(1138) USA shopocalypse


Macy’s, Sears, Payless Shoes.  America’s favourite merchandise outlets melt into air.  Retail here in the greater Toronto Area has been overbuilt for a while now but nobody is calling it an apocalypse quite yet.  Unlike in the United States, where ‘retail apocalypse’ is a Wikipedia entry and daily reality.  While retail jobs were nothing special they were readily available, especially to women and youth.  Many an immigrant to North America held things together with mall employment, too.
Wikipedia: Retail Apocalypse
The retail apocalypse is suburban.  Cities will weather this concentrated downturn becasue they went through it 50 years ago. Their neighbours may not be so lucky
slate.com
What caused the retail apocalypse?
theweek.com
See also: (352) Mall living
image: Sarah Martin via Flickr/CC

(1137) Food service discouragement

You’d think to manage any kind of business you’d have to have some understanding of wage economics, no?
Our most elderly employee read this article with disgust yesterday.  ”In the early eighties,” he hissed.  ”Restarauteurs were carping and bitching exactly the same way about how ‘nobody wants to work, we can’t find anyone, our dishwasher quit.’  Nothing ever changes.”
When the conditions are so bad, it’s no wonder restaurant workers are skipping out on their job interviews.
OPINION: The hospitality industry is facing a new crisis: job candidate and employee no-shows. And before you ask: no, it isn’t just millennials
tvo.org
image: Thomas Hawk via Flickr/CC

(1136) Florida calls crisis

Urban studies theorist Richard Florida turns his attention in this item to the divergent prospects of inner suburbs and the sprawl beyond them.  Yikes!
Inside the new suburban crisis. Once the key driver of the American dream, the suburbs have reached the end of a long era of cheap growth. Now their advantages to economic mobility have nearly disappeared
citylab.com
image: houston, i am the problem via Flickr/CC

(1135) Cycling along the poverty line

This is a moving feature on the role a bicycle can play for lower income folks living in the sprawl.  Los Angeles is the place but we know for a fact lives like this are found in Canadian communities as well.
How low income cyclists go unnoticed. There really is a world where people pedal to work, use bikes for everyday transportation and by riding, form close communities of friends and neighbors – and it exists right in your town
bicycling.com
image: bedrocan via Flickr/CC

(1134) BC election 2017


Election time in British Columbia sees suburban issues, and mixed feelings, in the foreground.
Forget Vancouver, BC’s future will be decided by the suburbs. With big city problems creeping into the land of cul-de-sacs and single-family homes, suburban swing ridings are set to determine the outcome of the provincial election
vanmag.com

Some insight from recent US experience?

Environment as politics. New drawings of the relations between residential density and voting behaviour
placesjournal.org
image: Concert Properties via Flickr/CC

(1133) Car town


Here in the Greater Toronto Area it feels like the real estate bubble will never burst.  Prices swell and then swell some more.  Equity flows – as if up through the very drains in the monster home basements – to enrich the fortunate homeowner.
An unavoidable parallel to this frenzy is found in automotive finance.  Where you have sprawl, you have cars, natch.
Is there an auto bubble on the horizon?
macleans.ca
Canadians getting lured onto auto debt treadmill by signing on to long term car loans
financialpost.com
What comes after the auto bubble?
frontiergroup.org
What’s happening with subprime auto loans?
visualcapitalist.com
‘Deep subprime’ auto loans are surging
bloomberg.com
image: Heather Philips via Flickr/CC