Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Big Retail is coming off its worst year since the financial crash, and there will be more bloodletting; 50 retailers declared bankruptcy in 2017, and next year looks worse. Fitch forecasts $7 billion in retail defaults in 2018, 23% higher than the $5.7 billion this year. That is stunning, as retail accounted for a whopping 30% of all 2017 defaults.

Fitch lists these retailers, among others, as most in danger: Sears, Neiman Marcus, J Crew, Talbots, Lands' End and Cole Haan.

What to watch next: whether "experiential" retail, as they call their experiments in transforming physical stores, succeeds in getting people off-line, into their shops, and — most importantly — buying.

Meantime, Amazon is eating the industry, as shoppers chose the convenience and lower prices of online shopping over visiting an actual store.

  • Also look for retailers to use more augmented reality to bring products right into their customers' home. Ikea is leading the way, letting customers see how furniture will look in their homes before they buy.

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Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The three biggest anti-Joe Biden storylines in right-wing media over the last year have either fizzled or are getting less online traction than they used to, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: This dynamic has rendered a formidable media ecosystem less effective in boosting President Trump as we move into the heart of the 2020 campaign.

Biden clarifies comments on African American and Latino communities

Joe Biden delivering a speech in Delaware in July. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Joe Biden explained on Twitter Thursday night what he "meant" by earlier comments suggesting that "the African American community is a monolith."

What they're saying: "Unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things," Biden remarked in an interview hosted by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association for Black Journalists, Politico reports.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests negative for coronavirus after positive result

Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) tested negative for the coronavirus after initially testing positive earlier Thursday, his office announced.

Why it matters: 73-year-old DeWine was set to meet President Trump Thursday on the tarmac at an airport in Cleveland and was tested as part of standard protocol.