Jul 12, 2019

Mainstream retail's move into CBD could create $24 billion industry

Data: Brightfield Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

Thanks to passage of the most recent U.S. farm bill legalizing hemp, cannabidiol — or CBD — is being sold widely throughout the country.

Why it matters: Mainstream acceptance is expected to bring explosive growth, with analysts from Brightfield Group estimating the U.S. CBD market will grow 706% from its 2018 levels by the end of the year, and reach nearly $24 billion by 2023.

  • Initially, sales of CBD products were generally limited to cannabis-specific companies, including vaping and hemp shops, but in Q2 retailers like CVS and Walgreens moved into the space.
  • Large pharmacy, retail and grocery chains are expected to take 57% of CBD retail market revenue by year-end.

Why you'll hear about this again: "Over the short-to medium-term, we expect expansion across both pharma and grocery as well as the emergence of supercenters, gyms, pet stores, natural food chains, and other big box retailers," Brightfield said in a recent publication.

Go deeper: Axios' Deep Dive on the business of marijuana

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The inexplicable decline in retail sales growth

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Headlines Tuesday painted a picture of a booming U.S. retail market: Amazon's well-covered Prime Day(s) generated an estimated $5.8 billion of sales and the Commerce Department's retail sales report showed an especially strong reading for June.

Yes, but: A deeper dive into the data shows retail sales growth is slowing, with the all-important online component — the major source of growth, as brick-and-mortar sales struggle — cooling notably.

Go deeperArrowJul 17, 2019

Store closures don't mean retail is dead

Adapted from CBRE; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. store closures are on pace for a record level in 2019 with more than 7,400 already announced this year, and household names like Sears and Victoria’s Secret shutting their doors at malls across the country.

Yes, but: Property broker CBRE says the fire-and-brimstone, death-of-the-mall narratives are exaggerating what's actually happening in the retail and real estate spaces. Certainly, the mall sector is having some problems, but the full picture also includes an overall Q2 gain in demand across all retail formats, and a gradual repositioning of malls as mixed-use projects.

Go deeperArrowJul 26, 2019

Farmers offset tough times with side gigs

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

China’s vow to stop buying U.S. agricultural goods comes at a dire time for farmers, who have been cutting costs and picking up side-hustles — like hosting pizza nights for agri-tourists — to make ends meet.

Why it matters: Adverse weather conditions, slumping commodity prices and trade wars are threatening farmers' already-dwindling incomes, in the midst of the worst economic downturn for the sector since the 1980s.

Go deeperArrowAug 9, 2019