The Surge in Online Shopping and Death of Dept Stores In Pictures

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun19,2024 #finance

How Covid accelerated the trend towards online shopping in two pictures.

Retail sales chart by Mish

Online Shopping Chart Notes

  • I created the above chart by calculating the percentage of things bought online that normally can be purchased online.
  • The calculation excludes the obvious, like gasoline and restaurant dining. It also excludes auto sales and grocery shopping.
  • While one can buy groceries online, nearly everyone buys the vast majority of their groceries in physical stores. Things like Doordash are trivial vs eating out and will remain that way perpetually.

The trends look linear in shorter timeframes but the propensity to buy online is really an exponential trend as the following chart shows.

Nonstore Retail Sales as Percent of Advance Retail Sales Long Term

The trend towards online shopping puts department shore shopping on a death bed.

Department Store Sales as Percent of Advance Retail Sales

Department Store Sales 1992 vs Today

  • In 1992, department store sales were 13.63 percent of advance retail sales, exclusions noted.
  • Today, department store sales are 2.31 percent of advance retail sales, exclusions noted.

Nonstore Sales 1992 vs Today

  • In 1992, nonstore sales were 8.95 percent of advance retail sales, exclusions noted.
  • Today, nonstore sales are 34.36 percent of advance retail sales, exclusions noted.

Judging from the charts, the Covid pandemic boosted online shopping by a sustained two percentage points.

Retail Sales Were Very Weak in May Counting Negative Revisions

Nominal and Real (inflation adjusted by the CPI) retail sales chart by Mish.

Earlier today I noted Retail Sales Were Very Weak in May Counting Negative Revisions

If someone tell you the consumer is strong, please have them read this post. The strong consumer is all a mirage of inflation. (Four Charts)

From its early start, Amazon went from selling books online to selling nearly everything.

It is the big beneficiary of the accelerated trend towards online shopping.

Department stores? Who need em?

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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