What Happened to Hecker

Hecker went first.
At six Twin Cities Denny Hecker dealerships where banners and balloons typically beckon would-be car buyers, all was quiet Saturday.
Others will follow.
Vehicles at the Denny Hecker Hyundai lot in Roseville had been put to a new use -- blocking off the entrances. The showroom doors were locked. At the used-car lot next door, desks had been cleaned off and computers had been removed.
It's not just the auto industry.
Analysts are predicting the worst holiday sales season in nearly two decades. U.S. sales of apparel, shoes and appliances fell dramatically in the first two weeks of November, as consumers worried about a recession and job losses further cut spending, MasterCard Advisors said in a report.
Consumer spending, we are told, represents 70% of U.S. economic activity.
Overall apparel sales are down 19 percent from the same period a year ago, according to a report by SpendingPulse, the retail data service of MasterCard Advisors, an arm of MasterCard Worldwide. Apparel sales fell 5.5 percent in September and 12.2 percent in October. Women's apparel fell 19.7 percent in the first half of November compared with last year, with men's apparel down 20.5 percent.
Footwear sales fell 11 percent, and electronics and appliance sales dropped a steep 22.1 percent, according to the report. Total luxury sales, which includes jewelry and high-end luxury stores, fell 21.1 percent. Internet sales showed the most modest decline of the period, at 7.5 percent.
Stores that sell cheap are doing rich business.
Wal-Mart's focus on low prices has been a winning strategy in recent months, helping it to increase sales and win market share. Earlier this month, Wal-Mart posted a 10 percent rise in quarterly profit, in stark contrast to competitors.
While Citigroup is talking to the government about how to keep going.
Citigroup's shares lost 20 percent of their value on Friday, closing at $3.77, down 60 percent for the week and reaching their lowest level since December 1992 "It's fear and panic at this point," said Gerard Cassidy, a banking analyst at RBC Capital Markets in Portland, Maine. "Investors have seen similar movies this year, and the endings are very unpleasant."
What happened to Hecker is going to happen to many more.