Macy’s and other departments stores have felt the most pain as consumer shopping habits changed. Shoppers are shifting away from traditional malls, buying more clothes and goods online or renting apparel from subscription services. On top of that, the trade war between the U.S. and China will force retailers to raise prices, potentially hurting sales or be less profitable. Amid the stores closures and retail bankruptcies announced this year, it can be tough to accept that the U.S. consumer is doing just fine. Take July retail sales, which grew more than expected from June and posted the strongest five-month growth streak since 2005-2006. Economists, retail watchers and even retail executives mostly agree that the U.S. consumer in general remains strong, and may be what’s holding up the economy, since 70% of economic activity is tied to consumer spending. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy for retailers or that these conditions will remain this way. Read more at CNBC.