Tag Archives: retail

E-Commerce Sales Continues to Climb

The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that the estimate of U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the first quarter of 2008, adjusted for seasonal variation, but not for price changes, was $33.8 billion, an increase of 0.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007. Total retail sales for the first quarter of 2008 were estimated at $1,024.2 billion, an increase of 0.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007. The first quarter 2008 e-commerce estimate increased 13.6 percent from the first quarter of 2007 while total retail sales increased 2.8 percent in the same period. E-commerce sales in the first quarter of 2008 accounted for 3.3 percent of total sales.

(Click on the graph see the original and enlarged version.)

The above graph shows continuous growth (aka, inflation) in retail and e-commerce. In 2002, e-commerce owned 1.3 percent of the retail market. By the end of the first quarter 2008, the estimated retail market share was the same as the last quarter in 2007: 3.3 percent. That may not be earth shaking but it is still nearly a 300 percent gain in 5 years.

When annual retail and e-commerce sales are compared, the figures get more impressive. From the beginning of 2002 to the end of 2007, traditional venues of retail sales increased 30 percent. Over the same period, e-commerce sales increased by 185 percent–not exactly a feat to be laughed at.

What could increase e-retailing sales even more?
In my opinion, someone needs to invent virtual manufacturing and distribution comparable to the Jettisons–you baby boomers know what I’m talking about. That way, anything you want can be had nearly instantaneously over the Internet, cellular, or by satellite. Think of it in terms of Star Trekk. Instead of “beam me up, Scottie, retail commerce would be something like “download my goodies” or “beam down my order, thank you very much!” Now, such an invention would revolutionize e-retailing.

2002=3135091 44652 2007=4042835 127090 1.289543111 2.846233091

Amish-run reclaimed retail and expired goods stores are thriving

The subject of a hot story put out by The Associated Press is the growing popularity of the Amish version of Family Dollar and Dollar General stores. This story was so hot it was published by newspapers, prime time news stations across the nation, by foreign news, and even by the even Forbes and Business Week.

I guess when we are all suffering an economic period of stagflation any news of cheap goods for a consuming public is a huge event indeed. A stagflation is when the paycheck remains the same while prices of goods and service continually increase. That is providing you are not among the unfortunate whose paycheck was laid off. The importance of the good news can be compared to gas prices being cut by over 50 percent. Yes, it’s true; it’s the day dream of every commuter and believer in the promise of political campaigners.

Amish-run salvage stores are a thriving discount industry tucked away in America’s farmlands. They sell all kinds of goods including food and medicine dirt-cheap. This developing rural economy is drawing a steady stream of non-Amish customers seeking relief from the effects of the current economic recession.

One question that comes to mind is whether it is legal to sell expired goods like food and medicine? Continue reading