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“In the post-digital era, only the strong will survive. Darwin would love this,” said one retail analyst as JCPenney, Payless, LifeWay Announce 3,000+ Combined Store Closures.

Retail job cuts for January and February total 41,201, said research firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas in a new survey, including nationwide retailers such as Payless and Charlotte Russe.

“This is significant, and marks an acceleration of store closures and job cuts in the near term," said Mark Hamrick, a senior economic analyst at Bankrate. “Retail is ground zero for seeing the shifts of change in our lives.”

Lifeway Christian Bookstores announced last week it would be closing the doors of all 170 brick and mortar stores, in a pivot to focusing on digital and e-commerce.

“The decision to close our local stores is a difficult one,” said Lifeway Chief Executive Officer Brad Waggoner. “While we had hoped to keep some stores open, current market projections show this is no longer a viable option.”

“In the post-digital era, only the strong will survive,” Ron Johnson, CEO of Enjoy, a retail technology company, told NBC News. “You need a great brand, a strong balance sheet, and a vision for experience that commences digitally. Darwin would love this.”

Mall Vacancies on the Rise

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The Financial Times notes US Shopping Centre Vacancies Rise to Eight-Year High

"US retailers have set out plans to close 5,480 stores, according to Coresight Research — almost as many as the 5,730 announced in all of 2018."

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