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Gary Malerba/AP

Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus today said that it is exploring "strategic alternatives" that could include a sale of the entire business. This comes two months after the Dallas-based company pulled an IPO registration that had been on file since August 2015, and amid a much broader slump among physical retailers (particularly those concentrated within shopping malls).

Second time's the charm? This isn't the only recent sale attempt for Neiman Marcus, which is struggling under a $4.9 billion debt load that relates to it having been repeatedly bought and sold among private equity firms (its current owners are Los Angeles-based Ares Management and a large Canadian public pension fund). For example, Hudson's Bay Co. ― owner of Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue ― has held off-and-on talks about buying Neiman Marcus, and reportedly is in the mix again. Hudson's Bay also has been linked to takeover talk involving Macy's.

Bottom line, from Fortune retail reporter Phil Wahba back in January: "Neiman has admitted luxury shoppers are harder to win over now than before, more impatient to buy items they see on the runway and less willing to wait eight months for those items to be in stores. And the Internet has made comparison shopping that much easier, eroding shopper fealty."

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Big Tech's post-riot reckoning

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Capitol insurrection means the anti-tech talk in Washington is more likely to lead to action, since it's ever clearer that the attack was planned, at least in part, on social media.

Why it matters: The big platforms may have hoped they'd move to D.C.'s back burner, with the Hill focused on the Biden agenda and the pandemic out of control. But now, there'll be no escaping harsh scrutiny.

40 mins ago - Technology

Why domestic terrorists are so hard to police online

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Domestic terrorism has proven to be more difficult for Big Tech companies to police online than foreign terrorism.

The big picture: That's largely because the politics are harder. There's more unity around the need to go after foreign extremists than domestic ones — and less danger of overreaching and provoking a backlash.

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