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August 16, 2011


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JC Penney has gotten much better lately. We always get coupons for $10 off. Sometimes you only have to buy $10 worth to get the $10 off. We often get things free or really cheap. Of course, they don't make much money this way so maybe that is why they say they are dying!

This is a pretty silly list because its based on falling sales. Other than sears which resembles very much the old stores like montgomery wards etc which had been on multi-decade declines, this article is focused on a drop in sales from 2005 to 2010 which is based on a huge depressed economy.

Office Max and Office Depot are down about 30% in sales but Staples is down too and the article even admits that. So why are the Office Max/Depot dead and Staples is not? It's possible that Office Max/Depot will eventually die due to a complete loss of the office specialty store but if not they are not going to be taken away simply because staples is larger. The business economy has been very bad the last couple years. That accounts for most of their decline.

Home Depot is down because of the worst housing crisis in our life times. Yes they were run by an idiot in Nardelli for 7 years but being run by a moron for a half decade does not mean you are dead. Home Depot is not going anywhere. When housing comes back their sales will soar as will all the home improvement brands.

JC Penny sales are only off about 6% and the GAP down 9% in a terrible consumer market. JC Penny is certainly not the hot new brand and I don't know enough to know if the GAP has lost its trendy status but to judge clothing stores based simply on reduced sales in a poor economy with high unemployment is pretty lame. JC Penny may eventually go the way of the dinosaur brands but they are actually quite a ways from doing that and a 6% reduction in sales in this economy is proof of nothing.

Other than Sears this article doesn't know what its talking about.

Sears: The only thing I get there is Craftsman hand tools, which are generally well-made and have a solid waranty, usually "If this Craftsman hand tool ever fails to provide complete satisfaction, it will be repaired or replaced free of charge." No time limits, no exceptions for normal wear and team, just bring it in for repair/replacement.

JC Penney: I infrequently go there for clothes, and always have a coupon.

We stopped by an Office Max the other day and were stunned by the fact that they had a full section of projector supplies- bulbs, the plastic sheets you write on, the works.And all covered in dust because likely no one has come looking for any of it in years. Worth the trip for all our jokes about looking for the mimeograph machines, but seriously, just tack a "Looking to Be Obsolete" sign to the front window guys.

I shop Home Depot and Office Depot all the time.

I can't remember the last time I was in Sears or JCP.

I am surprized Kmart is not on the list. Would never go there.

I shop at Home Depot and JCP all the time. JCP is the only place I can consistently find work clothes... Most department stores have stopped selling women's suits as separates (If they carry them at all - which a lot don't). Plus many of the more affordable stores don't carry tall pants for women either.

The Gap - I haven't shopped there in a while - but I did used to buy jeans from there. I probably will again, just because of the large variety of styles / lengths.

I don't really clothes shop that much though.

Home Depot - while it may have been hit hard in this housing market, I would doubt that it is dying. I think people just don't have the extra money right now for unnecessary home improvements. But its still where we go for picking up misc. needed items like switch plate covers.

Office Depot and Office Max seem over priced to me. There is never anything I woudl buy at those stores that I couldn't just order online for 1/2 the price. And its never an urgent buy, so there is time to wait for shipping.

Wish we had Meijer's and Menard's here on the East Coast; not having those stores nearby is about the only thing I miss about no longer living in Ohio ;-). The closest Menard's to me is -- quite literally, according to their website -- the one in the Ohio town where my parents live, 400+ miles away. The closest Meijer is about the same.

I go to HD mainly because the closest Lowe's is 20 mins away, and when I need a couple of quick items for a project I don't want to waste the time getting there.

Like cmadler, about the only thing I go to Sears for is Craftsman hand and power tools.

@Matt -- Sears bought KMart some time ago, and managed to make them even worse than when they were a separate chain. The last time I was in one I felt like I needed a shower after leaving the store.

not sure about others, but I think these stores (The Home Depot, The Gap, J.C. Penney) are doing good (if not better), no immediate reason to die...

Beware of Target's lousy return policy. If you pay cash, as many Dave Ramsey fans do, make sure you have your receipt.

