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Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The cultural phenomenon of Black Friday is radically changing as brick-and-mortar department store giants die off and online shopping becomes increasingly convenient and popular, the New York Times' Tiffany Hsu reports.

Why it matters: "The retail bonanza is increasingly met with indifference or disapproval by Americans who want to spend time with their families, sleep in and give underpaid retail employees a break," Hsu writes.

The trends:

  • The big stores that used to be the main attractions on Black Friday — such as Sears and Toys 'R Us — are closing their doors.
  • Big-ticket items with the most tantalizing discounts are more likely to be bought online now instead of in stores.
  • Free shipping deals on Cyber Monday and Black Friday have resulted in most consumers choosing to order online instead of waiting in long lines in the cold to be the first to take advantage of in-store sales.
  • The extended time frame for Black Friday deals has led to calmer lines as well.

Go deeper

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.

Bush labels Clyburn the “savior” for Democrats

House Majority Whip James Clyburn takes a selfie Wednesday with former President George W. Bush. Photo: Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush credited Rep. James Clyburn with being the "savior" of the Democratic Party, telling the South Carolinian at Wednesday's inauguration his endorsement allowed Joe Biden to win the party's presidential nomination.

Why it matters: The nation's last two-term Republican president also said Clyburn's nod allowed for the transfer of power, because he felt only Biden had the ability to unseat President Trump.

GOP research firm aims to hobble Biden nominees

Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Joshua Roberts/AFP via Getty Images

The Republican-aligned opposition research group America Rising is doing all it can to prevent President Biden from seating his top Cabinet picks.

Why it matters: After former President Trump inhibited the transition, Biden is hoping the Republican minority in Congress will cooperate with getting his team in place. Biden hadn't even been sworn in when America Rising began blasting opposition research to reporters targeting Janet Yellen and Alejandro Mayorkas.