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American Retail Continues Online Migration46:09
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With guest host Sacha Pfeiffer.

Macy’s will close 100 stores, Wal-Mart’s buying Jet.com, and Amazon’s pushing delivery by drone.  We’ll look at where American retailing is headed.

In this Nov. 21, 2013, file photo, with the Empire State building in the background, the Macy's logo is illuminated on the front of the department store in New York. (Mark Lennihan, File/AP)
In this Nov. 21, 2013, file photo, with the Empire State building in the background, the Macy's logo is illuminated on the front of the department store in New York. (Mark Lennihan, File/AP)

It’s a confusing, challenging time for the retail sector. Macy’s is closing 100 stores. Wal-Mart is struggling to grow its online sales. Many traditional malls are dying. Yet TJ Maxx and Marshalls are thriving. So are Home Depot and Lowe’s. And Amazon continues to dominate the online shopping world. What’s a store to do in an era when lots of people shun malls and prefer to shop with an iPad while lounging on the couch? This hour On Point, the changing ways Americans shop, the continuing battle between brick-and-mortar versus online, and how the retail sector is trying to innovate to keep up. — Sacha Pfeiffer 

Guests

Sarah Halzack, national retail reporter for the Washington Post. (@sarahhalzack)

Mark Cohen, director of retail sales at Columbia Business School at Columbia University. Former chairman and CEO of Sears Canada, Bradlees and Lazarus Department Stores.

From The Reading List

Washington Post: Macy’s to close 100 stores -- "Department store giant Macy’s said Thursday it plans to close 100 stores, a dramatic step that is aimed at helping the chain get ahead of a potentially crippling problem: America, executives say, has too many stores for the online shopping era."

The Wall Street Journal: Wal-Mart Deal Could Jeopardize Jet.com’s Sales-Tax Advantage -- "Jet.com Inc. pitches itself as a lower-priced alternative to Amazon.com Inc., partly by not tacking on sales taxes in most states. But tax experts say Jet’s proposed $3.3 billion sale to retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. could jeopardize that price advantage by forcing it to collect taxes nationwide."

Bloomberg Business: U.S. Retail Sales Stall as Auto Dealers’ Gain Is Others’ Pain — "Sales at U.S. retailers were little changed in July as Americans flocked to auto dealers at the expense of other merchants. The stalling of purchases followed a 0.8 percent gain in June that was stronger than initially estimated, Commerce Department figures showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.4 percent rise in July. Excluding cars, sales retreated 0.3 percent, the most since the start of the year."

This program aired on August 15, 2016.

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