I’m really not trying to bum everyone out about Sears; I never actually planned on having any post at all about the company. But unfortunately, things just keep getting worse: here, once again, is Slate’s economics writer discussing the demise of the venerable retailer.
I think it’s important to follow these developments because if Sears fails — or just shrinks sufficiently that the Provo store closes — our mall will have a huge empty space. That’s lost revenue for the city, and as the University Mall demonstrates, one closed anchor can snowball into other closures. I keep posting on this topic — despite its relative lack of pizzaz — because I’m not sure people are generally following the national story about Sears’ troubles, or if they are I’m not sure they’re are connecting that to the local economy. (But maybe I’m wrong about people generally. Obviously at least some people are following the story.)
As the Slate article also indicates, the world is fundamentally different today than it was when Sears was a major player in the retail business. I want all businesses in Provo to thrive, but wanting something and believing it will happen are two very different things.
On a more positive note, I’d highly recommend following the work of Matthew Yglesias on Slate. He’s fairly new to the website, but his writing is always insightful and usually applicable to our local economy.