Businesses are noticing the shrinking middle class

Don’t deliberate separate your labor pool from your customer base, and then wonder your product doesn’t sell.

Henry Ford paid his workers well enough that they could afford his cars on purpose. I like that he thought that through.

I wonder why Boeing doesn’t do that.

In answer to why Boomers can’t get what they want. It strikes me that the reason you can’t find what you want, is that for most Boomers, they refuse to acknowledge that they are actually finite and they are getting older. I certainly wouldn’t want to trade my Levis for the brown polyester pants that my Grandfather wore, but I also understand that poly pants are a lot easier to keep clean, and hide stains better. You want bespoke, tailored clothes? Make them yourself or pay for someone to make them for you. Don’t expect that you’re going to get them cheap though.

Gross generalizations, but ok. Wait til you get some years on you. We are all too aware of our waning years, the lessening of the light, etc. I don’t know many my age that “refuse to acknowledge” that we’re getting older, but if it makes you feel better, I say go with it.

I can’t imagine, in the wildest of circumstances, wearing poly pants. I Wear Levis, too. But what do I wear to a funeral or a nice restaurant where Levis are inappropriate? I don’t want bespoke, tailored clothes. I want something nice, that isn’t what a teenage would wear. Good luck finding something that ISN’T designed for a teenager!

As for making it myself, I do that, occasionally. I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to. I am grateful that I was forced to take Home Economics in high school, where I was taught to sew. You see many women my age lined up at the fabric store, doing the same thing. I understand sewing isn’t taught in high schools any more. Pity. They’ll need to know how when they get older and can’t find clothing in stores or online that are age appropriate.

As I said before, it’s a missed opportunity for retailers. They get no sympathy from me when they go under. They chose to ignore whole, rather large, segments of the population. These segments tend to have disposable income with fewer opportunities to buy products designed for them.

Two things:

  1. The country is vastly overstored, and this is overwhelmingly in businesses oriented toward the middle class. (it seems like I have read articles stating the U.S. has three or so times as much retail space per capita as equally wealthy European countries).
  2. Retail is switching to the internet for many products.

OK, Juliasqueezer, I’ll cop to the gross overgeneralization, general snark, and admit that you have me on making your own clothes (Something I wish I had the skill to do )but I have more years than you think (I’m 46) and while I have slid out of the general mass media feeding frenzy on youth in general I don’t have any issue with clothing whatsoever. Now that may be because I’m a guy, and because of where I live; YMMV.
I suspect that the retailers for the middle are out there, they are merely evolving and are online or under brand names you may not recognize. As a point of note my parents, and Outlaws, don’t seem to have an issue, and none of them are wearing brown poly <shudder> either.
But to get on the OP’s point, I’m not sure that this is really a case of the middle disappearing at a retail level so much as the middle does a lot more of it’s shopping online,especially Boomers Cite. Retail space is expensive almost universally and it seems to me that the people most likely to go to physical retail space are those that don’t have a choice, who end up at Wal-mart or the Dollar store or those who can afford retail therapy and want the full on shopping “experience” with the concomitant service that goes with it.
I think I’m echoing Monstro here but in a slightly different way.

I laugh (bitterly) at an economy, people by an underpaid labor force, that holds its breath every Christmas season hoping to end the FY in the black.