Could Retail Cut Another One Million Jobs In 2009?

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The media has been full of news about how heavily retailers will have to cut store locations next year.  Three weeks ago, 24/7 Wall St. ran an analysis of the retail companies which might not make it to the end of 2009.

Today, The Wall Street Journal ran an article saying that as many as 25% or retailers could fill for bankruptcy next year. Bloomberg posted a piece later in the day saying as many as 72,000 individual stores could close in the first half of next year.

The Bloomberg analysis, based on data from the International Council of Shopping Centers is the most frightening.

Although there do not appear to be any accurate figures on how many people work in the average American retail outlet, it would not be beyond the realm of imagination to guess that the number is ten or fifteen. In other words, as many as another one million retail employees could be out of work over the next six months. That is enough to take the unemployment rate up by almost 1% all by itself.

Douglas A. McIntyre