Direct sales account for 37% of year-to-date retail growth

September 17, 2014 09:47 AM

Retailers that sell via the web and catalogs account for only 19% of U.S. retail sales, after taking out groceries, gasoline, restaurant meals and auto sales. But those direct merchants accounted for 37.1% of retail sales growth in the first eight months of 2014, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau figures by Internet Retailer.

After excluding those categories rarely bought online, the Census Bureau of the U.S. Commerce Department figures for the first eight months of the year showed retail sales were up 3.3% over last year, to $1.5581 trillion from $1.5086 trillion in the same period of 2013.

However, non-store sales rose 6.5% from January to August, from $282.5 billion to $300.9 billion. The growth in non-store sales of $18.36 billion represents 37.1% of the $49.54 billion growth in these categories.

E-commerce undoubtedly accounts for most of the non-store growth. The Commerce Department, which reports online retail growth quarterly, says e-commerce increased 15.5% year over year in the first quarter and 15.7% in the second quarter.

Retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 500 that sell via catalogs and the web grew their online sales by only 7.57% in 2013 over the prior year, while all other Top 500 retailers increased web sales by 18.3%, according to data available on

The Commerce Department will report third quarter e-commerce sales Nov. 18.




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