Posted by troublemaker on December 28, 2011
Just two days after Christmas, Sears Holdings Corporation has announced that it will be closing between 100 and 120 stores, liquidating inventory, and restructuring. Instead of an increase in sales this holiday season, Sears Holdings Corporation has reported that the final quarter has shown a decrease in sales. Kmart is down 4.4% and Sears is down by 6% during the final quarter. (1) With that announcement, Sears Holding Corporation’s stock fell almost 30% today and that price continued to head downward as the market closed. Speaking on the announcement by Sears Holding Corporation, Newsday calls the holiday season “disastrous” (2) Best Buy offers a similar explanation to their decreased profit margin. Earlier in December, shares in Best Buy dropped 15% after the results of Black Friday sales became public knowledge. The explanation is that they drastically lowered prices to attract consumers. So while sales volume increased, the profit margin decreased.(3) Although Wal-Mart, Maces, and a few others seem to have come out of this holiday season with the approval of Wall Street (4) it is still too early to know if strategies to increase sales volume cut into profits at those retailers as well.
Meanwhile, Washington continues to tell us that the bailout worked, the economy is back on its feet, and it is just a matter of time before we see prosperity again. With unemployment at almost 10%, college educated people being counted as employed even though they are flipping burgers, and foreclosures forcing more and more people to become homeless; we are forced to wonder whose prosperity Washington is talking about.
As the holidays season comes to an end, it is time to not only Occupy Christmas, but to protect ourselves and our family with the ideas behind Occupy Christmas. It’s time to shift from purchasing gifts from local businesses to purchasing groceries locally. It is time we shield ourselves from the crumbling of a huge global economy by developing smaller more local economies.