Retail Gloom?

For the past few years, I’ve been forcing myself to consciously see the positive & brighter side of things. It’s years of affirmations and multiple inspirational books. Yes, it’s a little cliche but I do believe in “the secret.” Even bought the DVD & totally fell in love with Rhonda Byrne’s voice. Yup, I do believe everything around you is because of your thoughts & that how you respond to circumstances is the difference between being entirely happy or hopelessly miserable. Yet this year has been a challenge. First up, in my practice, a partner buy-out in the early part of this year threatened the liquid assets of the business (I was so worried but we’re doing ok). It was tough working & assuming so many hats at one time. The practice desperately needed another licensed clinician which we have been searching for, perhaps for almost a year (just all of a sudden, a new therapist graduate who lives in the area applied for that job). Then two hurricanes hit our hometown which has also threatened the viability of the company (we’re back & slowly picking up again). I guess what I’m saying is, problems & situations always work themselves out. I had faith that they would.But what about the looming economy? Bad news seem to be everywhere. Not just the people in Wall Street are worried, everybody is. The retail industry has been hit hard. Consider the following store closings:

* Most information from Retail Information Systems (www.risnews.com)

Linens n’ Things-the company is being liquidated
Steve & Barry’s-103 stores
Sharper Image-86 stores (think that’s all of their stores)
84 Lumber Co. — 30 stores
Ann Taylor — 117 stores
Charming Shoppes (Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug) — 150 stores
Foot Locker — 140 stores
Macy’s — 9 stores
Movie Gallery — 160 stores as part of reorganization plan to exit bankruptcy
Pacific Sunwear — 153 Demo stores
Pep Boys — 33 stores
Sprint Nextel —125 retail locations
Wilsons the Leather Experts — 158 stores
Zales — 100 stores
J. C. Penney, Lowe’s and Office Depot are scaling back or delaying expansion. Office Depot had planned to open 150 stores this year, but will now open 75.

These are just some, there is now almost 6000 retail closings in 2008. Pretty scary isn’t it? How quickly things change. The business plan I finished for The Inglenook in the earlier part of this year raved how the retail industry has made big leaps as far as sales in the last 6 years. My new statistics are n0w entirely gloomy. Signs of the times? I’m not sure. I’m still up for the challenge of opening the storefront. But the word “soon” seem to be out of reach at this time.
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