retail

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Amazon’s fulfillment center in Opa-locka is aptly named: It fulfills the impossible-seeming task of having almost any item imaginable shipped directly to one’s door in a matter of hours.

A few clicks of a mouse set into motion a veritable ballet of autonomous functions and approximately 2,000 human packers in Northeast Miami-Dade that allows a shopper, or his intended recipient, to pick up packages from their doorsteps.

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

The list of names reads like a busy rest stop on the Turnpike.

7-11. Circle K. Thortons. Sunshine Distributors. RaceTrac. Cumberland Farms. Wawa. 

Add Buc-ee's to the list of convenience store chains expanding in Florida.

When the Texas company broke ground on its first store in Florida last month, it was deemed an important enough addition to the Florida economy that Gov. Ron DeSantis was there with shovel in hand, hard hat on his head and the Buc-ee beaver mascot next to him.

Buc-ee's enters a competitive landscape.

Forever 21 — the ubiquitous mall-based fashion retailer aimed at teens, tweens and young adults — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, joining a growing list of apparel outlets to fall victim to competitive online market pressures.

The California-based company may close up to 178 U.S. stores, according to court records.

Editor's Note: If you're a Walmart greeter — or know someone who is — and would like to share your story with NPR, please reach out to us at tech@npr.org.

If you ask John Combs what his biggest worry is, he'll say: "How will I feed Red?"

Red is actually white. He's a labradoodle rescue, just tall enough for Combs to pet if he reaches over the armrest of his wheelchair. Combs, 42, has cerebral palsy. He has difficulty speaking. But he has no difficulty saying the line most Americans have heard at least once: "Welcome to Walmart!"

Pepsi should have chosen a different slogan for its ads during this year's Super Bowl.

The company's slogan was "More than OK." Well, not really. In fact, most of the high-priced commercials we saw between the football plays were just OK. They were so careful to avoid scandal and backlash that they felt leached of originality or bite.

That's pretty much what Greg Lyons, chief marketing officer of PepsiCo Beverages North America, predicted when I asked him last week what this year's spots would look like: nothing controversial.

Since millennials first started entering the workforce, their spending habits have been blamed for killing off industries ranging from casual restaurant dining to starter houses.

Sears — the iconic American retailer that has sold everything from clothing and toys to refrigerators and socket wrenches over its more than 125-year history — may have reached the end. The Sears Holdings company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday after failing to make a $134 million debt payment.

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET Friday

Sears Holdings Corp., which controls Sears and Kmart, says it has "identified approximately 100 non-profitable stores, 72 of which will begin store closing sales in the near future," in the latest sign of the retailer's struggles to stay afloat.

Dick's Sporting Goods is destroying all the guns and accessories that it stopped selling earlier this year after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Toys R Us is going out of business, its website is shuttered, its gift cards will expire soon, and some of its store locations are on the auction block.

But one businessman is determined to bring the bankrupt toy store franchise back to life.

"I will make Toys R Us a fun place again," toy mogul Isaac Larian tells NPR's Rachel Martin.

There's a big movement among major retail companies to become more than just places that sell you things. In the latest example, Walmart is partnering with a home-services app called Handy to give shoppers a deal on professional help assembling furniture or installing a TV.

Updated at 7:10 p.m. ET

After decades of being the go-to toy store for many Americans, Toys R Us is officially going out of business. Unable to get its finances in order through a months-long bankruptcy process, the retail chain has reached the end of the line.

L.L. Bean's outdoor gear — including its signature Bean Boots prized by campers and hipsters alike — is no longer guaranteed for life.

In a letter to customers Friday morning, the company said it has updated its return policy to give customers one year to return purchases, with a receipt. The previous lifetime guarantee, which enabled customers to return products years — or even decades — after purchase, has long been a selling point for the company.

Best Buy has told music suppliers that it will pull all CDs from its stores this summer, according to a report from Billboard. This move should come as no big surprise: Between unlimited streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, and the ongoing vinyl revival, CDs just don't have the sway that they used to.

In a sign of the challenges facing brick-and-mortar retail, Macy’s announced Thursday morning that its downtown Miami store will close.

The downtown Macy’s, at 22 East Flagler Street, is one of 11 stores around the nation that the department store giant said would be getting the ax. The others are in California, Indiana, Idaho, Michigan, Ohio and Vermont. In Florida, the Macy’s story in Oaks Mall in Gainesville will also be closed.

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