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Our expert voices conversation about the death of retail.

What has always been clear is that if companies do not invest in their workers they will fail in the marketplace – just like J.C. Penny and American Apparel.

A face-to-face, human experience is always going to have a place in retail if companies want to survive a shift to online sales. We see it at Bloomingdale's 59th Street and Macy's Herald Square. These are internationally famous tourist destinations that are hugely profitable, making up nearly 9 percent of Macy's sales alone, and their knowledgeable and experienced retail workers are a big part of their continued success. These workers are the face of the stores, and by extension, the face of the company.

Consumers can't get this experience by shopping online, and they'll continue to come to these brick-and-mortar stores – even if they end up buying online. It's an experience they'll never be able to duplicate by filling up their Amazon shopping cart. Nor will these iconic companies ever be able to compete on pricing in the online marketplace.

Bottom line: We don't see a death of retail stores, but a reconfiguration. Consumers will always need products, and brands will always need storefronts for visibility and to satisfy customers' need to touch and feel products for quality and fit. What we've actually seen is a growth in fulfillment jobs, many of which come with higher wages, but that still don't give workers a voice.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.