Wednesday, June 7, 2017

When Business Writers Become Tabloid Journalists

Sears/Kmart announced today they are closing 72 more stores and yet national publications like the Business Insider continue to publish propaganda blaming Millennials for our economic downfall-- a downfall publications like have long predicted.

Our economy is in a freefall and so called "respected business publications" like the Business Insider want to point fingers at the victims with articles like Millennials are killing chains like Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebee's by Kate Taylor.

As a Boomer myself I always found these places to be too noisy, less than intimate, crowded, too expensive, slow, and for the most part, far too repetitive. I always thought them geared for a much younger crowd and usually found myself among the oldest in the place.

In what amounts to little more than tabloid journalism, Kate Taylor resorts to trashing an entire generation with statements like:

"Casual dining is in danger — and millennials are to blame.

Brands such as TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesday, and Applebee's have faced sales slumps and dozens of restaurant closures, as casual-dining chains have struggled to attract customers and increase sales.

"Casual-dining restaurants face a uniquely challenging market today," Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith recently wrote in a letter to shareholders."

If you happen to hold stock in any of these restaurants you'll be very interested in the e-mail I sent to Ms Taylor in response to her article. It seems Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith, Kate Taylor, and Business Insider are leaving out a very important piece of the information. Quite possibly the most important piece:

That's right, it's easier to blame slumping sales on the victims of a failed economy than it is to admit they screwed up and over built in an effort to push stock prices up at a time when everyone was buying. So much easier in fact that Ms Taylor follows up with yet another article titled, 'Psychologically scarred' millennials are killing dozens of industries — and it's their parents' fault. while never discussing how overbuilt the American retail/restaurant industry really is.

"Still, naysayers are right about something.

While millennials' preferences have had a destructive impact on several companies and industries, they had no say in creating the environment that has restricted their income and shaped their financial perspective. Instead, if we're looking for someone to blame, we can target the generation that created a perfect storm for molding a uniquely thrifty generation focused on short-term rewards: baby boomers."

As I pointed out in Part 1 of Will Retail Be The Death Of The Piedmont Triad? we are vastly exceeding the ability of consumers to shop. We simply have far more retail space than we need. Using published figures I put together this list of retail space per person but as you can see in both articles by Ms Taylor she never addresses the excess of retail space despite previous articles on Business Insider like The retail apocalypse has officially descended on America where journalist Hayley Peterson confirms some of the very same figures I published a month earlier.

Retail Space Per Person

Greensboro 142 square feet
US National Average 23.5 square feet
Canada 16.4 square feet
Australia 11.1 square feet
Europe 2,5 square feet”

Nope, let's blame the whole thing on the victims, the Boomers, the Millennials, and anyone who was trusting enough to invested their hard earned retirement savings in any of the stocks people like Sally Smith con people out of their money with.

You see, stock prices don't necessarily go up with an increase in sales volume. Certainly, an increase in sales volume can push the value of stocks higher but that isn't how retailers and restaurants have been pushing up their stock prices in recent years.

In recent years, with the help of a tabloid business press, retail, restaurant and other industries announce the opening of new locations while making more stock available even if the actual sales market doesn't support an increase. People see new stores going up so they invest. More new stores go up so more people invest.

Behind the scenes, chains like Buffalo Wild Wings don't buy buildings as that would push costs too high and create more losses come bankruptcy time. Instead they lease their buildings from commercial real estate developers who quite likely used local tax dollars in the form of economic development incentives, to build the shopping centers and malls in which these restaurants and retail shops are located.

And eventually, because the actual increase in sales volume-- whatever it happened to be-- wasn't enough in the long term to support all these many new restaurants and retail shops, the vast Ponzi scheme being perpetuated by CEOs like Sally Smith and covered up by tabloid journalists like The Business Insider's Kate Taylor, come crashing to the ground.

So Ms Taylor pens articles like Millennials are killing chains like Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebee's and 'Psychologically scarred' millennials are killing dozens of industries — and it's their parents' fault to cover for the brokers, bosses, CEOs, Banksters, and the rest who all conspired to rob America's working classes.

Go ahead, call me a conspiracy theorist, you all know it happened.