Online shopping is officially king, signaling a tipping point in the retail apocalypse

Online shopping is officially king, signaling a tipping point in the retail apocalypse

This won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s come to rely on Amazon Prime, but online shopping is here to stay.

The Bespoke Investment Group pointed out that in February, non-store retail — dubbed “clicks” — made up 11.813% of total US sales. Meanwhile, general merchandise — or “bricks” — accounted for 11.807% of total sales.

This was the first time on record that online sales beat out brick-and-mortar sales for the general merchandise category, according to the firm.

It’s not a major difference, as the Bespoke Investment Group pointed out in its April 2 analysis: “Sure, we had to go out to three decimal places, so the margin of different is extremely small.”

Read more: The 10 retailers with the most devoted customers in America

Still, the group also posted a chart demonstrating how much the share of retail sales has changed since 1992. Non-store “clicks” purchases have risen steadily since the 1990s, while general merchandise “bricks” sales have fallen since peaking around 2009. General merchandise stores include department stores, warehouse clubs, and supercenters. The report also measures retail sales from other categories like furniture stores, clothing stores, and electronics stores.

This trend may represent a turning point in the ongoing retail apocalypse, which threatens to devastate any retailers who fail to adapt to the changing shopping environment.

In February, US retail sales declined 0.2%, signaling an economic slowdown. But the good news continues to roll in for non-store retailers like online giant Amazon. According to the US Department of Commerce, that sector experienced a sales growth of 0.9% for the month and 10% for the year.

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