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Major retail chains shutting down thousands of stores; are you prepared and self-reliant?

Retail closures

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(NaturalNews) There is chatter across the web about dozens of major retail chains that are expected to permanently shutter a large number of their store locations this year. Popular names like Abercrombie & Fitch, Barnes & Noble, Chico's, Children's Place, Coach, Fresh & Easy, Gymboree, JCPenney, Macy's, Office Depot, Pier One, Pep Boys, and many others are named as soon-to-be casualties in what some news sources are now referring to as the coming "retail apocalypse."

The Economic Collapse Blog pins 2015 as a significant "turning point" for the U.S. economy, ominously warning that at least 6,000 retail store locations are expected to close this year based on company announcements. Many American consumers are already witnessing the birth pangs of this retail apocalypse as brick-and-mortar department, specialty, and even food shops close their doors for good.

Take a look at the following list of companies that have announced upcoming store closures:
  • Abercrombie & Fitch: 180 stores (by 2015)
  • Aeropostale: 75 stores (through January 2015)
  • American Eagle Outfitters: 150 stores (through 2017)
  • Barnes & Noble: 223 stores (through 2023)
  • Body Central/Body Shop: 265 stores
  • Bottom Dollar Food: 66 stores
  • Build-A-Bear: 25 stores (through 2015)
  • C. Wonder: 32 stores
  • Cache: 21 stores
  • Chico's: 120 stores (through 2017)
  • Children's Place: 200 stores (through 2017)
  • Christopher & Banks: 17 stores
  • Coach: 70 stores (fiscal 2015)
  • Coco's/Carrows: 70 stores
  • Deb Shops: 300 stores
  • Delia's: 92 stores
  • Dollar Tree/Family Dollar: 340 stores
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels: 39 stores
  • Express: 50 stores (through 2015)
  • Frederick's of Hollywood: 31 stores
  • Fresh & Easy Grocery Stores: 50 stores
  • Friendly's: 14 stores
  • Future Shop (Best Buy Canada): 65 stores
  • Golf Galaxy: 54 stores (by 2016)
  • Guess: 50 stores (through 2015)
  • Gymboree: 26 stores
  • JCPenney: 40 stores
  • Jones New York Outlet: 127 stores
  • Just Baked: 10 stores
  • Kate Spade Saturday & Jack Spade: 28 stores
  • Macy's: 14 stores
  • Office Depot/Office Max: 400 stores (by 2016)
  • Pep Boys: 63 stores ("in the coming years")
  • Pier One: 100 stores (by 2017)
  • Pick 'n Save: 20 stores (by 2017)
  • Radio Shack: 1,784 stores
  • Ruby Tuesday: 13 stores
  • Sears: 77 stores
  • SpartanNash Grocery Stores: 10 stores
  • Staples: 55 stores (2015)
  • Target, Canada: 133 stores (bankruptcy)
  • Tiger Direct: 31 stores
  • Walgreens: 200 stores (by 2017)
  • West Marine: 10 stores
  • Wet Seal: 338 stores
  • Wolverine World Wide: 80 stores (2015 - Stride Rite & Keds)

Rising costs of living and dwindling incomes have left middle class with minimal extra spending money

As you'll notice, many of these companies are household names that sell everyday products as opposed to specialty or commodity products. Several major grocery store chains are represented here, as are major department stores like Sears and JCPenney that have been around forever. While this might simply be a sweeping scale-back for these companies, the closures point to a much more serious economic reality.

With a significant bulk of consumer spending now taking place online, brick-and-mortar stores are struggling to bring in enough revenue to warrant keeping their physical locations open for business. When combined with a massive reduction in consumer spending due to a rapidly shrinking economy, it appears that we're seeing a recipe for major retail failure in the coming weeks and months.

"What we find is that over the past 6 months we had a tremendous drop in true discretionary consumer spending," writes Thad Beversdorf on his blog First Rebuttal. "[This] confirms the fundamental theory that consumer spending is showing the initial signs of a severe pull back."

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