Department Stores and Digital Commerce 2017: Trends and Benchmarks - eMarketer
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Department Stores and Digital Commerce 2017: Trends and Benchmarks

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: November 16, 2017

Jump to: Executive Summary | Table of Contents | List of Charts

Executive Summary

Department stores in the US have been feeling pressure from all angles, though the growth of digital shopping is only partly to blame for the shuttering of shopping centers. The sector has been hardest hit by the success of beauty, specialty apparel and off-price retailers grabbing a greater share of ecommerce, as well as the disappearance of its natural habitat: malls.

  • Higher-end department stores tend to have a larger proportion of ecommerce sales, with some approaching 30% of total revenues. The more average rate for retailers in this sector is in the mid-teens.
  • A large share of apparel ecommerce traffic goes to department store websites, despite them not being a popular destination for shopping overall.
  • Omnichannel initiatives and in-store tech to improve the customer experience continue to be priorities for department stores, with new models emerging this year.
  • Changes are happening in the ways that retail marketers are viewing and repurposing stores—from using them as distribution hubs to branding vehicles. Some are questioning Wall Street’s focus on metrics like store productivity when omnichannel sales help drive the bottom line.

"US department store sales have been declining for over a decade, not just in pure numbers but also as a percentage of total retail."

Table of Contents

About eMarketer’s ‘Retailers and Digital Commerce’ Reports

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Retail Sales: A Struggling Sector

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Consumer Behavior: Department Stores Favored for Apparel and Holiday Gifts

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Department Store Trends

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7 charts are included in the full report:

Department Stores and Digital Commerce 2017: Trends and Benchmarks

US Department Store Retail Sales, 2008-2016 (billions and % of total retail sales*)

Retail Sales: A Struggling Sector

US Department Store Retail Sales, 2008-2016 (billions and % of total retail sales*)

US Department Store* Retail Ecommerce Sales Growth, 2013-2016 (% change)

In-Store and Ecommerce Sales for Select US Department Stores, 12 months ending April 29, 2017

Consumer Behavior: Department Stores Favored for Apparel and Holiday Gifts

Top 20 US Retail Sites, Ranked by Total Visits, Q1 2016 & Q1 2017 (millions)

Channels/Locations Where US Internet Users Plan to Purchase Back-to-School Products, July 2017 (% of respondents)