E-Commerce Is Boosting This Hidden Part Of The Retail Market

by MR Magazine Staff

You’ve no doubt heard scary stats about how e-commerce is snatching the retail market away from brick-and-mortar stores. Here at CrediFi, we’ve pointed out that this doesn’t have to spell doom and gloom for commercial real estate given that a loss for the retail property segment could be a gain for other property types, such as light industrial (especially given the warehousing needs of online retailers). Now, a recent Pacific Standard article offers a glimmer of hope from a surprising place: the practice of returning goods we don’t like which has given rise to a secondary market in the U.S. whose rapid growth is closely tied to that of e-commerce. First those scary stats, though. E-commerce’s share of total quarterly retail sales has risen steadily year after year since 2000, according to Census Bureau data. In Q3 2000, e-commerce generated $7.3 billion, just 1% of total retail sales for the quarter. By Q3 2010, that number had risen to $43.5 billion, or 4.6% of quarterly retail sales (on an adjusted basis). And, in the third quarter of this year, e-commerce generated $115.3 billion, accounting for 9.1% of retail sales for the quarter. The power of online retail is especially clear on major American shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Read more at Forbes.