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Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

In a sign of the times, the Lord & Taylor department store has closed its flagship New York City location; the building will become a WeWork.

The big picture: Other department stores are struggling too, not least Sears, which is in bankruptcy and is also this close to liquidation. (Sears includes Kmart, which declared bankruptcy in 2002.)

  • Macy's stock imploded this week after the department store reported disappointing holiday sales and said it expects sales to be flat in 2019.
  • Other department stores followed Macy's shares south: JC Penney closed Friday at a mere $1.32 per share, down from $11.85 in early 2016 and a high of $87 in 2007.
  • Meanwhile, Amazon is eyeing shuttered Sears and Kmart locations as it looks to to expand the reach of its Whole Foods subsidiary.

The backdrop: As Deloitte detailed in an influential 2017 report on "the great retail bifurcation," brick-and-mortar retail as a whole is not suffering. But all of the growth is either at the low end (stores competing purely on price, like Walmart or 99-cent stores) or at the high end (stores offering premium experiences, like free beer for people who pick up their Nordstrom orders in person). Stores in the middle, attempting to be all things to all people, are in a long secular decline.

Go deeper: Axios has a great deep dive on the future of retail.

Go deeper

16 mins ago - World

Palestinian Authority announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge

A nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday announced fresh coronavirus restrictions, including a partial lockdown, for the occupied West Bank as COVID-19 cases surge.

The big picture: The new measures come as Israel, which leads the world in vaccinations, faces increased pressure to ensure Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have equal access to vaccines.

59 mins ago - World

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's Ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

Details: State television said the ambassador had "betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador."

Scoop: Biden admin call on Putin pipeline provokes GOP anger

Putin chairs a video meeting in July 2020. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

A briefing between the State Department and congressional staff over Vladimir Putin's Russia-Germany gas pipeline got tense this week, with Biden officials deflecting questions about why they hadn't moved faster and more aggressively with sanctions to stop its completion.

  • The Biden officials also denied negotiating with the Germans over a potential side deal to allow the pipeline to be finished.

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