IRCE 2011 Report: For web sales, online-only retailers outpace other merchants

June 16, 2011 03:15 PM

Web-only merchants in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide were by far the biggest winners last year, Internet Retailer’s conference chairman Kurt Peters said today. Online-only retailers increased their 2010 web sales 31%, compared with 18% for all 500 retailers. 

This year’s edition of the Top 500 Guide, which contained 100,000 pieces of information, was released in advance of the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011 in San Diego. All conference attendees received a free copy this morning.

Retail chains grew 11% online, in stark contrast to their in-store growth figures. Of the 53 Top 500 retail chains that report comparable store sales, e-commerce sales growth for 48 merchants outpaced comparable store sales. “Chains are basically spinning their wheels to keep up with web-only merchants,” Peters said.

Exceptions included Macy’s Inc., Toys ‘R’ Us Inc., Williams-Sonoma Inc. and Kohl’s Corp., which grew 51% online in 2010. “Whatever Kohl’s is doing, they’ve really figured out this channel,” he said.

Peters said the findings of the Top 500 Guide showed that shoppers continue to migrate to the web for purchases, which is taking market share away from physical stores. He predicted that competition online will continue to intensify. “The biggest will work hard to protect their market share and little guys will fight to prevent being squeezed out,” he said.




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