1. Gay marriages and or civil unions recognized nationally
2. Expansion of hate crimes to include crimes committed against the LGBT community.
3. Removal of "Don't ask, don't tell" and the full acceptance of gays in the military.
4. Adoption rights of the LGBT community.
5. Expansion of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to include the LGBT community.
From Forbes Magazine comes a picture of doom and gloom. Many national brand names are set to close down more stores and put more people on the unemployment rolls. Needless to say, the worst is yet to come in terms of sales. Consumers are thrifty now, and with that, several items will be shunned.
Who are already dead? Well, the list right now is Circuit City, Linens 'N Things, Mervyn's, and Sharper Image. Now Sharper Image is planning on selling their high end merchandise through other retailers, so it will stay alive in that respect.
Forbes also says Sears is in danger of closing several stores or even going completely dead. One analyst named Britt Beemer says they might not even make it through the year. Many higher end eating places (even Applebees) will see some of their doors close also. In this economy, it's el cheapo or bust.
So who is in danger this year? Without a complete rehash of the article, here is the list:
1. Charming Shoppes (Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Catherines). They are in huge debt.
2. Eddie Bauer. Their stocks are trading at fifty cents right now and that is certainly a death-knell for the company.
3. Timberland. This one has the vaguest forecast from Forbes, as the sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival will most likely have some more stores close down.
4. Ann Taylor. Their stores are a little better off than others, but they have announced fifty-seven store closings over the next two years. Certainly not a good thing.
5. Zales/Piercing Pagoda. They have shut down twelve percent of their stores so far and are "in freefall" according to Forbes.
6. Pep Boys. They've closed six percent of their stores so far and are in as bad a shape as the auto industry.
7. Sprint/Nextel. So far, Sprint has closed nine percent of their stores and have such a narrow line in this area that the new thrifty consumers just aren't going for them.
8. Starbucks. Starbucks is just too expensive in this age of the thrifty consumer and many are now abandoning Starbucks for McDonald's McCafè.
9. Pacific Sunwear (Pac Sun). This one has closed sixteen percent of their stores in 2008. This one is the most unlikely candidate to go away, though.
10. Gap. Downgraded shares and hundreds of future store closings just aren't good.
It seems like economic hope is little more than a silly thing for this year.
February 2, 2009 07:45 AM PST
Yeah, we knew about Piercing Pagoda. Poor Tabby. She still hasn't found anythin.
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