Posted: 20 May 2020 08:45 PM PDT
Initially, we were told that the coronavirus lockdowns would just “temporarily” disrupt the U.S. economy, but now it is becoming clear that a lot of the damage will be permanent. We are starting to see businesses go belly up all over the country, and this includes some of the most iconic names in the retail world.
When J.C. Penney announced that it would be declaring bankruptcy and closing hundreds of stores, I warned that would just be the tip of the iceberg, and that has definitely turned out to be the case. In fact, on Wednesday many analysts were absolutely shocked when news broke that Victoria’s Secret has decided to shut down about 250 stores…
Victoria’s Secret plans to permanently close approximately 250 stores in the U.S. and Canada in 2020, its parent company L Brands announced Wednesday.
L Brands also plans to permanently close 50 Bath & Body Works stores in the U.S. and one in Canada, according to information the company posted online as part of its quarterly earnings.
If this pandemic had passed quickly, perhaps those stores wouldn’t have needed to be shut down. But at this point it has become obvious that this virus is going to be with us for a long time to come. In fact, the WHO just announced that on a global basis we just witnessed the largest number of newly confirmed cases on a single day so far.
Another major retailer that is closing down stores is Pier 1 Imports. In fact, it is being reported that not a single one of their locations will survive…
Pier 1 Imports, which previously said it would close half of its fleet of stores, now plans to close all of its locations.
The retailer, based in Fort Worth, Texas, announced in a news release Tuesday that it was seeking bankruptcy court approval to begin an “orderly wind-down” when stores are able to reopen “following the government-mandated closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
I was never a huge fan of Pier 1 Imports, but my wife liked to visit and see what they had, but now we will never be able to do that again.
Something about that really saddens me.
Of course it isn’t just retailers that are collapsing. Car rental giant Hertz “is on the verge of bankrutpcy”, and things are not looking good at all…
Hertz is on the verge of bankruptcy. At the end of April, it disclosed it had missed a large amount of lease payments on its rental cars. Since then, it has entered into forbearance and waiver agreements with these lenders that give it until May 22 to come up with the money and a plan. Its cars, now parked at various parking lots around the country, are collateral for this debt.
Some of you old timers might remember the old Hertz commercials featuring O.J. Simpson. Those were much simpler times, and to be honest I really miss them.
Unfortunately, times have really changed, and I seriously doubt that Hertz will be able to survive much longer in this very harsh economic environment.
Needless to say, a lot of businesses are going to die in the weeks and months ahead of us. As I discussed the other day, it is now being projected that approximately one out of every four restaurants in the United States will be closing down permanently.
Can you imagine what this is going to look like?
We are going to have abandoned buildings all over the place, and this will especially be true in our more impoverished communities.
The only chance we have of pulling out of this economic death spiral is if there is a full scale return to normal economic activity all across America, but that isn’t going to happen any time soon.
Fear of COVID-19 is going to paralyze small and big businesses alike for the foreseeable future, and every new outbreak is going to spark more overreactions.
For instance, Ford just shut down two major production facilities just a few days after “reopening” them…
Just days after reopening its American assembly plants, Ford temporarily shut down two separate factories because employees tested positive for Covid-19.
One plant in Chicago that builds the Ford Explorer, the Lincoln Aviator and the Ford Interceptor police car stopped operations Tuesday afternoon after two employees tested positive for Covid-19. Then, Ford’s plant in Dearborn Michigan that makes its bestselling F-150 pickup, shut down Wednesday.
If we keep shutting things down every time someone gets sick, our economic problems are just going to get worse and worse.
Look, the truth is that lots more people are going to get sick and lots more people are going to die. In fact, one new study has concluded that the U.S. death toll will more than triple by the end of 2020 “even if current social distancing habits continue for months on end”…
A new study suggests the number of Americans who will die after contracting the novel coronavirus is likely to more than triple by the end of the year, even if current social distancing habits continue for months on end.
The study, conducted by the Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy and Economics Institute at the University of Washington’s School of Pharmacy, found that 1.3 percent of those who show symptoms of COVID-19 die, an infection fatality rate that is 13 times higher than a bad influenza season.
Of course it certainly doesn’t help that we continue to allow people from other countries where COVID-19 is raging to fly into the U.S. without any special screening whatsoever…
A glamorous Russian blogger says she has proved that the US is open for foreign tourism again, despite the pandemic, according to video obtained by DailyMail.com.
Sofia Semyonova, 33, a fitness model, told how she traveled on a crammed Aeroflot flight with 500-plus passengers with ‘no social distancing’ from Moscow to New York City.
She used her B2 tourist visa to enter America from Russia’s coronavirus epicentre ‘in 30 seconds without any extra questions’.
I don’t know how this could possibly be happening, but apparently it is.
Eventually, COVID-19 will literally be just about everywhere, and almost everyone in the entire country will be exposed to it.
And fear of this virus will paralyze our economy for the foreseeable future.
So the truth is that the “for lease” and “space available” signs that you are now seeing are just the start.
A lot more are coming, and it is going to be a very dark chapter for our nation.
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