ZORA
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ZORA

What We Lose When Retail Stores Disappear

Second-act careers for women vanish with the demise of department stores and malls

A graphic illustration of a big store with a “store closing” sign wrapped around it. Women wait in line 6 feet apart.
Illustration: Nashra Balagamwala

It was a job rooted in routine. That’s what I thought at first when my mother worked for JCPenney in a suburb of San Diego in the late 1990s and early 2000s as a customer service representative in the catalog department. She worked evenings, taking orders…

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