Friday, June 9, 2017

Redux: The death of the middle man

In the endless list of things that go bang in the night, in 2011 I wrote about my experience buying a new shower head, the comment is here.  The end of shopping was already foretold in the stars.  However, and I mentioned this before, it is as bad to be early than it is to be late!!!

In a nut shell what happened is that through the internet I was able to save 60% of the cost of purchasing a new shower head by going on the internet!  First contacting my plumber who kindly told me that I should call the distributor directly only to find a true 20th century operation; 30 days delivery and cash only upfront.

Instead I bought the thing on the internet it was delivered two days later in my office.

Now if you live in a big city you face the consequences of shopping on a daily basis, driving, finding an expensive parking spot, and maybe not finding what you are really seeking...on the internet, its all done in the home, no need for excursion you buy everything from your living room.  I'm a tall guy and buying size 13 shoes is a challenge (even in NYC) so I go on Zappo and specify 13 EEE, and then the system only shows me these shoes -- no drama

Looking at the world of retail (there are way too many retail stores in America -- about 10 times more than in Canada, and 15 times more than Europe), so as the economy slows and expansion is no longer possible (to hide low profitability) the expansion is followed by contraction or collapse.  Add to the mix a shrinking middle class...

So the list of those in trouble is just below, not all will end up in chapter 7 (liquidation) but a visit to Chapter 11 is always a chance for retailer to trim the less profitable 20% of the franchises...


Boardriders SA  - sporting subsidiary of Quiksilver
The Bon-Ton Stores - parent of department store chain
Fairway Group Holdings - food retailer
Tops Holding II - supermarket operator
99 Cents Only Stores - discount retailer
TOMS Shoes - footwear company
David's Bridal - wedding dresses and formalwear seller
Evergreen AcqCo 1 LP - parent of thrift chain Savers
Charming Charlie - women's jewelry and accessories
Vince LLC - clothing retailer
Calceus Acquisition - owner of Cole Haan footwear firm
Charlotte Russe - women's clothing
Neiman Marcus Group - luxury department store
Sears Holdings - owner of Sears and Kmart.
Indra Holdings - holding company owner of Totes Isotoner
Velocity Pooling Vehicle - does business as MAG, Motorsport Aftermarket Group
Chinos Intermediate Holdings - parent of J. Crew Group
Everest Holdings - manages Eddie Bauer brand
Nine West Holdings - clothing, shoes and accessories
Claire's Stores - accessories and jewelry
True Religion Apparel - men's and women's clothing
Gymboree - children's apparel

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