Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

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

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Columbus Day sale — a longtime ritual for car dealers and department stores — is dead.

The big picture: Retailers are moving away from big sales events in general, and are especially eager to distance themselves from this particularly disputatious federal holiday, which falls on Monday.

The intrigue: For years, states and municipalities have started renaming "Columbus Day" as "Indigenous Peoples' Day" to protest the legacy of colonialism that hangs over Christopher Columbus' so-called "discovery" of America.

  • The last thing retailers want is to get caught in the culture wars.
  • "I think this one is an easy one that they can just say, 'Hey, I'm just going to rename the sale or cancel the sale and not worry about it," says Katie Thomas, leader of the Kearney Consumer Institute, a think tank within the management consulting firm Kearney.
  • Plus, fewer people get a day off of work for Columbus Day than in the past, so they don't have a long weekend to go shopping.

Driving the news: Canceling or scaling back big sales events this year would be an especially easy call. This season's well-documented "Everything Shortage" means that retailers don't know what inventory they'll have in a few weeks, and thus can't plan marketing campaigns ahead of time.

  • "If you make a big deal about this weekend and say you’re going to have a lot of great products, you’re going to basically set yourself up for a stockout and disappoint a bunch of people," Marc Rousset, a partner in the retail and consumer goods practice at the consulting firm Oliver Wyman, tells Axios.

But even after supply chains and inventories finally stabilize, whenever that may be, retailers probably will still be scaling back big one-weekend-only sales events.

  • "Some of those sales are just a little bit outdated or relics of the past," Thomas tells Axios. "Some of the traditional department store sales, like a white sale, just aren't quite as relevant any more."

What's next: Expect to see fewer department and big-box stores pegging big sales to federal holidays.

  • "I wouldn't be surprised to see Memorial Day [sales] go next," Rousset said.
  • "That's kind of bold — I don't know that I would bet the farm on that — but I think people, you know, see the benefits of simplifying."

Go deeper

Retailers to sell smaller, squishier toys this holiday season

Stuffed animals. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Retailers are expected to sell more small, squishy toys this holiday season amid increasing shipping costs and a shortage of shipping containers for bigger toys, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Global supply chain logjams have left retailers with empty shelves for customers looking to spend more money this holiday season, Axios' Joann Muller writes.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.