comScore has published an analysis of online retail shopping trends from the fourth quarter of 2009.
As you can see, while the largest 25 retailers (including the likes of Amazon, Sears, Best Buy and Walmart) grew their sales by 11%, the remaining retailers saw their sales drop by 7%. That’s not say that each of the retailers outside of the top 25 saw their sales decline but, taken as a group, it’s clear that many smaller retailers struggled this past year. In these economically difficult times, I suspect that many smaller retailers are simply not able to compete with the aggressive promotions and price discounting being implemented by their larger brethren. There’s an old marketing axiom which says that companies who are able to continue to invest in marketing during recessionary times actually emerge from the recession in a stronger competitive condition. That certainly seems to hold true today for the larger online retailers.
Aren’t small mom and pop and even well funded marginal internet retailers destined to experience the same fate as their offline counterparts did during the decades long ascent of retailing behemoths like Walmart – except only more quickly?