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
Coronavirus retail apocalypse could be a win for chains that survive

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

May 19, 2020
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

All Retail stories

Brooks Brothers files for bankruptcy

Photo: Andrew Chin/Getty Images

Clothing brand Brooks Brothers on Wednesday filed for bankruptcy, per Marketwatch, becoming the latest retail giant to topple amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters, via Axios' Dan Primack: Brooks Brothers is the poster child for the retail apocalypse. Legacy retail brands were already struggling before the pandemic, facing the death of brick-and-mortar stores as shopping shifts online. The company, which has relatively little debt and no private equity owners, still generated around 80% of its sales in physical stores that have been mostly shuttered for months — as demand for business attire has cratered with consumers working from home.

U.S. e-commerce adopts a social network strategy from China

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Verishop, the luxury e-commerce site created by former Snapchat Chief Business Officer Imran Khan, expects to sell $50 million of gross merchandise volume in 2020, sources tell Axios. It's also launching a social-shopping experience that will include influencers and a personalized feed of content.

Why it matters: Social media apps like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat have made efforts over the past few years to offer users a better shopping experience. Verishop is doing the opposite by launching a trusted marketplace first and a social media experience around it second.

Jun 26, 2020 - Podcasts

Red Sox CEO on bringing back baseball

Baseball players and owners struck a deal earlier this week to begin a shortened season, but there's still no guarantee that games will be played.

Axios Re:Cap, our new afternoon podcast, digs in with Boston Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy. We also talk to the CEO of grocery giant Albertsons, which went public on Friday, and we share one surprising thing about the big Amazon announcement. All in 10 minutes.

Jun 25, 2020 - Podcasts

Behind the Black-owned bookstore boom

Lists of Black-owned bookstores and anti-racism books have circulated on Instagram since the recent reboot of Black Lives Matter protests. Some of those good intentions have had unintended consequences, as a small group of books have quickly run out of stock — sparking frustration for both customers and proprietors.

Axios Re:Cap talks with Danielle Mullen, the founder of Chicago's Semicolon Books, about what's happening with her store, how she's handling orders and what books people should be buying.

Atlanta small businesses saw steepest cash balance drops from coronavirus shutdowns

Data: JPMorgan Chase Institute; Chart: Axios Visuals

Small businesses are powerful engines of local economies, and they've been hit hard since the onset of COVID-19, according to a JPMorgan Chase Institute analysis of nearly 1.3 million de-identified small firms nationwide.

Why it matters: Cash balances provide liquidity that businesses need to get through a financial shock.

Jun 19, 2020 - Health

Apple will again close 11 stores in states with increasing coronavirus cases

Apple store employees wear protective equipment and clean down stations. Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Apple announced Friday that 11 of its stores in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Arizona will temporarily close this weekend after a spike in coronavirus cases in those states.

The big picture: The states where Apple is closing the stores saw some of the highest coronavirus case growth in the country over the past week, per an Axios analysis.

Target will boost its minimum wage to $15 in July

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Target announced Wednesday that it would hike its hourly minimum wage from $13 to $15 beginning July 5, CNBC reports.

Why it matters: The retailer said the move will give a raise to around 275,000 of its more than 350,000 employees.

Retail sales remain at multiyear low even after record monthly jump

Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

While U.S. retail sales saw the largest month-over-month increase on record in May, year-over-year sales actually declined by 6.1%.

The big picture: Excluding the prior two months, May's $485.5 billion of sales was the lowest since August 2017.

Shopify goes after Amazon with new Walmart deal

Data: Yahoo; Chart: Axios Visuals

Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify, having sealed major deals with Facebook and now Walmart, is seizing the pandemic moment to put together a challenge to industry giant Amazon.

Driving the news: On Monday, Walmart said it will open its online marketplace, which reaches 120 million monthly visitors, to Shopify's more than 1 million business clients. That means Walmart shoppers will be able to find goods from some Shopify merchants.