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CNN10 2020-02-19

CNN 10

United Kingdom Recovers From an Intense Storm; What It's Like to Be Out and About in Shanghai; Discussion of the Term "Retail Apocalypse"

Aired February 19, 2020 - 04:00:00 聽 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Here to deliver your Wednesday edition of CNN 10, I'm Carl Azuz. Hope things are going well for you. It's been raining at the CNN Center and it's supposed to be for most of the week but that is nothing compared to what the United Kingdom has been dealing with.

A storm named Dennis has been battering the islands for days bringing tremendous amounts of rain to some parts of the UK. This isn't just a case of cloudy with a chance of showers. Dennis is considered a bomb cyclone, a very intense system with hurricane force winds and it's caused severe flooding in some areas of the country. It's triggered landslides. It's cancelled or delayed hundred of flights and it's dropped more than six inches of rain on some regions in a very short amount of time.

Authorities have had to evacuate people from their homes and put them in emergency shelters in South Wales. One of the places hit hard by Dennis and a ghost ship that's been floating around the Atlantic for more than a year was washed ashore in Southern Ireland last weekend. The U.S. Coast Guard had rescued its 10 crew members in another part of the Atlantic in 2018. The storm Dennis is believed to have carried it across the ocean.

What makes this system so powerful and gives it the name bomb cyclone is a process called bombogenesis. It occurs when a storm's air pressure drops 24 millibars in 24 hours and generally speaking the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.

According to weather historians cited by Weather.com, Dennis is the second strongest storm this region has seen since record keeping began more than 150 years ago. And it had bad timing too because another storm that hit this part of the world days before Dennis arrived so the ground was already soaked with rain likely making the flooding caused by Dennis even worse.

China's Health Commission has renamed the Wuhan corona virus the novel corona virus pneumonia or NCV. It was first named for the Chinese city of Wuhan where it was first identified in mid-December and many of our reports on this disease you've seen people wearing facemasks whenever they're out in public. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control does not recommend the general American public do this. Health officials are concerned that if people buy masks in large numbers, it could leave less of them for healthcare workers who need them on the job.

Many of the masks are actually made in China and people are required to wear then there and while yesterday's report looked at the empty shopping centers and restaurants to illustrate the economic toll this virus is taking. Today's gives you a sense of what life is like for those who are still getting out and about.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inside Beijing's south railway station, passengers sporting a rage of plastic protective attire. This man dressed in a raincoat, hairnet and goggles. Another woman donning a plastic veil of sorts, purple latex gloves as she thumbs through her phone determined to keep from contracting the novel corona virus. Everyone abiding by the requirement to wear a mask.

Security patrols the terminal in hazmat suits as one worker sprays a liquid bleach like substance around the feet of passengers. This is what train travel has become here in China. Arriving in Shanghai, the passengers file through a round of temperature checks then using smartphones you are required to register your health and travel history. Only then can you enter the city.

The normally vibrant financial hub subdued. We stroll down the popular Nanjing Road, most stores closed. The shops that were open eager for business. To walk in you go through what's become a standard temperature reading. Inside the look on some of the employees faces suggested they are desperate for a return to normalcy. We are in the heart of Shanghai's financial district and just look how slowly things are moving. There's hardly any traffic at what is normally a very busy circle. And as far as the lunchtime rush, all we've seen maybe a few folks who are out and about but this certainly does not feel like a city coming back to life. Is that unusual?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inalea (ph) tells us this elevated pedestrian plaza is normally packed. Mostly with tourists trying to snap a skyline photo. As someone who works in finance, Yenna (ph) says this strange silence will come at a cost. Do you think it's going to have a long impact though economically?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the (inaudible) will be the farmer and (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you feel nervous?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little but not too much. I just remind, even my family is that take care because out of control. Out of your own control.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these U.S. department stores was founded first? Macy's, Sears, J.C. Penny or Bloomingdales. Macy's chases it's roots back to the 1850s' making it the oldest department store on this list.

Macy's recently announced that it plans to close 125 of its stores over the next three years. That's almost one-fifth of all its locations. It expects 2,000 jobs to be lost and the company is hoping this will help it save money and better adapt to the changing ways in which people shop.

This is especially bad news in struggling malls. The ones where foot traffic has decreased simply because fewer and fewer people are shopping there. Macy's is an anchor store.

A major retail location that brings in a lot of shoppers that in turn visit the smaller stores around it. So take away an anchor store and the whole mall can suffer. Macy's isn't alone though. Thousands of stores closed across America last year. Some analysts have called this a sort of "retail apocalypse" but people are still spending money. They're just doing it differently and away from traditional shopping malls.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The "retail apocalypse". Store closings and death of the mall, the complete and total takeover of e-commerce. It's the end of shopping as we know it. Right? Well not exactly. Yes, retailers had a tough few years. There were 7,000 store closings in 2017. You saw big brands like J.C. Penney, Macy's and Sears all shut their (ph) stores. The term "retail apocalypse" is so pervasive that it even has its own Wikipedia page. But there's another side to this story. In the same year, there were actually 3,400 store opening announcements, 50 percent surge according to Coresight Research a retail think tank.

So what's the deal? Is there a "retail apocalypse" or not? The answer lies somewhere in the middle. At the high and low ends of the retail spectrum, the industry's thriving. Low price stores, the Old Navy's of the world, has seen their revenues steadily increase 37 percent over the last five years. And premium retailers, luxury stores like Coach, are fairing even better. Their revenue skyrocketed 81 percent. Those revenue increases led to store openings and while many of the "retail apocalypse" headlines place blame on e-commerce, a recent Deloitte study found that 91 percent of retail sales still happen in brick and mortar stores.

So if retail isn't dying, it's actually doing well. What's going on with those stores in the middle? Well, you can track the decline of those stores closely to the shrinking of the American middle class. The retailers hit hardest over the last few years have been big box and department stores. Stores that rely on middle class, suburban mall. And since 1975, the U.S. built malls have four times the rate of population growth but over the last 10 years most Americans have seen their discretionary funds stall or even shrink and income has dwindled.

Those consumers have become more price sensitive driving them to look for deals at low price stores. On the other hand, rich Americans have seen their net worth and discretionary funds increase creating more customers for luxury retailers. Meanwhile, stores in the middle like J Crew, they've seen their customers flee in both directions. So what we're seeing is less of a "retail apocalypse" and more of a tale of two retails.


AZUZ: For 10 out of 10, this is about as close as a fan can get to actually seeing what a racecar driver sees. It's called driver's eye.

It's a little blurry and a lot of shaky but it's live and because it's mounted inside the lining of drivers helmets. It shows you exactly what direction they're looking in. The new technology was introduced in Formula E racing and race organizers hope it will increase fan engagement in the sport.

Not everyone will like the "aerodynamics". Some will want to make a "pit stop" if the driver's "eye view" brings a "third dimension" of motion sickness. But assuming they an keep their "brake" balance, they'll "chassieze" the race from a whole new pole position without needing a headrest and that could be the spark that leaves fans on the edge of their single seat.

I want to give a big shout out to our friends in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. That's where you'll find the Academy for Performing Arts who's watching today. That's also where people are subscribing and commenting on our new You Tube channel. We hope you will do the that too. I'm Carl Azuz for CNN.