Social Class and the Retail Apocalypse

The truth about the retail apocalypse” -- CNNMoney, 2018, 2:16 --

Why are retail locations, especially big box stores, closing in record numbers? Much of the discussion on the “retail apocalypse” has focused on the role of technology and online shopping. While online sales have certainly taken business away from brick and mortar shops, the specific type of stores closing seem to be associated with the middle class. This short video links the closures of many stores to the decline of the American middle class. We learn that up-scale and discount stores are doing just fine, perhaps reflecting the growth of income inequality and the wealth gap. More exploration of this connection is needed, but while the rich get richer and the poor stay poor, it’s hardly surprising that mid-level commerce has taken a dive.

From the video’s description: There were a record number of store closings in 2017. But in that same year low-price and premium retailers saw strong sales. So is the hype about the retail apocalypse overblown? CNNMoney's Paul R. La Monica explains why the industry isn't struggling as much as you think.