Retail Apocalypse

Retail layoffs are skyrocketing on a mix of an accelerating economic slowdown which is also weighing on the manufacturing sector and technological innovation outpacing the workforce.

A report from job placement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas revealed that in January and February, there were over 41,000 jobs cut in the retail market, 92 percent greater than the exact same period in 2018 and the most significant level since 2009, following the financial collapse.

The layoffs are fundamentally a result of store closings. Brick and mortar giants from Payless to Gap are set to shutter numerous stores. At Payless alone, 16,000 employees will be released due to the closing of all its remaining storefronts. And today, Dollar Tree said it will close 390 Family Dollar shops, without stipulating the number of staff members that will be impacted.

JCPenney also revealed this week it would be closing 18 shops in addition to 3 previously announced closures, as part of a “standard annual review.”

Even retail huge Wal-Mart is cutting some of its dead weight, with a number of stores around the country, including one Walmart Supercenter in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Walmart Area Market shops in Arizona, California, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington set to lock their doors by April 19, according to sources close to the matter.

Walmart Neighborhood Markets are about one-fifth the size of a Walmart Supercenter, and they are typically in areas that are more centrally established in major cities than where Supercenters are located. These shops center on offering groceries and other day-to-day goods.

While Wal-Mart is far from bankrupt, growing competition online is clearly weighing on the retail giant.

It is essential to note that struggling finance does not always lead to the death of a business; lots of retailers have used bankruptcies and other strains to restructure internally with positive results.

Trump blames online shops for retail closings

President Donald Trump has been an outspoken critic of the consequences that retailers– and Amazon in particular– have had on small neighborhood shops, tweeting last April that “States and Cities throughout our Country are being cheated and treated so badly by online retailers. Very unfair to traditional tax paying stores!!”

In addition to the hazard from e-commerce, brick-and-mortar sellers are also looking at a shift customer preferences.

Major sellers have fallen out of favor for many customers, with smaller ’boutique’ operations gaining in popularity.

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