Matthew Yglesias uses today's new job numbers to further his "end of retail" theme:
According to the BLS, about 2 million more people were working last month than were working a year ago. But we have 10,000 fewer people working in general merchandise stores. We have 20,000 fewer people working in electronics and appliance stores. We have 17,000 fewer people working in "sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores."
In particular, note the loss of 21,000 people working in "department stores," in contrast to a gain of 5,900 working in "health and personal care stores."
I recently wrote about the decline of the downtown department store, as well as the trend of food-and-drink places replacing retail stores in downtown Boston.
Since then, it's been announced that a huge Walgreens drugstore will replace the defunct Borders Books in Downtown Crossing ("health and personal care" padding its lead), and people are salivating over the possibility of a Wegmans supermarket replacing the Filene's Pit (shown at right). You might recall that when Filene's closed in 2006, we were hoping for a Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, or Target store to breathe life into the area.
If it weren't for cellphone stores, the breadth of new spending opportunities downtown would range all way from hamburgers to antacid.