During the Last Financial Crisis, Even Ecommerce Sales Plunged. Not This Time

Ecommerce Spiked to Record. Mall Stores Got Hung Out to Dry. Walmart’s Online Sales, Still Woefully Behind, Shot Up 74%

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Walmart US ecommerce sales set the tone. Being the largest grocery seller in the US, it didn’t have to close its stores. Nevertheless, its ecommerce sales soared 74% in the first quarter, compared to Q1 a year ago, Walmart reported today. This would be an increase of $3.2 billion from a year ago to $7.5 billion. But Walmart US had fallen woefully behind during the early years of ecommerce; while it is now rapidly catching up, its ecommerce sales in Q1 were still only 8.5% of its Walmart US sales.

By contrast, in 2019, Nordstrom’s online sales already accounted for over one-third of its total sales, and Macy’s online sales accounted for 26% of its total sales. They both will report a surge in online sales in Q1.

But Walmart’s 74% surge in Q1 (up from prior increases in the 30% to 40% range) includes “strong results” for its online grocery business. This is a sign that consumers are beginning to see the possibilities of shopping for groceries online, whether the order is being delivered to the home or picked up at the store.

The Commerce Department today reported ecommerce sales (along with revised retail sales) for the first quarter (January through March). But the calendar quarter doesn’t line up with the Q1 reporting periods by retailers (February through April). And the shifts due to the pandemic fell into the last few weeks of the calendar quarter, when overall retail sales began to plunge.

Nevertheless, ecommerce sales in Q1 – and this includes the ecommerce sales of brick-and-mortar retailers such as Walmart, Home Depot, and Macy’s – jumped 14.5% from the first quarter last year, to a record $160.3 billion (seasonally adjusted).

Note the drop in ecommerce sales during the Financial Crisis, producing the only three quarters of year-over-year declines in the recorded history of ecommerce (bottoming out at -7.7% in Q4 2008). In this crisis, the opposite is happening:

Retail sales without ecommerce were nearly flat (+0.6%) in Q1, dragged down by the shifts due to the pandemic that began toward the end of the quarter. On a month-to-month basis, seasonally adjusted, January retail sales were fairly strong; February retail sales edged down already; March retail sales dropped 8.3%; and April retail sales plunged 16%. So the biggest part of the drop fell outside of Q1, as did the biggest part of the blistering shift to ecommerce that Walmart and other retailers are reporting.

Retail sales include sales at gas stations, auto dealers, and grocery and beverage stores. These categories account for 55% of brick-and-mortar retail sales. So far, they have largely been able to resist ecommerce – though that’s changing for used vehicle dealers and supermarkets, which face increasing online competition, including from Walmart’s online grocery sales.

It’s the remaining 45% of brick-and-mortar sales that are getting crushed – largely retailers that populate shopping malls and strip shopping centers. Let’s call them “mall stores”: They include these categories, with sample bankrupt chains in parentheses:

Combined sales at these “mall stores” had peaked in Q4 2007 at $164 billion, fell during the Financial Crisis, then spend years trying to climb back to the 2007 level, but never quite made it. Since 2015, sales at these mall stores has trended lower as the bankruptcies and liquidations fell on top of each other. Then in Q1 2020, sales plunged 11% from the prior quarter and 11.6% from a year ago, to $137 billion, the lowest level this century, even as ecommerce surged:

Before the pandemic began scrambling up retail sales, eMarkerter estimated the market share of the top 10 US ecommerce sellers as a percent of total ecommerce sales this way (as of February 28):

  1. Amazon: 38.7%
  2. Walmart: 5.3%
  3. eBay: 4.7%
  4. Apple: 3.7%
  5. Home Depot: 1.7%
  6. Wayfair: 1.5%
  7. Best Buy: 1.3%
  8. Target: 1.2%
  9. Costco: 1.2%
  10. Macy’s 1.1%

Target had made its way into the lineup for the first time. Walmart over the years has worked itself into second place, surpassing eBay and Apple. And Macy’s which had been closer to the middle of the list, has fallen to the bottom of the list. Retailers that use the Amazon platform as third-party vendors count as Amazon retail sales. The combined market share of the top ten amounts to 72% of ecommerce sales. The remaining 28% is carved up by myriad other retailers.

