The big picture

The impending retail apocalypse

The coronavirus and online shopping are forcing brick-and-mortar retail stores to close, often for good.

Jul 6, 2020 - Economy & Business
Coronavirus retail apocalypse could be a win for chains that survive

That could benefit budget names like Ross and Kohl's.

May 19, 2020 - Economy & Business
Deep Dive: How vanity will save retail

If Main Street is going to be saved, enduring American vanity will be among the primary reasons.

Updated Jan 12, 2019 - Economy & Business

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Physical stores go hybrid with micro-fulfillment centers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Retail stores of all sizes are turning part of their real estate footprint into logistics and fulfillment centers as they try to blend in-store shopping with e-commerce offerings.

Why it matters: In addition to staying competitive in a buy-everything-online environment, the trend is pushing brands to locate stores closer to dense population centers to try to reach consumers where they are and better cover the last-mile delivery zone to doorsteps.

Walmart offers to fully cover employees' college tuition and books at some schools

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Walmart announced Tuesday that it will cover the cost of college tuition and books for employees participating in its Live Better U education program.

Why it matters: Employees at Walmart and its subsidiary Sam's Club will be eligible to "earn college degrees or learn trade skills without the burden of education debt," the company wrote in a news release.

Charted: Tesla's record $1B quarter earnings

Expand chart
Data: FactSet and company release; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The numbers are in: Tesla booked its most profitable quarter on record — $1.1 billion — a feat as the auto industry is strangled by shortages.

  • More of Tesla's sales came from actually selling its electric cars. It raked in $354 million from selling regulatory credits to automakers — $74 million less than this time last year.

Birkenstock and Crocs mania is here

Photo: StockX

Shoe brands like Crocs and Birkenstock have taken a page from the trendy sneaker playbook — and it’s paying off in the form of viral popularity.

Driving the news: New data released today by StockX shows the two brands were among the resale platform's fastest-growing footwear brands over the last year based on total trades, Axios is first to report.

Don't expect stocked clearance sections as the economy reopens

Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Shoppers who are upset about the rising prices of goods won't find much solace in discount bins and sale racks.

Driving the news: Shortages have plagued almost every industry, with surging demand outpacing supply as the economy reopens.

Jul 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

The pandemic-induced renaissance of malls

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

For the last decade or so, malls have been dying. Surprisingly, the pandemic may save them.

The big picture: A year and a half of isolation has reignited a desire to gather in public spaces — and spruced-up, futuristic malls could make billions off of a cooped-up America.

Jury orders Walmart to pay $125M after firing woman with Down Syndrome

A Walmart store in Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A Wisconsin jury this week awarded a woman with Down Syndrome $125 million in punitive damages in her suit against Walmart for wrongful termination, the New York Times reports.

State of play: Marlo Spaeth began working at Walmart as a sales associate in 1999. In November 2014, after Walmart altered her shift schedule, Spaeth repeatedly asked the company to return her normal work hours, per the Times.

Retail sales grew more than expected in June

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

U.S. retail sales rose 0.6% in June from May, the Commerce Department reported Friday morning, beating expectations of a 0.4% decline.

Why it matters: Retail’s overall recovery has been uneven, driven in part by stimulus checks, reopening patterns and seasonal demand changes.

J&J recalls Neutrogena, Aveeno spray sunscreens over possible cancer risk

Neutrogena sunscreen on a shelf in a store in Hawaii. Photo: Michael Siluk/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday issued a voluntary recall of five Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens after internal testing identified potential cancer-causing chemicals in some samples.

Driving the news: J&J said consumers should stop using and dispose of the products. The company is notifying distributors and retailers to stop sales and arrange for returns.

Department stores race to attract younger shoppers

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Companies see Gen Z as the next big cash cow. Struggling department stores are now getting into the race to court them.

What’s new: Nordstrom said Monday it notched a deal with ASOS — the online, budget-friendly fashion house that's laser-focused on young shoppers and boasts millions of active customers.

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