Stores Grow by Inches, Sites by Miles

Discussion
Dec 27, 2002
George Anderson

By George Anderson


The numbers are coming in and the conclusion is unmistakable. Online retailers were the big winners of the Christmas 2002 selling season.


Financial analysts and industry observers estimated that this year’s revenue growth for retail stores would be in the 1.5 and 3.5 percent range. Estimates ranged from 20 to 41 percent growth for B2C web sites for the same period.


Moderartor’s Comment: Two Questions–



  1. What is your assessment of this year’s holiday selling
    season?

  2. Does this year’s performance of stores and online
    sites represent an inexorable shift in consumer purchasing behavior?


You would think from all the hand wringing, that sales
fell this holiday season. We know that an increase of 1.5 percent is not the
type of growth that inspires awe, but it is growth nonetheless.


Online sales will continue to grow (exponentially) as
a percentage of total retail revenues. Personally speaking, we haven’t see the
inside of a mall for four-years. Today, when someone in our house wants to buy
something, the first question asked is, “Can it be purchased online?” Families
like ours are still the exception. Ten or twenty years from now, we may very
well be the rule. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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