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Honored Advisor

On the Economy

Black Friday we went up to the Mall of America and I channeled my inner "Peter Lynch" observing which stores were the busiest.  It was easier because some stores had lines of shoppers waiting to get in, the Apple Store, LuLulemon, Urban Outfitters had very long lines of shoppers with money burning a hole in their pocket.  Chatime the bubble tea place was also long line and busy.  Chick-Fil-Let was busy, they are always busy.  The kiosk businesses that sell phone covers and little helicopters and such were dead.  Stores that specialize in Kilts, socks, the paper store that took the place of Hallmark that sells Justice Ginsberg bobbleheads and such were all dead.  

I`m sure the mall in Mankato is nuts, I`ve learned to not go near it this close to Christmas. Just people watching up there, they don`t look like many of them have physical labor jobs or red meat in their diet.  All the model quality women, they must make You Tube videos on applying makeup.  But I would love to find out what some of the shoppers do for employment, they aren`t operating a jackhammer all day, that is for sure.

So okay, malls have went broke and you have to drive a ways to find one these days Mall of America the big kahuna is behind in mortgage payments and in the arrears on their property tax.  These store have to provide sanitizer, cheap masks and extra employees to function during Covid, only to watch wouldbe customers pick up a $250 pair of Oakleys, check the price on Amazon and set them down and leave the store without a purchase. 

My Son is doing very well and is looking for a even better job as he`s been at this one 2  1/2 yrs.  My Wife cautioned leaving a sweet job in case the economy gets bad, because of Covid, ect and he said "Mom, none of the places out there are making a profit anyway".  I assume Tesla is making money as is Microsoft and the other Silicon Valley big dogs.  The startups must have a flow of capital, collecting brain power until they catch traction and become the next Amazon or Uber.

I buy a lot of stuff off Craigs List, never sold anything, I got talking to a guy that I bought something from and he said it didn`t cost anything to run a ad and there`s no advertising.  I googled them and they don`t make money, I would pay a couple bucks a month to subscribe because of all I buy there.  My Son says CL has a cheap website and no PayPal or services so they have low cost of operation.   

But what the hell is going on here, do former farmers run these businesses not worried about being profitable?   Smiley Happy

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5 Replies
Veteran Advisor

Re: On the Economy

Mankato is hard to avoid going to in our area but the last couple weeks the 3 counties around there have had the highest number of Chinese virus cases per capita in MN.  Wife and I zoomed in and out Friday afternoon and there was no shortage of traffic.  They love roundabouts in that town.  Just wish they knew how to build them so the trucks didn't have to leave tire tracks all over the curbs and grass.  Mall has lost some "anchor" tenants over the last few years.

Wonder what it would be like today if I90 went thru there as originally planned.  Story goes it was supposed to follow US14 instead of US16.

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Honored Advisor

Re: On the Economy

If I-90 was next to Mankato, it would have become another Bloomington a lot sooner.  They went overboard with roundabouts in that town, I`m used to them now but still wonder if just synchronizing the traffic lights wouldn`t have been a better idea. Not that many years a go, south of Madison ave was very rural, house here and there and a cornfield, now it starts getting urban north of Beauford  or Good Thunder  Smiley Happy

All those islands in that town and one-ways, you can see where you want to go, but you better have a full tank of gas going through the maize getting there, must`ve been Norwegians on crack that designed that rat`s nest up there  Smiley Happy

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Veteran Advisor

Re: On the Economy

There's still a cornfield between menards and home depot north of tractor supply so all is not lost.😁

I'm old enough to remember going downtown before they built the Madison East mall.  Dad bought a bale conveyer from tractor supply when they were still in Old Town just before they moved a few blocks north on Front Street.  They assembled it on the second floor in 3 sections so we had to pass it out the window onto a trailer.

The building never seems to stop in that town.  Just wish my son and his crew were paid enough to afford some of what they build.

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Honored Advisor

Re: On the Economy

There`s a off brand machinery farmer between the crazy mall and Fleet Farm/Menards still hanging on, I`ll bet he sold off lots $$$ and farming is fun.  Seems to me like he has a old Gleaner sitting outside and that sort of thing, I think on North Victory drive area.  For some reason Mankato grew like mad, if you go a year between visits, you don`t recognize the place.  Funny how Loews went broke, but Fleet Farm came in, Tractor Supply thrives in their shadow, I like TSC better.  Menards and Home Depot slugging it out as BTO neighbors   Smiley Happy

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Veteran Advisor

Re: On the Economy

That guy on north Victory Drive does have some classics including a yellow combine.  Some of his land is now a solar farm.  It is next to the prettiest cemetery where the nuns are buried after serving the School Sisters of Notre Dame.  The tombstones are identical and in a beautiful setting.  National Geographic made them famous when an article mentioned a health study they were involved in.

Loyola, the Catholic high school, is on that Hilltop as well.

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