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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

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 19 mins ago - Economy & Business

America fought the pandemic economy — and won

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The U.S. economy is emerging from the pandemic with more well-paying jobs for those who want them, less hunger, less poverty, higher wages, less inequality, and more wealth for everyday Americans.

Why it matters: None of these outcomes were expected when the pandemic began. All of them are the result of massive government programs.

The biggest toss-up in TV

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The future of television likely rests on the winner of an intense bidding war for one of the most sought-after programming packages in America: NFL's Sunday Ticket. 

Why it matters: The winner of this multi-billion-dollar battle between tech giants and traditional media companies will have an enormous advantage as premium sports content goes digital.

Obesity in children accelerated during the pandemic

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Children and teens gained weight at a more "alarming" rate during the pandemic, especially those who are overweight or obese, a CDC report out Thursday shows.

Why it matters: The study, which analyzed more than 430,000 kids ages two- to 19-years-old, supports warnings by experts who said the nationwide closures of schools and early child care settings may have reduced the ability for children to have regular physical activity and access to healthy meals.

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