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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Owners of independent brick-and-mortar businesses have a bleak outlook of the competitive threat posed by online shopping.

Driving the news: A new survey of local U.S. retailers published by Shopify Thursday shows that 82% of respondents agree that major online marketplaces are making it more difficult to operate.

Why it matters: The pandemic accelerated the decline of retail stores and this latest study adds to the expectation that more than 150,000 stores may close in the next five years.

  • About 89% of local retailers surveyed say they are in competition with online retailers.
  • And of those, 59% say they may be forced to close their business within the next 24 months.

State of play: In some cases, businesses are using their stores as last-mile delivery solutions to complement their e-commerce strategy — fulfilling online orders while providing a local presence.

Go deeper

Jun 9, 2021 - Health

Washington state announces free marijuana joint for COVID vaccine incentive

Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Washington state marijuana retailers can now offer adult consumers a free joint if they get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the store.

The big picture: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced Monday it was providing a "temporary allowance" to state-licensed cannabis retailers through July 12 for the incentive.

Go deeper: States deploy carrots to drive up coronavirus vaccination rates

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

51 people unaccounted for after Miami-area condo collapse

A view of the crumpled portion of the 12-story condo tower on June 24 in Surfside, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A massive search and rescue operation is underway after a portion of a 12-story condo building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed early Thursday morning, according to AP.

The latest: 51 people who were "supposedly residing" in the building at the time of the collapse have not yet been accounted for, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman said on CNN Thursday morning.

Pacific Northwest soon to be ground zero for record-shattering heat

Computer model projection showing the unusually strong heat dome over the Pacific Northwest on Sunday. (PivotalWeather).

A heat wave is bringing unprecedented high temperatures to the Pacific Northwest — a region of the country typically cooled by the ocean, rather than central air conditioning. The heat will begin Friday and last into early next week.

Why it matters: The heat wave will shatter monthly and all-time temperature records in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the records could break the old milestones by several degrees.