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The Amazon logo is displayed at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York. Photo: Richard Drew / AP

U.S. stores have been closing at a faster rate in 2017 than at any time since the recession, an American phenomenon being dubbed "retail apocalypse." Though this has so-far been largely a worry for U.S. retailers, the Wall Street Journal reports that investors in Europe are worried that it is now spreading abroad.

Why it matters: As Amazon expands abroad and continues to win market share, expect accusations that this American juggernaut is stealing business from domestic firms and killing traditional retail.

The European retail sector had been buoyant until as recently as 2015, when the Stoxx Europe 600 retail sector had gained 8%, compared with a 9% decline in U.S. retail, largely because European brands are less reliant on struggling department-store sales, and because European firms resisted opening too many stores as their American counterparts did.

The turning tide: Amazon's international sales are up 16% so far this year, while Amazon has been responsible for one-third of all new retail sales in Britain and Germany, according to Morgan Stanley.

Go deeper

Journalism enters dangerous new era

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
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The beginning of the beginning for Biden's climate push

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.

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Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.