The Commerce Department’s retail and ecommerce sales exclude travel services and tickets of all kinds (they’re not considered “retail” but services). So the plunge in sales of airline tickets and tickets to entertainment or sports events or movie theaters is not included in the data.

The second quarter will fully display the shifts and effects of the pandemic on retail sales. We know already that sales at the “mall stores” will plunge further even as some are now gradually re-opening, while others are tangled up in bankruptcy proceedings. And from what retailers have said so far, their ecommerce sales will soar. These dynamics will completely change the above ecommerce-vs-mall-stores chart.

Given how habit-forming ecommerce has been over the past 20 years among consumers, it will be interesting to see if brick-and-mortar retailers can unwind the pandemic-produced market-share gains of ecommerce; or if, as I suspect, many of these gains are permanent, with most consumers content to keep going that way, which would leave brick-and-mortar stores and the properties they occupy in an untenable situation a lot sooner than anyone expected.

For mall REITs, the disaster came in two phases: first, the brick-and-mortar meltdown, then Covid-19. Read…  Shares of Mall REITs Jumped 12% Today, But Have Collapsed So Far It’s a Barely Visible Blip

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  64 comments for “During the Last Financial Crisis, Even Ecommerce Sales Plunged. Not This Time

  1. Javert Chip says:

    Depending on how you measure it, my retail shopping (excluding grocery, cars, gasoline) is probably:
    o 99%+ e-commerce measured by transaction count
    o 93%% e-commerce measured by dollar amount

    (Easy for me to track; I spend about $60k/yr on a single credit card dedicated to “retail”).

    I recently bought a computer at an Apple store in Orlando’s Millennial Mall. The entire mall (not the Apple store) experience was hideous. My worst mistake was eating in the “food court’ while waiting for systems & files to be ported from the old to the new computer.

    Even I don’t expect (or necessarily want) “mall retailing” to disappear. Some clever retailer will create a demand (call it entertainment, exigency or fascination) for people to periodically visit stores to see & touch the new goodies.

    Your article indicates retailing is now 53%/47% e-commerce + mall retailing; I’d expect this to move 90%/10% over the next 3-5 years.

    • MCH says:

      I think what’ll happen is that malls will slowly adapt themselves to the world of e-commerce, either that or they die.

      The reality is that there is still a place for malls, just not the whole 250 stores that’s tucked away in them. But the real competition for malls aren’t e-commerce, it would be the big box stores. Mainly because both have space that need to be used.

      Right now, the big box stores has started to figure out that they can become a combination of show room and warehouse. One good example of this is Best Buy. Bought my last large kitchen appliance from there, went in, looked around, talked to the sales guy, looked on Amazon, went back, and picked out the inventory I wanted, and got it delivered to my house.

      The bigger challenge for malls is whether they can overcome the social distancing enough to survive as they adapt to their newer format. I see them as possible places where you can get “experiences.” Just not shopping.

    • char says:

      The souvenir shop next to the empire state building is also “mall” retail. The weirder kind of retail is only a few percentage points but it starts to matter with 10%. A bigger part is big furniture. They are used to having really bad years so more meat on the bones to survive the Covid crisis and they need to fear habit forming less because for most people buying big furniture is not something done every year. Beside buying big furniture always gave me an ecommerce in meat-space feeling with buying a piece that isn’t yet made and will be delivered to your home.
      So 10% would leave nothing for real mall retail. Which could be true but i thing 20% will stay

    • Mira says:

      I shop food & groceries at Coles online.
      COVID-19 hit & online shopping shut down.
      I am housebound so an aged care agency took over & $50.00 per hour plus good purchased.
      Today Coles online is up & running again .. phew !!
      8.30PM tonight I completed my purchase .. it will arrive on my doorstep between 1.00 & 7.00 PM tomorrow.
      Gosh !!
      So quick ??
      I suspect that due to COVID-19 many persons were forced to divert to prepared food delivery services & many realised that the food was good & not junk .. cost effective .. no fuss no mess & as a result have reorganised their lived to a more convenient life stale.
      And Good For Them .. Hooray !!
      But what about Coles Stores ??
      Indeed.

