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First Cut: E-commerce continues to rise as share of overall retail as of fourth quarter 2019

As of the fourth quarter 2019, sales by e-commerce accounted for $158.0 million in retail sales, or 11.4% of of the total $1,386.2 million total. The increase in the share is in line with the trend of steady gains in recent years.


E-commerce was up 3.0% quarter-over-quarter for the October-December 2019 period, similar to the 2.9% rise in the third quarter 2019. The pace of sales increases for e-commerce is faster than that for brick-and-mortar stores. Some of this may simply be the contraction of locations for the retail sector as many chains close underperforming outlets, or in specialty stores which can’t compete with online offerings.

Compared to a year earlier, e-commerce was up 13.6% in the fourth quarter. Year-over-year gains have been less spectacular since the end of the recession simply because the share of online retail is maturing.

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