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‘Death by Amazon’: Why some retailers are withstanding the onslaught

TORONTO — Amazon.com Inc.’s purchase of Whole Foods Market Inc. last month has pushed an already nervous retail sector into a collective panic not seen since the great recession.

Old-guard retailers are furiously transforming their business models in an attempt to compete against the Seattle-based online giant, while analysts and investors are scouring quarterly sales figures, wondering if any retailers will be immune to Amazon’s corrosive impact on sales and profits.

“Is Anything Safe from Being Amazoned?” asked a BMO Capital Markets cross-sector analysis released in September, one of many exhaustive recent industry outlooks on the topic. Others point ominously to the Death by Amazon index, a list of 54 largely underperforming retail stocks compiled by Bespoke Investment Group that the firm believes will be most hurt by the technology behemoth.

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