Over the last 48 hours, several big names in the American mall industry announced they would be slashing store counts to the tune of over 300 stores.
Gap said during its earnings call that it is going to shutter 230 locations over the next two years, just hours after JCPenney said that it would close 18 of its department stores. This news came after L Brands said they were going to close 53 Victoria’s Secret stores in North America this year according to Bloomberg. The icing on the cake was when “disruptor” Tesla recently announced all of its sales would be moving online, which is a nice way to say that almost all of its retail locations – many of which are located in malls – were going to close, leaving its “visionary” retail employees at their local unemployment lines.
These PMIs are a scale for global demand and regional within the goods-based economy, giving an advance glimpse of official manufacturing data one or two months later. And for now, the US manufacturing sector is hanging on, even as manufacturers in China, Japan, and Germany are losing grip.