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We are an adaptation nation. Embracing change to remain relevant has long been the mantra of savvy business owners and managers. Since the dawn of dial-up internet, retailers have struggled to keep pace with the evolving mores of our consumer culture and on a deeper level, how technology is changing our very human nature from the way we communicate to the way we consume.

Constant connectivity and ultra-convenient, ultra-speedy consumption have transformed not only how we shop, but why we shop with certain retailers. Our wants and needs and how we fulfill them are now part of a larger consumer conversation to be shared, liked, and experienced collectively in real-time. As humans, we have adapted to these new modes of digital discourse with every click, swipe, and post, naturally selecting the sellers and makers who are guiding the discussion and nimble enough to deliver more meaningful, albeit more instantaneous instant gratification. Many traditional retailers slow to respond to these sea changes have seen their market share slip away to online competitors - untenable debt loads and failure to adapt sending them down the slippery slope into the pre-internet primordial soup. 

In the last two years alone, retailers have closed more than 250 million square feet of store space and more than 7,500 stores are expected to shutter before the end of 2019.1 Even brick and mortar juggernauts are contracting and scrambling to reorganize and reposition in an effort to survive. S&P analysts state that about 12 of the approximately 136 retailers it rates would default this year, compared with only three defaults a year historically. 2

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