How A Secular Decline Begins


by David Reavill

Last week we received some sad, no tragic news. Delivered in that unique way we do on Wall Street, absolutely without emotion, just the numbers. As if we can blunt the emotional impact of lost stores and jobs by using numbers and data.

The news was that Walmart was closing several hundred stores nationwide, including all the stores in Portland, Oregon. Portland, you’ll recall, is the city that endured night after night of riots and looting. The City of Roses survived unrestrained lawlessness for nearly a year and a half.

Like it is in nearly every town and city in America, Walmart is where the citizens of Portland shop. They can purchase that hardware fixture from the DIY Section in the back of the store, casual clothes from the center, or groceries up front.

Walmart is the largest private employer in America, where seemingly everyone goes to find a bargain. Begun as the vision of a hard-working man from Arkansas named Bill Walton, the company has withstood natural disasters, economic hard times, and, recently, the Covid-19 Pandemic. Yet it continues to flourish.

Walmart learned how to prosper in an arena where many have failed. Macy’s is still here, but Gimbles is gone. Sears Roebuck limps along, while Montgomery Wards faded long ago. We all remember a favorite store that is no longer with us. But that fate had not reached Walmart.

Walmart seemed invincible.

That is until Walmart reached Portland and all those cities like Portland that have become lawless. Over the past couple of years, we’ve all seen the videos. The surveillance cameras catch the action, petty criminals casually walking out with everything from clothes to appliances and televisions. Generally, with no one to stop them. No store clerk wants to fight with these people, and no police are in sight. So thousands, if not millions, of dollars of inventory is lost each year. And who pays the price? Walmart.

If enough inventory walks out the door, the inevitable will happen. The store loses money and eventually will close. Last week the task fell to Doug McMillion, Walmart’s CEO, to announce that the final two stores in Portland as well as a couple of hundred other stores around the country, will be closing.

As the Street says, euphemistically, the “shrinkage” was too significant. That’s right, and Wall Street calls this pilfering shrinkage. More to the point: the level of stealing was too great to overcome. Walmart was being “ripped off,” “burglarized,” and “shoplifted” to death.

Last December, McMillion, during an interview on CNBC, warned the citizens of Portland and all the other high-crime cities that “Theft is an issue. It’s higher than it historically been…I think that local law enforcement being staffed and being a good partner is part of the equation (solution…” to bring law and order back…”If that’s not corrected over time, prices will rise, or stores will close.”

For Portland, their Walmart Stores will close a week from this coming Friday. It’s a tragedy for Portland, the Management and workers at Walmart, and the city of Portland. No one wanted this outcome. Except, perhaps, for those local “perps” who made off with all the goods. Who reveled for a day in their ill-gotten gain. But if history is any guide, they are likely no better off today than before they rushed that 54-inch big screen out the front door of the Walmart Super Center.

And worst still, these thieves usually walked to their car without opposition, not so much as a “Hey there, bring that back.” There were no consequences for their actions. Those actions were reinforced and will likely be seen again.

But not at the Portland Walmart. Walmart Management took the only action they could under the circumstances. They closed.

Walmart is also closing two large warehouse complexes near me in greater Philadelphia. That’s the downstream result of closing over 200 of these “shrinkage” stores. About 4% of Walmart’s total number of stores are closing, not counting the number of warehouses and support staff associated with those stores.

So come April 1, when all those local Walmarts have closed, the staff is given their final severance package. When the leases have all been given back to the real estate owner, perhaps it will begin to dawn on Portland and the other communities that this is permanent. When the signs for the old Walmart are gone, and the parking lot is empty. And you’ll get that funny feeling in the pit of your stomach as you drive by that something has disappeared forever, sad. We’re not the community that we used to be. It’s depressing.

And that, my internet friend, is how a secular decline begins.

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Canadian Friend
Canadian Friend
13 days ago

I just learned that Kelloggs gave 91 Billion dollars to BLM

I hope they go bankrupt

Anyone stupid enough to have donated to. BLM desrves the bad things that happens to them

13 days ago

Where i be lootin now youall.

Canadian Friend
Canadian Friend
13 days ago

Walmart gave 14 Million dollars for a ” Center for racial equity “.

Businesses that generously donate to leftist groups are basically feeding the beast that is making them go out of business.

It is like donating food to the termites eating the structure of your house, then being surprised you have to abandon your house as it will crumble to dust.

Some of us could see that this would happen and have been warning others for years …

We were called crazy.

The left is to blame yes, but those foolish enough to donate to the left – thinking that will appease the beast – get what they deserve.

I don t feel sorry for businesses who donate to BLM or any leftist connected groups or causes.

