The “flurry of retail bankruptcies”

The “flurry of retail bankruptcies”

My grandfather was a medic who served in Korea and my grandmother worked for Sears Roebuck for the entirety of her career. She was a telephone operator back in the day when getting the Sears catalogue was considered a big deal. She retired in the 1990s and somewhere, I still have one of her old headsets. Of course it looks like a relic by today’s standards.

Yesterday, Yahoo Finance published the article, “Here comes a ‘flurry’ of retail bankruptcies, former retail CEO warns” and it includes a depressing picture of a dismantled Sears sign leaning against an apparently vacant building. From said article:

“Retailers on life support may go the way of the dinosaur in early 2023 should the economic slowdown cause a lackluster holiday shopping season.

‘I think we will see a flurry of bankruptcies likely in the first quarter of 2023 if this holiday season is anything less than completely robust,’ Mark Cohen, former longtime CEO of Sears Canada and current Columbia University professor of retail studies, warned on Yahoo Finance Live. ‘I don’t think it will be, by the way.’

Retail bankruptcies — which picked up in droves at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — have fallen by the wayside as consumers returned to stores to stock up on apparel and other items coming out of the pandemic.”

Do you expect the holiday season this year will be completely robust? I don’t. As you know, I am not afraid of making bold predictions and statements. And I do not predict a completely robust holiday season with most people buying gifts and tchotchkes hand over fist. Now, with that being said, I want to be very clear: will there still be some people buying too much stuff for Christmas? Yes. Of course. In the same way the people down the road have every toy imaginable and they blew thousands of dollars on giant fireworks this year, if they still have room on their credit cards, I’m sure they will attempt a holiday blowout, too. As Mark Cohen adds – he also does not think the holiday season will be completely robust either.

IMO, this is not the time to bury your head in the sand and assume all is well.




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