Large Retailers’ Plight May Reflect Shift in U.S. Economy

The recent decline in the fortunes of several large retail chains mirrors the hollowing out of the middle class following the 2007-2009 recession. Lost jobs, falling wages and shifting preferences among consumers reflect increasing income inequality and a bifurcated retail market. The difficulties faced by these mass market retailers, such as J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., may be indicative of a greater shift underway in the retail sector and the U.S. economy.

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