  2. polistra says:

    The good side of these numbers: Despite Bezos’s need to own the entire universe, he hasn’t managed to hold an absolute monopoly.

    Walmart started from behind with no history of phone or mail orders, and now claims a larger part of the market than any of the old mail order stores.

    This parallels the first decade of the auto industry. Ford appeared to have a total monopoly until GM and Chrysler came in and matched it with different methods of marketing.

  3. Michael Engel says:

    1) When the malls will open sales will rise. The 2009 low will be tested from below. After a test or two, mall sales will plunge.
    2) Ecommerce will keep flying uphill, probably exceed the 2007 mall stores sales, like an Olympic diver, before making a splash in the pool.
    3) A recession, when it come, will suppress both mall stores and the 20Y ecommerce retail sales.
    4) U cannot extrapolate a bubble at peak level, on recession cusp.

    • MonkeyBusiness says:

      When UBI is finally passed, we will be able to extend the bubble.

      And who knows what else the Fed can cook up.

      • Endeavor says:

        They may not want to extend the bubble. Loaded up with Fed cash, they can purchase remaining good assets and rentier their way to Neo Feudal heaven.

      • Ethan in NoVA says:

        The landlords will take the UBI. Prices will adjust to take all the new money and people will be right back to where they are now.

        • MonkeyBusiness says:

          I think there will be a period of adjustment, and once people have adjusted, they can always increase the UBI.

          There’s nothing that says that UBI will always have to be at XXX.

        • Bobby Dents says:

          Now now. When the UBI is passed and everything is automated to the point average people are useless. They will give you free drugs….think of it like hospice care.

        • Petunia says:

          The UBI will definitely be confiscated for any and all conceivable reasons, from taxes, fees, fines, debts, everything and anything. It’s just another pool of money for the vultures to feed off. The clue will be whether they protect it or not.

      • Tank says:

        UBI “finally passed?” It’s here especially a UBI fund for hedge fund traders.
        https://www.epsilontheory.com/through-no-fault-of-their-own/
        Mnuchin says that $1200 should last 10 weeks? His wife spends that in an hour at her spa.

    • Anonymous Coward says:

      Got news for you. Recession is already here upon us. Only question is whether it should start with a D or not when described historically. The societal cognitive dissonance about the meaning of current events is frightful, but it starts at the top with the Delusion in Chief.

      • MCH says:

        All true, the problem is not many people, and certainly not our leaders want to admit to this. Because they are all too busy figuring out how to triangulate the situation and come out on top.

        But as the old saying goes, when my neighbor loses his job, it’s a recession, and when I lose my job, it’s a depression. Right now, for about 25% of the country, it’s a depression For our leaders, they want to pretend all is well, and for our media, they want to pretend it’s a recession. After all, the function about being the bearer of bad news is both recession and depression proof, but they need to garner enough empathy to keep the eyeballs.

      • char says:

        You have a market recession and a nature recession. First is a supply demand problem, second is that “nature” creates a situation that markets can’t/don’t need operate. We are in the second and they are much less problematic as when they pass people can go back to what they were doing before.

        But for that it needs to be over. And the US is doing everything to make it take longer.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          It will be “over” as much as influenza is over.

          CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million – 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.

          And that is after we have been making and distributing annual influenza vaccines for decades. We are now adding a new annual disease.

