03 January 2009

Rumors of Stores Closing: Not All True

There's a nice sense of relief when rumors of economic ruin can be denied—thanks to Snopes.com's "Store Closings" report. In Snope.com's words, email reports on chain store woes were a "mixture of accurate, inaccurate, and outdated information."

For fastest reading (and most accurate information), scroll to about the half-way point on the web page. That's where the accurate reporting on chain stores begins. (Snopes.com investigates rumors and reports on their accuracy as well as explains the how and the why behind the rumors' spreading in the first place.)

We'll probably have more such misinformation to sift through in 2009. I am struck by how much of the information was based on partial fact (yes, Pep Boys did make store closings) but mainly suffered from outdated data. So, the claim that Pep Boys would close all stores by December 2008 was a wild exageration of what really happened. The chain closed 31 underperforming outlets at the end of 2007. And the important missing context? Those 31 represented a fraction of the chain's 600 stores.

No guarantees for Pep Boys or any other chain as the recession deepens—and maybe it takes a year to get the whole story—but it's nice to see the rumors proven wrong.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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