I don t feel sorry for people gullible enough to vote for leftist politicians who bring nothing but destruction.

That reminds of that woman in California that a young black man in a car he just had stolen, tried to kill her and her baby, but failed…she had voted for the attorney general ( or was it mayor Gascon? ) who had reduced sentences for criminals.

Anyone dumb enough to vote for that deserves what happens to them.

Walmart made their bed, now they sleep in it.

Like those banks that went ” woke” and are now failing.

Those idiots create their own trouble by feeding the beast that wants to eat them.

Canadian Friend
Canadian Friend
13 days ago

I ll tell you who I feel sorry for;

I feel sorry for me.

Because of those idiots I will now have to pay more for the things I buy at Walmart.

Because of those idiots I now pay more for my gasoline.

Because of those idiots life will be harder for all of us.

Because of idiots who donated over 80 Billions to BLM, North America’s descent towards becoming a sh**hole of poverty, crime and misery has just accelerated.

Because most people are too imbecile to see that the media are brainwashing them into believing everything liberal-left is good and everything else is mean and ugly, those imbecile vote for who is turning our civilization into a sh**hole of inflation, poverty, crime and misery.

I don t feel sorry for Walmart, I don t feel sorry for Silicon Valley bank, I feel sorry for me, for having to live among 8 billion humans whom the majority of are imbeciles.

Judyann Joyner, RN
Judyann Joyner, RN
13 days ago

Let me brighten your day.

Walmart went, “woke,” years ago but without fanfare. Suddenly, the gracious, pleasant older folks manning the registers were gone. In one nearby Walmart, they were replaced by Muslim women in hijabs.

In another nearby Walmart, I encountered a dilemma. When I could not find an item, discovered I also could not find a salesperson who spoke ENGLISH. They went with Spanish speaking only employees.

All this happened about 5,6 years ago. After the second disappointment, I walked out of Walmart and never went back only to discover, not only did I NOT MISS them but, actually SAVED money.

Am sure you’ll discover, every time you’d go to Walmart for just one or two items, you too walked out with a cart full of an assortment of other items you really did NOT NEED. Remove temptation, money saved.

I also discovered smart shopping in small local businesses supports your community AND, pricewise, you can do just as well.

So, goodbye Walmart. I felt sorry for those many older folks who lost their jobs to “equity,” and “Go Woke, Go Broke.”

Peter B. Prange
Peter B. Prange
14 days ago

And who pays the price? Walmart”
Well, actually, the ones who pay the price are:

  1. The people who lose their jobs be it in those stores, in whare houses; and in suppliers to Walmart.
  2. The citizens of the city which lose a major taxpayer;.
  3. Everyone who has to drive further, or pay a higher price for the goods;
  4. Every stock holder in lower dividends and lower market price;
  5. And in the end everyone one of us, especially as such events grow and effect economic outlooks and the willingness of investors..

I grew up in Detroit and now in so may places there are just open empty blocks with no homes nd no businesses. AT times some places looked like the war zones of Germany after World War II.
And to think during the Trump years things were just starting to get better, ‘s especially for minorities. It is enough to make caring people weep.

John Vieira
John Vieira
14 days ago

The decline started a long time ago with the ilk of joe and amplified by joe himself when he gave “amnesty” to BLM (BurnLootMurder -Mao’s Red Guards) and antifa (Hitler’s Brown Shirts)

13 days ago
Reply to  John Vieira

And Obutthole.

Canadian Friend
Canadian Friend
11 days ago
Reply to  TPM

Back then when I said it people thought my comment was about race but it was not,
back in 2008 I said that if Obama was elected, the USA would never recover from the damage he would inflict.

Back then that was considered a very radical statement and also it was considered way way too pessimistic.

back then I used to read 15 hours a day and everything about Obama ( everything that was not from the MSM who were orgasming so much they loved him even though he had never accomplished anything ) indicated clearly a shady past,

from his connections to USA hater and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers to his attending a church ran by a USA hater, a dozen other very shady things indicated clearly Obama hated the USA and wanted to drastically changed it ( or destroy it )

he then proceeded to make racial tensions 20 times higher and did dozens of other immoral evil things

and here we are 7 years after he left the White House sinking deeper and faster because of the holes Obama drilled in our boat.

and Biden is drilling more holes, he is encouraging and financing every leftist that wants to sink the USA.

if nothing changes we are doomed, and by “we” I mean all of Western civilization not just the USA.

The USA is the bulwark of western civilization, if you fall we all fall.

and as of right now, the falling has begun…while the left is chanting FASTER ! FASTER !