        • char says:

          Nobody ever tried to exterminate influenza. And with birds as reservoir it is also nearly impossible. But we can with Covid

  4. Phoenix_Ikki says:

    Q2-Q4 numbers will be more interesting I think. I think there’s lagging effect on the massive job loss and the fact that majority of these job loss are not yet on the high paying white collar sector that can so far work from home. If these people start experiencing unemployment in large numbers then I think all bets are off.

    Just a small observation, being a watch guy myself, if you see how prices are faring right now for brands like Rolex, Patek..etc. that bubble hasn’t burst yet so there’s still some high income demand driving up prices and I am sure a lot of these people have no problem buying stuff online and shift their income from not going out as much to disposable products.

    • Seneca’s Cliff says:

      The watch bubble won’t last, you can’t tell if someone is wearing a fake Rolex on Zoom.

      • Auld Kodjer says:

        Maybe you can. Ask them the time.

        A fake Rolex tells the correct time. A real Rolex rarely does.

        • Jos Oskam says:

          @AK

          I have a very real Rolex GMT master II, bought a long time ago when I had not yet turned my back on my high-income IT job to go for a less stressful existence.

          Sure, wearing the Rolex sends out a certain signal to people receptive to it, mostly having to do with where you are on the status ladder. However, for telling the correct time it is less useful.

          My ancient and battered Seiko kinetic diver requires no maintenance and runs rings around the Rolex in terms of accuracy.

          Maybe I should just sell the Rolex before the watch bubble is over.

        • Dan Romig says:

          I inherited a Rolex Datejust and a Seiko Kinetic from my dad. Dad wore the Seiko, which he bought for himself – not the Rolex which his wife bought for him (and is real), and I know why; it is accurate.

          Even though it is a couple seconds a day slow, I prefer my Seiko Automatic Sports to my other watches including a TAG Heuer and a Swiss Army chronograph.

          The guy who runs the watch and clock repair shop ‘The Fixery’ in my neighborhood has a view on Rolexes and expensive automatic watches, “They’re like driving a Model T. A decent quartz watch is like driving a modern car.”

    • jon says:

      A lot of these white collar jobs working from home wont have jobs if the consumers are not spending money. It is always large number of small spenders than small number of rich people which matters most.

      • Brant Lee says:

        If corporations see that working from home is doing the job, how many many of these (pricey white-collar) jobs can be outsourced to perhaps India and the Philippines?

        • Engin-ear says:

          The companies perfectly know the cost-benefit ratio of the offshoring; they stopped the offshoring when the return became negative.

          They are just guessing the trends for home labor and office costs to shift to more offshoring or inshoring.

          And if there are new legal requirements to have more square meters/feet per person in post-covid19 world, that will push for office cost increase.
          But this not the only factor, so the trend is unclear.

    • Lisa_Hooker says:

      We don’t all buy Patek and Vacheron and Audemars Piguet for status or correct time. Some of us buy them as the ultimate expressions of the horologist’s art. Not just another reworked ETA ébauche.

  5. Mad Dog says:

    Just ordered some groceries on line for home delivery. Went to Safeway.com and set up an account.
    >
    > The Web site was so screwed up that I wonder how a nationwide grocery chain like Safeway could set up such a screwed up Web site. It looked like it was designed by a 6th grade elementary school kid in his 1st course on Web design and HTML.
    >
    > First I did a search for “Water” and got a list of sodas and other carbonated beverages I didn’t want. I had to scroll down 5 screens to find the first bottled water that I wanted. Then I had to go 7 more screens to get the next one of the same brand. It took over 1 hour to put together my first order. After thinking it over I decided to cancel the order, but when I went back into Safeway.com and signed in it would not let me cancel the order.
    >
    > The items delivered were not the ones I wanted and were overpriced by 40% over the price you could get if you went into the store to pick it up. When I looked over the delivery receipt there were extra charges that were added which I couldn’t even figure out what they were, in addition to the delivery charge and tax
    >
    > This was the first and last time I will ever order anything from this Web site.

