Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rise of the Machines

The following chart compares the growth of nonstore retailer sales vs. overall retail sales (in black and red) to the growth of nonstore retailer employment vs. overall retail employment (in blue and orange).

Click to enlarge.

Nonstore retailers are growing their sales exponentially relative to overall retail sales but nonstore employment is decaying exponentially relative to overall retail employment. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the stress that's placing on brick and mortars over the long-term (and the jobs that go with them).

I believe with every fiber of my being that retail employment of the future is going the way of farming employment and manufacturing employment. It won't stop there though. Coming soon to a profession near you!

September 13, 2013
Half of all U.S. jobs will be automated, but what opportunities will be created?

A study out of Oxford University has grim news for U.S. workers: up to 45% of all jobs will be automated within the next 20 years. But there is little mention of what needs to be done to provide more opportunity.

I'm thinking that the answer isn't extreme student loan debt. That's just a hunch though.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

Dr. Peter Silberman: You're safe now, they can't hurt you. Kate, my name is Doctor Silberman. I'm a post trauma counselor for the Sheriff's Department. How are you feeling?

Kate Brewster: He's not human... he's really, not human.

Dr. Peter Silberman: I know what it's like to be in a hostage situation, I've been there myself. The fear, the adrenaline, you find yourself imagining things, impossible things, crazy things, insane things... takes years to get over it.

Was Kate Brewster a Sears employee? Sigh.

This is not investment advice.

Source Data:
St. Louis Fed: Custom Chart


Rob Dawg said...

Strangely the CRE bounce makes Sears Holdings less of a crapshoot.

Fritz_O said...

J.C. Penney announces (after the bell) that they're closing 33 stores and laying off 2000.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Rob Dawg,

Yeah. It will be interesting to see how much more bounce it's got and if Sears can actually take advantage of it.

Stagflationary Mark said...


SHLD and JCP are like two pees in a pod. Shame on me!

In all seriousness...

On the one hand, JCP closing stores could help SHLD as less competition tends to help earnings.

On the other hand, JCP closing stores doesn't exactly help SHLD commercial real estate fundamentals.

AllanF said...

All they have to do is fix the zoning and remodel them as condos. There's 7 billion people living outside the US. That's 7 billion potential customers. What other market has that kind of potential?

Stagflationary Mark said...



Might I suggest an eleborate skywalk system linking them all? We need to dream big! ;)

AllanF said...

Steve Sailer coined it: Invade the World, Invite the World, In hoc to the World.

dearieme said...

My wife has just bought a new kettle online: it's been her first use of click-and-collect. The supermarket has no postage charge, she's going there tomorrow for some shopping anyway, and the price is lower than Amazon's.

EconomicDisconnect said...

I saw this coming.......

Stagflationary Mark said...


I'm a afraid to ask but...

What's the 4th step?

D'oh! ;)

Stagflationary Mark said...


...the price is lower than Amazon's

Somebody better tell Bezos to reduce those prices some more!

AMZN Key Statistics

Profit Margin (ttm): 0.19%

Hmmm. They make 19 cents for every $100 they sell?

I'm afraid to ask but...

How much did the kettle cost?

Stagflationary Mark said...


I knew you'd say that.

Hahaha! :)

Stagflationary Mark said...

For those just tuning in...

EconomicDisconnect and GYSC are one and the same.

How can I know this?

Psychic powers! ;)

EconomicDisconnect said...

Yes Mark and I go way back. Back when I was heavy into finacial stuff I penned this about robot companies:

Luckily I follow my own advice! Luckily it's a never ending uptrend, everyone is a genius!!

Stagflationary Mark said...

Luckily I follow my own advice!

You'll never get a job on Wall Street doing that! ;)

"Do what we publicly say! (Not what we privately think!)"

Customer: Is this complex structured thing risky?

Wall Street Analyst: Heavens no! (Hell yes!)

dearieme said...

"I'm afraid to ask but...

How much did the kettle cost?"

It's a Bosch. Say no more.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Mr Coffee appeared here recently due to the death of the Black & Decker version (at roughly 6 months it could no longer heat water).