When Shopping Is Dropping

Whole lot of hollering going on about the travails of retail. The Wall Street Journal reports that analysts predict up to a quarter of all stores are having trouble and may need to declare bankruptcy.

Matthew Yglesias spins through the real implications for your local mall. The short answer is that bankruptcy might allow some stores a second life. The long answer depends on the much broader economy. "When consumer demand goes down, the first response is to discount the merchandise to make sure you can move it," Yglesias writes. "But the second response is to start stocking less inventory and operating fewer stores."

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