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Topic - Kristin Bentz
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"High-end [retail] is doing very well and so is low-end," she said. "The middle is vanishing, much like what has happened to the middle class. Sears and Kmart are a perfect analogy to that and the middle market has fled. People have traded down to the Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar."
Other large retail stores such as Wal-Mart, with its competitive pricing, and Target, with its hip merchandising, have captured the marketplace across income levels, particularly for those looking for a deal but also seeking a shopping experience, she added.