Today’s retail distress is the culmination of thirty years of evolving American sociology. Of course middle-class retailers are shuttering, we’ve entered a new Gilded Age. There are echoes of this bifurcation throughout the physical and digital spaces of commerce. Contrary to popular opinion, retail isn’t dying. Instead: changes in middle-class earnings (against inflation), increased consumer debt, and diminished consumer confidence are beginning to polarize some consumers. The middle-class is being squeezed and the retail industry failed to anticipate the changes in how America lives, works, and where we choose to do both.
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