We’re in the Eye of the Financial Hurricane

by Justin Spittler
Casey Research

American stores are hurting…

Two weeks ago, we pointed out that giant retailer Wal-Mart just had its worst year since 1980. Sales fell for the first time in 35 years. The company plans to close 269 stores.

Since then, retailers have announced a flood of ugly results, The Wall Street Journal reports.

On Thursday, Kohl’s Corp. said it would close 18 stores after reporting weak sales, while Sears Holdings Corp. is looking to sell $300 million in assets after reporting yet another loss. Best Buy Co. warned of weak demand for electronics, and shares of Restoration Hardware Inc. plunged as much as 29% Thursday after it blamed poor sales on a “pullback by the high-end consumer.”

Earlier this month, Kohl’s (KSS), another major retailer, reported that its profits fell 20% last quarter. Profits for clothing company Ralph Lauren (RL) fell 29%. Profits for The Gap (GPS), another clothing company, plunged 33%.

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