It was Thanksgiving in the US on Thursday, a truly interdenominational holiday when Americans of all beliefs, secular and religious, give thanks for being American, as well they should. This is a particularly important week for US retailers. They do not need to be reminded of the competitive forces that threaten their established ways of doing business. Nor do investors who puzzle over the business models that can bring retail success or failure. The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday, when sales and the profit margins on them will hopefully turn their cumulative bottom lines from red to black. It has been Black Friday all week and month and advertised to extend well into December. Presumably, to bring sales forward and make retailers less dependent on the last few trading days of the year. As we all know, competition has become increasingly internet- based from distributors of product near and far and yet only a day or two away. E-commerce sales have grown by over thre...

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