Mall Retailers Melt Down in Four Charts



Posted by Ed 6 mths 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:

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:


< Back to main category


Login now