Is the Death of Retail Trade Greatly Exaggerated? Part 16


Simply Google the phrase “what effect is Amazon having on retail” and you’ll discover a significant amount of information, articles and theories. Personally, I found the following article written by Susan Ward that articulated the sales of brick-and-mortar versus online to be quite illuminating. Her opening paragraph mirrors the title of this article as evidenced by the following excerpt:

Brick-and-Mortar Stores Versus Online Retail Sales BY SUSAN WARD

Updated December 07, 2018

To paraphrase Mark Twain, “rumors of the death of brick and mortar retail are greatly exaggerated.” Although e-commerce shopping continues to grow rapidly, brick-and-mortar stores are still holding up well versus online retail sites, as many people still prefer the in-store shopping experience where they can see and try out products before committing to a purchase.

Brick and Mortar vs Online Sales Statistics

According to U.S. Department of Commerce Statistics:

  • Total retail sales rose from $3375 billion in 2016 to $3496 billion in 2017, a 3.6 percent increase
  • E-commerce sales rose from $390 billion in 2016 to $453 billion in 2017, a 16 percent increase
  • Brick-and-mortar sales rose from $2985 billion in 2016 to $3043 billion in 2017, a two percent increase
  • As a percentage of total retail sales, e-commerce sales have risen from 5.1 percent in 2007 to 13 percent in 2017”

To be clear, the Amazon Effect is real as the company has certainly had an impact on both the way and the where America shops. However, it has not been all negative to all brick-and-mortar retailers. The best retailers are adapting and fighting back. Furthermore, Amazon is not invincible although they have certainly been formidable. The following article excerpt from Entrepreneur provides a succinct definition of the Amazon effect:

The Amazon Effect: How E-Commerce Will Change In 2019 And Beyond