Mall Retailers Melt Down in Four Charts




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POSTED BY Ed (24 days ago)
Total retail sales growth – not adjusted for inflation – has been fairly strong, rising 4.6% in the third quarter compared to a year ago, powered by booming e-commerce sales, which the Commerce Department reported this morning, and by rising inflation. But “real” retail sales (adjusted for inflation) is not so hot, rising only 2.0% in October, and this was at the lower end of the post-Financial Crisis range:

https://wolfstreet.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/US-retail-sales-2018-10-inflation-adjusted.png


E-commerce sales in the third quarter, not adjusted for inflation, soared 14.5% from a year ago to a new record of $131 billion (seasonally adjusted), the Commerce Department reported this morning. E-commerce sales are on track to blow through the $500-billion level in 2018.

E-commerce includes sales by the online operations of brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Macy’s, Walmart, and Best Buy, along with the sales of online-focused retailers, from Amazon down to small operations. Over the past five years, e-commerce sales have doubled.


I separate these retail sales — $1.34 trillion in Q3 — in three categories:

Online sales: +14.5% year-over-year.

Sales at online-resistant retailers (gas stations, new and used auto dealers, and grocery and beverage stores), accounting for 52% of all brick-and-mortar sales: +5.7% year-over-year

Sales at retailers that are under attack from online, accounting for 48% of all brick-and-mortar sales: +3.1% year-over-year, not even enough to make up for inflation (2.6% in Q3) and population growth (0.9%).

This chart shows how e-commerce has been eating into the share of the brick-and-mortar retailers that are under attack:

https://wolfstreet.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/US-retail-ecommerce-share-of-under_attack-retail-2018-Q3.png

More https://wolfstreet.com/2018/11/19/mall-retailers-melt-down-as-sales-shift-to-online/


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