    • char says:

      A supermarket is highly complicated interface for buying for which you need to spend time (lots) to understand it so having a complicated website is not that surprising. Shopping in a new supermarket is always fun. Takes hours more because you can’t find the cake ingredients.

      ps CFO’s hate internet shopping but their best customers, families with young children, really want it

    • Xabier says:

      The supermarket websites in the UK are variable in quality, of course, but the best are much, much better than that.

      Even if I make a mistake as to the spelling of a product I get directed to just what I want in an instant.

      Sufficient demand should produce real improvements in the US.

  6. Old-school says:

    I feel like I can estimate the long term value of four stocks fairly closely and have invested in all four at one time or another. 1) a retail REIT 2. An on-line pharmacy 3. Buffet’s company and 4. A regulated utility.

    To me the on-line pharmacy popped to be the least attractively priced of the four after the virus hit. It has come down to just about what I would consider fair value recently, but is still down to 3rd in the way I value things, just ahead of the utility. Of course if you are doing long term valuations it’s all about what number you use for growth and you better not mess that up too much.

  7. BuySome says:

    Ok. What we’ve learned so far:
    > Don’t shop in a bacterially infected closed market.
    > Don’t go whalefishing in a raging NorEaster.
    > Don’t sell the back-up generator that powers everything.
    > Do get a good watch because time seems to matter still.
    > Maybe keep a coffee can and shovel, tools, and seeds.

  8. After Home Depot Sunday will never shop like this again. Bought the wrong thing and had to return it. Traffic jams. Long lines to get in, only store exit half a mile away from where I parked.

  9. Jon says:

    I do a lot of shopping but avoid Amazon. My fav is Target, ebay and other.. If I can I’d for sure avoid avoid Amazon.
    I like to go to costco and do in person shopping as well
    I try to live my life normally, be more cautious and take necessary actions to keep myself healthy.

    • Brant Lee says:

      Yes, I haven’t bought through Amazon either for a few years and I see no need to help them rule the world. I’m not crazy about Walmart, but at least one can return items to a store that was bought online.
      But then, does the quarterly report show that Walmart is showing a profit yet from Ecommerce? If not now, when? My last order online was a measly $75 and it arrived via four different carriers (two FedEx same day). This is the efficiency of the future? No wonder Walmart is not profiting from Ecommerce, they are just trying to keep up.

  10. Jdog says:

    A spike in purchasing is what you would expect. Everyone who belittled preppers in the past, instantly became one when the TP shortage hit and they finally understood.
    Now that people are fairly well stocked, the panic is subsiding, and you can expect the next set of numbers to come out will reflect the reality that most people have no money…..

    • Tim says:

      Well that’s it isn’t it.

      Unless the large unemployment numbers turn around in the next 2 months, by October very large swathes of most western populations are going to be living off credit cards and over drafts or bust.

      That will effect consumer activity for the Christmas period.

      Another wave of retail and hospitality failures in Feb/March 2021.

      That’s if there isn’t obliterative chaos September/October onwards when the likelihoods of ‘V’ or ‘U’ recoveries fade.

      • Engin-ear says:

        Recession shapes are many: “V”, “U”, “W”, “L”.

        Less known: “J” for optimists and “h” for pessimists.

      • Lisa_Hooker says:

        Thanks Tim. You made me think how many minimum monthly payments can you make with $1200. Currently there is probably a lot of that. Perhaps this was the plan all along. Fortunately credit card debt is not my cup of tea.

  11. Danno says:

    Is everyone just so busy with time at such a premium that they shop online? I understand the convenience IF indeed you DO have a busy life or a disability or is this one more “I’m so cool I shop online and pay a premium” keeping up appearances/with the Jones situations?

    Like high end cell phones, the latest fashions, on line shopping is just another way for people with no money to spend more than they should.

    America Consumerism 101. Long live the know it all debt slaves…Idiots.

