Big-box stores are dropping like flies. As of November, the amount of shuttered U.S. retail space was already 16% higher than the Great Recession year 2008, according to CoStar, a real estate research firm. And 43% of the 2017 closures—or 43 million square feet of space—were big-box stores like Sears and Macy's.

But the more dramatic retail story of the year was bankruptcies, which are at a six-year high, according to S&P Global. As of Dec. 14, 50 U.S. retailers had filed for bankruptcy in 2017, higher than the 47 in all of last year. That includes 21 major retailers (see chart below), more than double the nine that filed for bankruptcy in 2016. The numbers are surging toward the peaks of the post-financial crash period, when, in 2010 and 2011, retail bankruptcies totaled 67 and 59, respectively.

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Reproduced from a Retail Dive report; Table: Axios Visuals

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Updated 42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 20,188,678 — Total deaths: 738,668 — Total recoveries: 12,452,126Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 5,138,850 — Total deaths: 164,480 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.

Voters cast ballots in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Vermont

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Primary elections are being held on Tuesday in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Vermont and Wisconsin.

The big picture: Georgia and Wisconsin both struggled to hold primaries during the coronavirus pandemic, but are doing so again — testing their voting systems ahead of the general election. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is facing a strong challenger as she fights for her political career. In Georgia, a Republican primary runoff pits a QAnon supporter against a hardline conservative.

3 hours ago - Health

Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's vaccine

A volunteer in Moderna's vaccine clinical trial receives a shot. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. government has agreed to buy 100 million doses of Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine for $1.5 billion, or $15 per dose.

Why it matters: The Trump administration, through Operation Warp Speed, has now bought initial batches of vaccines from Moderna, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, Pfizer, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca before knowing whether they are safe and effective. The federal government also appears to own some of the patent rights associated with Moderna's vaccine.