eBay, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, Apple

Who’s growing online, according to The Economist. The chart, via Comscore Network, shows the astomnishing growth of numerous traditional retailers.

Notable in the group: Apple’s online sales are up 98.7% year over year:


"Despite concerns about a fall in consumer confidence putting the brake on store sales, online purchases are soaring in most countries. But something else is happening, too. Increasingly, the websites run by conventional retailers—once considered dinosaurs of the bricks-and-mortar age—are growing the fastest. Indeed, on Thanksgiving day itself, the number of visitors to Wal-Mart’s website exceeded those visiting Amazon—the first time that has ever happened, says Hitwise, which monitors internet usage.

Online sales in America (excluding travel) are expected to grow to more than $19 billion in the crucial two months running up to Christmas—24% more than the same period last year—according to comScore Networks, a research firm. Online sales of toys, computer games, clothing and jewellery are all more than 30% higher."


That’s a pretty astonishing chart as to what companies are gaining share . . .

Clicks, bricks and bargains
The Economist, Dec 1st 2005

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What's been said:

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  1. Andrew Schmitt commented on Dec 6

    What is particularly interesting was the article in the WSJ this weekend highlighting that Apple Nano’s are scarce everywhere except their stores and on their website.

    WSJ correctly points out that Apple realizes a significantly higher margin on sales out of their own channel. While they are not competing on price with their distribution, they are certainly making allocation decisions that clearly favor their own private channel.

    It is only a matter of time until other brands take the same approach with high margin, high ticket items. Would sure like to see cars sold this way.

    One question – why is Dell absent but apple is included? They are both manufacturers.

  2. Osa commented on Dec 6

    i have a most basic question:

    how can the last three months of any year determine the ‘health’ of any nation’s economy when what we are talking about has nothing at all to do with long-term / long vision investment, but has to do with a shopping ‘spree’ based upon a pagan holiday usurped by those ‘proper’ christian folks…?

    how does ‘consumer confidence’ mean anything when the monies being spent doesn’t go into infrastructure, the hopes of universal health care and education, and technological research and advances that will move us along a path of deeper awareness…?

    i do not celebrate the ‘holidays’ because i find the ‘holidays’ a sham, a lie, and very hypocritical and useless. alas, how does all of this holiday spending translate to whether economic health remains ‘positive’ or ‘negative’…?

  3. donna commented on Dec 6

    I am surprised anyone would be surprised that he older retailers would have advantages. They (uaually) start with profitible enterprises that give them cash flow, they have inventory systems, warehouses, experience in the markets and many other basics. They were also in a position to move in after observing the errors and failures of others. In some markets, this is so blatantly obvious. A Safeway with grocery stores in every community is going to be in a much better position to profitibly hire a delivery guy or gal to take some of these tyo a front door than an enterprise that has one warehouse for a very llarge region (eg. the entire bay area.)

  4. CMG commented on Dec 6

    Donna writes:

    I am surprised anyone would be surprised that he older retailers would have advantages. They (uaually) start with profitible enterprises that give them cash flow, they have inventory systems, warehouses, experience in the markets and many other basics. They were also in a position to move in after observing the errors and failures of others.

    great point. But never underestimate the little guy.

    while big, mammoth companies have the expertise and resources to crush smaller enterprises, they often don’t.

    here’s why: agility.

    smaller startups move fast — that’s how they make up for their shortcomings.

    look at the way Netscape threw microsoft through the windshield circa 95.

    Netscape saw an opportunity in the markeplace and scaled at the speed of lightning.

    by the time, microsoft woke up from its slumber, david had already been throned broswer King.

  5. B commented on Dec 6

    I hate the concept of big corporations. Period. I may admire some of their leadership but in the long haul, I think they are bad for the welfare anc creativity of individualism.

    So, as American becomes a legacy society similar to Japan and Europe, does our economy become beholden to large conglomerates that stifle individualism, creativity and new business? While I am not too philosophical on the topic, the reality is the Wal-marts, Targets, GEs, IBMs, Citigroups, General Motors and the like of our economy are net negative employers over time. But, in their never ending need for more growth to satisfy The Street, they are constantly devouring competition.

    It has even gone so far that people who were entrepreneurs can no longer make money fighting against corporations in nontraditional businesses. Home improvement contractors now fight Home Depot for jobs and find they cannot compete because HD hires slave labor. Farmers can no longer compete because they are competing against corporate farms hiring low cost labor. Local homebuilders and contractors are getting murdered by the corporate homebuilders that are devouring competition and making it impossible for the entrepreneuir to compete. And now, what a surprise, we see Wal-mart and Target are crushing smaller, entrepreneurial companies on the net. Oh, and with all of this we see today that Verizon is dumping its defined pension benefit plan because no one else is offering one.

    Are we in a race to the bottom? With the large corporation controlling America’s destiny? Lawmakers need to redouble their efforts to stimulate entrepreneurial businesses to continue to fuel America’s future growth and our wealth because it isn’t coming from large conglomerates.

  6. donna commented on Dec 6


    The net has given tremendous opportunities to small players, my own guess is that they will undermine many bigger ones as the markets become more perfect.

    But even here someone who has been competing with the big players on price for electronics while working out of a small store is going to be in a better position to play than someone who raises lots of money, says “unlike old reatailers who are stuck with overhead like warehouses we have real assets, computers and advertsing.” And yes the later is pretty much an exact quote from the nineties.

    There is this notion that American business is going to rule the world because we will let someone else do all the physical stuff like building the products, moving them and repairing them and e wil take the lucrative niche at the top which sales and distributes them. Except that is the one that has the easiest entry and the margins that really encourage competition.

  7. BULL TRADER commented on Dec 9

    cool graphs/figures on this site.. where do u get them from?

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