retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that "sales on e-commerce websites increased 3.5 percent in the first three months of the year from the previous quarter, reaching a record $80 billion worth of purchases, according to seasonally-adjusted figures released by the Commerce Department on Friday. Meanwhile, total retail sales declined 1.5 percent, the first quarterly drop in almost three years. On a year-over-year basis, online purchases soared a whopping 14.5 percent, compared with a 1.6 percent increase for total sales."

The story goes on to say that "since the start of the recovery, quarterly increases in e-commerce sales have averaged 3.7 percent versus 1.1 percent for total sales. Along the way, the share of e-commerce as a percent of total retail sales rose to 7 percent from 0.6 percent in 1999."
KC's View:
Every once in a while, I hear a presentation or panel discussion in which someone talks about how someone else has predicted the death of the brick-and-mortar store. Which always sort of amuses me, since I've never actually heard anyone make such a prediction ... it is more of a straw man, giving the presenter or panelist something to react to or argue against.

I'm not surprised by these numbers. Of course e-commerce is going to grow faster ... it is growing from a smaller base. But the store is not going to go away.

The question is what the ratio will be, and that will be determined by how many retailers are able to create physical shopping experiences that are relevant, compelling and part of an ecosystem that captures the shopper's loyalty ... and money.