Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

The U.S. recession ends, but not for you

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unclesambegsTalk about a disconnect.

Experts say U.S. economic growth has returned, signaling the end of the longest and deepest recession since the Great Depression.

But the good news for Wall Street — where shares have been running up — is showing no signs of trickling down to Main Street, where unemployment is flirting with 10 percent, foreclosures continue to rise and record numbers of families now depend on government-issued food stamps to make ends meet.

“For every person out of work, for every family facing foreclosure, for every small business facing a credit crunch, the recession remains alive and acute,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in testimony to a congressional committee.

“Many people you might have called middle class or working class before have been ground down toward poverty or even destitution,” said author Barbara Ehrenreich, who has chronicled America’s working poor during her career.

Welcome to Wal-Mart country

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bentonvillewmtoneReuters is attending Wal-Mart’s annual meeting this week and will be sending news, tweets and images from the event via Shop Talk.

Our tour will include visits to the company’s distribution center, a Sam’s Club warehouse store and a Walmart supercenter.

Shuttering Starbucks

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starbuckscorona1Reuters checked out some of the stores that Starbucks is closing in California’s Inland Empire – an area well known for being a leader in home foreclosures.

Some of the coffee shop closures made sense, some didn’t and some had us wondering just what Starbucks was thinking.

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