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Around the Web: Experiences, Bargains and Retail’s Breaking Point

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This week, the apparel industry shifted shopping destinations, turned to new store concepts and struggled with consumer relevancy.

Amazon may rule the e-commerce space, but it isn’t taking its current success for granted. The Seattle Times analyzed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ recent letter to shareholders, which indicated that the company is looking for strategies to stay afloat in upcoming years.

(Related on SJ: Amazon Gets Patent for On-Demand Apparel Manufacturing)

J.C. Penney’s Sephora in-store concept is gaining momentum in the department store sector. The Motley Fool noted how Macy’s is taking cues from J.C. Penney, since the retailer is planning to expand Bluemercury, its acquired beauty brand, in the form of mini-shops at its U.S. locations.

(Related on SJ: Primark is Opening More Stores Than it Has in 10 Years)

Urban consumers are frequenting stores less and cities are transforming as a result. The Wall Street Journal explained how warehouses are replacing stores to fulfill the growing demand of online shopping.

(Related on SJ: Paypal and Mastercard Introduce Mobile Pay and AI Bots for Easier Transactions)

The New York shopping scene is shifting from SoHo’s trendy boutiques to Red Hook’s e-commerce warehouses. The New York Times indicated that American retail is transforming fast, due to store closures, retail job losses and consumers finding their core items through e-tailers.

(Related on SJ: Here’s What Retail Investors are Willing to Invest In)

Luxury stores are becoming destinations that don’t only end with a product. The Wall Street Journal said urban specialty shops are making consumer visits more memorable with human connections, new discoveries and dining options.

(Related on SJ: Retail Roundup: Vince Struggles, Neiman Marcus Takes on More Debut, Agent Provocateur Goes Bankrupt)

High-end retailers, including Neiman Marcus, could be losing their core demographic due to pricing. The Wall Street Journal discussed how even high-end consumers desire a bargain when they shop for apparel, as affordability replaces loyalty in the luxury brick-and-mortar space.

(Related on SJ: What Shoppers Want and Where They’re Going to Get It)

Retail’s demise is taking a toll on the U.S. job market. The Atlantic noted that over 100,000 retail jobs have been axed since October and how this job loss is negatively impacting the economy.

(Related on SJ: Rue21 to close 400 locations)

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