HD should not be on that list. It's not dying by any measure. In fact, they had profits rise in 2Q, improved their outlook and beat expectations.

Yahoo seems to be struggling to find some quality articles...

In spite of an awful housing market, Home Depot actually grew revenue last year to about $68 billion. How exactly are they "dying"?

The title of the source article is "Great American Stores Starving for Customers". Looks like FMF interpreted that as "dying". I agree with Apex that these stores aren't dying. But they may be 'starving for customers' as a result of the recession.

I occasionally shop at Sears or JcPenny for clothes. I go to Home Depot pretty frequently and they're our main home improvement store.

jeffbone - Technically Kmart bought Sears but thats nitpicking on my part. Same net result, they merged.

There's no way Home Depot is dying. When they came to our area all the little hardware stores closed and the only major hardware store left was OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware) and they kept their name but were taken over by Sears. Silicon Valley used to be famous for its orchards years ago. OSH actually has sales people that know all about the products they are selling and is a really great hardware store.

KMART disappeared years ago and was replaced by Kohls which I like a lot better.
Office Max, Office Depot and Staples seem pretty similar to me.

I never go to Dillards, JCP, Target, Walmart, the Gap, or Foot Locker.
The best store on the West coast for quality athletic shoes and gear is REI (a cooperative founded in Seattle by a group of mountaineers).

COSTCO is very popular and does a roaring business, that's where I get my gas. It's the cheapest around and with the AMEX COSTCO card it's 3% cash back.
Meijer is a store I have never heard of.

Well, I've never been to Dillard's (not local) but their stock has been excellent!

When I need clothing (which isn't too often) I love shopping at the Gap and Dillard's. Both of those stores have KILLER sales, where you can get brand name clothing for almost as cheap as a thrift store.

My last purchase at the Gap was a $59 pair of jeans, marked down to $11.99 with NO tax.
At Dillard's, I've found women's shirts that retail for $60.00 marked down to $7.99.

JC Penny has amazing clothing sales too, when the seasons change. My last purchase there was a sweater for $2.99.

I simply wait for the super-amazing sales, and buy clothing that's ridiculously marked down to around $10 or less.

I went to Office Max as much as Staples, but the one near me closed, so now only Staples.
I go to Home Depot for any hardware, gardening supply, etc because they are a little closer than Lowes. Lowes is a much better looking store, but for what I'm looking for they are the same, so why go further. Also, I prefer the paint brands at HD.
Sears is where I go for appliances and some occasional sale time on some clothing. Thus, not too often.

It's abundantly clear why Sears is but a shell of its former self. Just go into a Sears, and compare the experience to a better mall-based anchor store, or to even a Target. Abysmal marketing all around.

Meijer is not a national store, probaby hard for many readers here to understand that one. However, I do live in the upper midwest (Chicago area) and have been to a few Meijer stores on the fringes of the metropolitan area. It's a good place for groceries and other household essentials. One isn't nearby where I live, but I'd go there if that were the case. It's a value.

Who writes this crap? Home depot just reported record profits for the 2nd quarter while all the other hardware business are struggling to even stay open.

Must of been a slow news day to include these articles.

1. Sears
Yes, Sears is on the decline. However, I do think they have some staying power and the potential to rebound.

2. Dillard's
I never shopped there.

3. OfficeMax
I like this better than Staples.

4. Office Depot
This is my favorite office supply store.

5. The Home Depot
I like Menards and Lowe's much better than Home Depot...but I don't see Home Depot going out of business anytime soon.

6. Foot Locker
I never shopped there.

7. The Gap
I never shopped there.

8. J.C. Penney
JC Penny has some decent clothing, but the prices run a lot higher than what they should. I don't think they will be around long.

In Chicago, two Lowes are closing. I can't fathom many HDs closing.

The only thing that can possible save some of these stores on the list is if the libs start taxing online purchases. That would be the only thing that would ever get me into a Staples/Office Max/etc again.

I almost forgot Yahoo wrote this article. Yahoo is dying faster than half the companies in the list. A decade or so ago, Yahoo was king of the internet. Today they are mostly irrelevant.

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