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

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. EST: 32,356,829 — Total deaths: 984,813 — Total recoveries: 22,278,696Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m EST: 6,997,468 — Total deaths: 203,147 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.

Florida fully lifts coronavirus restrictions on restaurants

Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Friday the state will completely reopen its economy, allowing restaurants to operate at full capacity and barring localities from ordering businesses to close.

Why it matters: The state became one of the world's epicenters for the virus in July, forcing DeSantis to pause its first round of reopening.

3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Eyeing the end of gas-powered cars

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Gasoline-powered cars may be going the way of the woolly mammoth, even if it will take decades to replace them and seems hard to fathom today.

The big picture: Internal combustion engines (ICEs) have powered automobiles for more than 100 years. But the shift to electric vehicles, slow to materialize at first, is now accelerating due to tightening government policies, falling costs and a societal reckoning about climate change.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!