It's almost like deja vu all over again, again. Payless Shoe Source is going out of business. Gap, JCPenny, Victoria's Secret and Foot Locker among the many retailers who are closing stores this year. Fox Business is calling it the "Retail Apocalypse." And now, Family Dollar is shutting down almost 400 stores. Family Dollar has twelve stores in greater Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, according to the company's website.

Dollar Tree, the parent company announced today they are closing 390 stores, and rebranding many other, most likely under the Dollar Tree brand. Analysts say this is a case of one division, Family Dollar dragging down the performance of it's corporate parent, Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree has not announced yet, which stores will be closed or rebranded.

But ultimately, this many store closures has to affect other parts of the economy; more people out of work means less sales for somebody, anybody. There's got to be some sort of domino effect.

Yes, some retailers are thriving. Target announcing good quarterly results this week. Amazon, well, Jeff Bezos is still the richest man on the planet, so things are going okay for Amazon, at least as a company. But retail employs middle and lower middle class people. That's the heart of the economy. Does this foreshadow a coming economic collapse, or is it a case of the rich getting richer? Or to be fair, is it the market economy doing what market economies do, correcting itself, and rewarding companies that are operating efficiently and for lack of a better term, correctly?

By the way, get used to a new term to dress up a worry inducing issue: "store optimization" is what we now call store closings.