    I’ll continue to live a life of being wise, make less and enjoy far more leisure time than most can ever imagine…

    • Javert Chip says:

      Danno

      As wise as you say you are, I’m intrigued you struggle to understand:

      o Hundreds of millions of Americans enjoy the convenience of e-commerce, whether or not they have (in your words) “a busy life or a disability”

      o E-commerce is frequently less expensive than mall retail (Amazon is frequently cheaper than Staples)

      Calling those of us who enjoy e-commerce “debt slave…idiots” probably isn’t the best way to sell your ideas, but you’re certainly free to live your life the way you want; so are the rest of us.

    • Xabier says:

      Here in the UK I frequently get discounts online for groceries and wine which I have rarely seen in the shops -sometimes as much as 15-20% off the final bill.

      And, if you don’t like what has been delivered, no quibble returns – it works very well here on the whole.

      When buying good clothes and shoes -very high quality, still available in England thank God – I just wait for the periodic sales and buy when the discount is large enough, usually at the very end, again 20-30% off.

      I never ever touch Amazon, after they falsely signed me up for Prime even after I did my very best not to press the wrong button,and it took ages to get off again. Simply shabby and unethical.

  12. Erich says:

    I have a question concerning E-commerce sales. During the height of the Covid-19 crazyness/lockdowns I downloaded both the Walmart and Kroger apps. Using them I ordered groceries online and paid for them using my credit card. I then drove to the store where the expendable …..er, essential employee loaded them into my trunk. Since I used the Walmart/Kroger app to order my groceries does this count as an E-commerce sale? Prior to Covid-19 I always walked in and did my shopping which I assume counts as a B&M sale.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Ecommerce sales is defined where the order was originated … so if you enter an order via an app, it’s ecommerce. It doesn’t matter how the merchandise gets inside your house — whether someone brings it or whether you picked it up at a pickup location, locker, or store.

      • Erich says:

        Thanks. I guess E-comerce sales will now sky rocket what with “curb side pickup” being all the rage. Both Walmart and Kroger are generally one to two days (sometimes three) out for a pickup slot. Most if not all retailers here in the DFW area are now offering curb side pickup.

        • Dan Romig says:

          This is a growing part of Cub grocery stores’ sales in the Twin Cities. Shopping at a store today, I saw quite a few people in the store gathering items for their ‘Grocery Delivery & Pickup’ program.

  13. char says:

    Walmart is in my eyes a hypermarket operator. So their sales excluding gas will be something like 60% supermarket sales, 40% mall sales. The mall sales can be easily transferred in ecommerce. Supermarket sales much less so. I think the numbers for a supermarket with a lot of ecommerce was around 10% ecommerce before covid and not exactly profitable. So 8.5% compared to the “mall” part of their operation is good and comparable with Macy’s

  14. Panamabob says:

    This surprise(COVID-19) has caused the greatest adaptations in normality for the World’s populace. What is cool is that many of these will stick, work from home, distant learning, e-commerce, etc.
    I received an email from a retired Doctor friend age 75 and this is the link:
    He is pretty tuned into the future.
    https://olui2.fs.ml.com/Publish/Content/application/pdf/GWMOL/Great_Acceleration_Merrill.pdf

    • Xabier says:

      Cambridge University plans for all lectures to be online only for 2020-21, and maybe beyond.

      One wonders whether the excellent ‘supervision’ system will survive, once defined rather well as ‘being locked in a room with an odd or rather camp man who knows infinitely more than you ever could.’

      Always a great test of mental agility and a rich source of anecdotes.

    • Malthus says:

      Hummm …they are calling for inflation to be “moderate” even with MMT “modern monetary theory” …and didnt Merrill go bankrupt?

  15. Augusto says:

    E-commerce doesn’t pay local taxes or employ local people like retail. All they employ is some delivery guy while paying Chinese manufacturers the least possible. Retail is behind the eight ball paying for roads, schools, water and parks for municipalities, not to mention payroll and benefits for employees. A lot of e-commerce success/genius is simply avoiding the (unfair) taxes their retail competitors pay. So, an E-tax is coming, unless the politicians are going to increase taxes on households/voters.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      In the US, all larger ecommerce companies pay state and local sales taxes.

