As we have noted several times before (for example, see 1, 2, 3), these are tough times for many retailers around the globe, not just from the United States. The new Wall Street Journal chart (below) sums things up nicely for the U.S.
“The seeds of the industry’s current turmoil date back nearly three decades, when retailers, in the throes of a consumer-buying spree and flush with easy money, rushed to open new stores. The land grab wasn’t unlike the housing boom that was also under way at that time. ‘Thousands of new doors opened and rents soared. This created a bubble, and like housing, that bubble has now burst.’ Richard Hayne, chief executive of Urban Outfitters Inc., told analysts last month.”
“The over-storing, including the influx of fast-fashion and off-price chains, resulted in a brutally competitive landscape that made it difficult for retailers to raise prices. ‘A pair of men’s dress pants costs less today than they did a decade ago,’ Manny Chirico, chief executive of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger parent PVH Inc., said in a recent interview.”