Store Closings Reach Epic Proportions!

I was watching a local news segment the other day about the announced closing of the Macy’s store at a shopping center here in Indianapolis. The reporter was interviewing a woman, who had not realized the store was closed and had obviously attempted to shop there that day. When asked about her feelings seeing the store closed, she replied (and I paraphrase), “Well it’s really sad, another store abandoning the area all because they can’t make enough money.”



Does Macy’s have a moral or social obligation to keep a store open that does not meet their profit guidelines? They are in business after all to make a profit, aren’t they? And, if Macy’s does have that obligation, then don’t we have the obligation to shop there? I wish the reporter had asked the woman where else she was shopping that day. Wal-mart? Or perhaps some other discount retailer? Or maybe they should have asked how many times she comparison shopped and bought the same item from another retailer because they had it for a few dollars less than Macy’s.

It raises some interesting questions and it creates a vicious cycle.

As consumers we are always shopping for the lowest price, many times willing to give up brand loyalty, store loyalty and even quality to get it. This drives the small retailer from business, the larger retailers are constantly cutting costs to keep margins, and manufacturers also are forced to cut costs to make a profit. This can lead to lower wages for employees, jobs sent out of the country, reductions in quality, and ultimately to the elimination of the brand altogether. This, in turn, leads to workers making less money or losing their jobs, therefore needing to shop for the lowest price. We have met the enemy, and they are us!

On the other hand, businesses that continually raise prices as a way of increasing profit margins, or continually cut their costs to the detriment of their employees or their supply chains or the planet to increase their profit margins also contribute in large part to the cycle. (Yes, I believe businesses should make a profit!)

It raises some interesting questions, does it not?

5 replies
  1. Sara Strock
    Sara Strock says:

    Interesting article, except you haven’t drawn any conclusions. What exactly are you saying?
    Other than businesses have a right to make a profit, to which I whole-heartedly agree, you don’t appear to have made a point. LOL. I say this with the utmost kindness. I once wrote an MBA paper (30 pages) the night before it was due, mind you, and a friend read it. He confirmed my worst fears. When he was done, he said “You don’t have a point! So I quickly wrote a paragraph in the front saying it was an overview of technology options for logistics current state, and ended up with an A.

    I’m wondering if you’ve done this on purpose to generate blog feedback. Please let me know if it works! I’ve started my own new little venture with some people I’ve recently met. I don’t know how it will go, but we are targeting the small business market, and I hope to franchise it next year.

  2. Jill R Stollenwerk
    Jill R Stollenwerk says:

    As many of my friends, I prefer shopping on line. There is no added service in the stores anymore. Cost Cutting. I understand that, but the day I could walk into LS Ayres and have several ladies in the department around to help, is gone. It’s easier to order something on line and send it back if you don’t like it. I think the internet has changed the way people shop.

    • Jeff Ton
      Jeff Ton says:


      Thank you so much for uour comments. You raise some great points. I, too, use mostly online, it is just more convenient. I guess that means we can’t be surprised when stores close. I also agree with your point about service. It is NOT what it used to be. I think that is a very complex answer.

      I have also wondered why we are still building. I suspect it is a drive to make it more convenient, make it more entertaining, and in some case a refusal to look reality in the face.

      Thanks again for your comments. I sincerely appreciate!


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