Retail

Did you know? Hyperloop + High Street + Middle Class + eSports

A real tube carrying dreams of 600-MPH transit: NYT reports, Virgin Hyperloop One is testing a system that would put passengers in pods hurtling through vacuum tubes. Other companies are moving ahead with similar plans.

High street ‘not dead’ and could be industry hub, says report: FT reports, Britain’s high street “is not dead” and struggling town and city centres could be transformed by becoming industry hubs instead of places to shop, according to new research refuting claims that a crisis in bricks-and-mortar retail is killing then off. The Centre for Cities, an independent think-tank, said on Tuesday that local councils should shift town centre economies away from an “overreliance on retail” towards high-skilled industry, and said the belief that high streets were “dying” was misplaced.

The shrinking middle class: By the numbers: Fortune reports, the American middle-class ideal was forged in the decades after World War II, when economic growth and wage increases climbed in lockstep for nearly 30 years. That pairing dissolved abruptly in the 1970s. Between 1973 and 2017, according to the Economic Policy Institute, the productivity of the economy grew 77%—but average compensation rose only 12.4%, adjusted for inflation. This divergence coincided with a shift in economic gravity, away from manufacturing and toward services and “knowledge industries.” That shift weakened the labor unions that had helped rank-and-file workers in many professions claim a bigger share of the bounty. Just as important were tax reforms that favored investment and real estate earnings over wage income. The upshot: an economic order in which the capital-owning class enjoys great advantages—and the costs of admission to and the exclusion from that class grow ever higher.

eSports revenue: Global revenue from eSports is expected to reach a record $1.1B this year, topping $1B for the first time, up 27% from 2018 driven by advertising, sponsorship and media rights, according to a just-released report from industry research and consulting firm NewZoo.