      • Augusto says:

        True. However, retailers also pay property taxes with a portion based upon a business’s sales or revenues. Retails’ tax share is, in most cases, well in excess of any services they receive, essentially subsidizing home owners and residents. At least, that is what I have seen, as a former auditor who had to audit these things. I should note that property taxes vary greatly across municipalities, with different emphasis on who pays what, so generalities don’t always apply. (some business’s get local subsidies or breaks to relocate or stay in an area). The key to me is that you do not have a level playing field, local businesses paying taxes in excess of benefits they receive competing against ecommerce firms that pay virtually nothing locally. Also, I should note that sales tax are technically a remittance of taxes paid by individuals/purchasers. In other words, retailers, ecommerce or otherwise, “remit” the taxes owing to the state paid by purchasers, they are not actually paying taxes themselves, despite what they want the public believe or put in their non-GAAP financial information. If a firm pays for something, pays sales tax, and does not get a credit (most businesses do on sales taxes), then I would say, they “paid” that tax.

        • The Walmart method is to offer sales tax benefits to LOCAL government, in exchange for building covenants. They then hire workers at less than living wage, who game benefits from COUNTY and STATE government. They play one community city hall against another. If your neighboring community gets the new store, you get the jobs, (liability) while they get the taxes (asset). Pretty sure the Amazon system works the same, which is why they were rejected in Queens despite Coumo’s generous offer.

  16. Mike says:

    Financial crisis for the working class and micro businesses. Is not that interesting that these globalist oppressors will not rest until a handful of them end up drinking champaign on planetary orbit while the rest of the population ends up working for them on close to minimal wage with no benefits as contractors? Is this the type of society we want?

    EU currently has more people working than last year. Just saying.

  17. Engin-ear says:

    I have no opinion on future global retail sales.

    China decides if they ship us goods or not.
    Central banks decide if they print us more credit or not.

    But I have an opinion on future mix eCommerce vs BnM.

    I expect an additional move to eCommerce specific to COVID19 :

    1. Traditional shops will increase running costs by implementing the new anti-virus gestures.
    2. The customer experience will suffer – think of queues at the entrance and staff hidden behind the masks.

    By the way, Amazon has a strong edge in the new world: their non-unionized delivery service takes more risks and is more performant than the good old national delivery companies.

  18. Michael Engel says:

    1) The Chinese Locus, in their stupidity, feaster on their best customers.
    2) US, x3 years ago, decided to curtail production and shipments from China. Covid 19 accelerate this process. Nobody can replace the buying power of US.
    3) US WAS and still is China best customer, but they get no respect from their suppliers.
    4) Within few years, US mfg will produce high end goods, that used to
    be produced for US and the rest of the world, in China.
    5) The industrial sector pay blue collar employees higher wages than the
    service sector.
    6) Arrogant China is building ferocious competitors in US. China cannot control this process. The globalist in wall street still don’t get it.
    7) Devaluation of the Yuan will not change the white house block diagram.
    8) US is building a wall against the devalued Yuan.
    9) This policy was enacted almost 200Y ago by Friedrich List : Our National
    System… for $9.99 in Amazon.

  19. Michael Engel says:

    1) Isaac Newton is dead. There are eight billions people in the world. Few are subjected to any deadly kinetic exchange. Kinetic at nadir. Most people are not aware of the growing activities of cyber attacks. Jeff Bezus Amazon Prime Tremblant in his delivery vans.
    2) Cyber attack can dissect utilities, highways and banks.
    3) Its so easy to separate shoppers from Amazon and their phones.
    4) U can click and click until tomorrow, but the order will not reach Amazon.
    5) Without redundancy ==> a brick of troubles dumped on our head.

  20. Malthus says:

    ME
    I’m worried.
    I’m starting to understand your posts.
    …and it’s not looking good…

  21. There was a relative outperformance of online retail during the GFC, we expect online retail to increase considerably as it becomes the pre-eminent focus of consumer spending.

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