I recently got dragged to one of the large local retail stores because my wife, Princess, had a coupon for $10 store “cash.”
That’s the only time we go to retail stores other than WalMart or Target, when we have a coupon and the store is holding a sale. We usually wait until at least 50 percent off is advertised.
Frankly, who can afford to pay $70 for a pair of Chinese-made jeans that aren’t cut right and will probably have holes in them within two months?
I bought a pair of tennis shoes recently that started to fall apart after only a couple of weeks, and it’s not like I’m demanding. I don’t run triathlons or do a lot of hiking. I mostly just need a pair of shoes that can make it to the car, through a grocery shopping trip and back home.
At the retail store, the first thing I noticed was the paucity of customers even though it was prime shopping time. The ones who were there didn’t have full shopping carts, either. Most seemed to have one, maybe two, select items.
So it’s not a big surprise that the Commerce Department just reported that retail sales for June fell by 0.5 percent, when most “experts” had expected a paltry 0.2 percent increase.
It was the third month in a row that sales have decreased, the first time that’s happened since 2008.
At the same time, warehouse inventories have been increasing. In May, the amount of goods staying on warehouse shelves rose 0.3 percent.
Back at our local retail store, the wobbly economy was in full view.
Not only were sales obviously slow, but I found more evidence around the store of rampant shoplifting than I can recall ever seeing at any store.
Just through casual browsing, I found three clearly used garments left on hangers on the floor racks — presumably people had swapped their pants, shirts and whatever for newer clothes and simply walked out.
In the shoe department, it was the same story. Even in kitchen wares, cookware sets had been opened and individual pieces taken.
It felt more like shopping in communist Russia than in America.
I shared what I had found with a store manager who told me in confidence that the store had to cut back on its security staff because sales have been so bad.
Management is apparently thinking it will be easier and cheaper just to write off losses, rather than hire more security people, due in large part to the government-required costs of hiring. (How’s that for “saved or created” jobs?)
Bear in mind, this is all going on in a good neighborhood.
King Obama, Mr. Hope and Change, this past week dared to say that owners of successful businesses didn’t create that success themselves, that someone else did. By “someone else,” His Highness means government.
Well, we’ve had almost four years of the King’s royal government “creating success,” and we’ve seen the results.
It’s time for the peasants to revolt.