of your favorite stores will be disappearing in 2009. I lean to the side of “this is a good thing” because I really think this economy is an eye-opener to what we were spending and supporting all these years, and I am hopeful that long term changes and lessons will come to at least a few of us. So…do you think it’s a good or a bad thing?