Charlie Riedel/AP

Sales at existing Sears locations fell by 11.5% in the second quarter, underscoring the rapid decline of a business that once defined the cutting edge of American retail, even as the loss came in below investor expectations. Its dismal performance has forced the firm to sell its most valuable assets, namely its real estate holdings and brands like its Craftsman line of power tools, which it let go to Stanley Black and Decker last year for $900 million.

Why it matters: There is little doubt left that the only two viable options for nationwide retailers is to go all in on massive scale combined with rock-bottom pricing and convenience, as Amazon and Walmart are doing, or to go after the affluent shopper whose disposable income is, on average, growing rapidly. That's the tack taken by LVMH, the owner of the popular cosmetic store Sephora and luxury retailer Louis Vuitton.

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Gulf Coast braces for Zeta after storm strengthens into hurricane

Hurricane Zeta's forecast path. Photo: National Hurricane Center

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday as Zeta strengthened into a hurricane and threatened Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as it moved towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The state of play: Zeta was expected to make landfall on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Monday night, bringing with it a "dangerous storm surge" and "heavy rainfall" as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Service said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Supreme Court rejects request to extend Wisconsin absentee ballot deadline

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court in a 5-3 decision Monday rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.

Why it matters: All ballots must now be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in Wisconsin, a critical swing state in the presidential election.