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COVID-19 pandemic accelerated shift to e-commerce by 5 years, new report says

As the COVID-19 pandemic reshapes our world, more consumers have begun shopping online in greater numbers and frequency. According to new data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Index, the pandemic has accelerated the shift away from physical stores to digital shopping by roughly five years. Department stores, as a result, are seeing significant declines. In the first quarter of 2020, department store sales and those from other “non-essential” retailers declined by 25%. This grew to a 75% decline in the second quarter.
The report indicates that department stores are expected to decline by over 60% for the full year. Meanwhile, e-commerce is projected to grow by nearly 20% in 2020.
The pandemic has also helped refine which categories of goods consumers feel are essential, the study found. Clothing, for example, declined in importance as more consumers began working and schooling from home, as well as social distancing under government lockdowns. However, other categories, including groceries, alcohol and home improvement materials, accelerated, by 12%, 16% and 14%, respectively.
COVID-19 pandemic accelerated shift to e-commerce by 5 years, new report says
Image Credits: IBM
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