Report: Convenience Drives Internet Retail Channel Growth

NEW YORK - Shopping on the Internet is experiencing rapid growth today due to a combination of factors led by convenience, according to a national study, "How America Shops 2002, The Overstuffed Consumer," conducted by WSL Strategic Retail, in New York.

"Even before September 11, we saw consumers losing the urge to buy and looking for ways to simplify their shopping lives. No longer do consumers have a desire for more of the same old merchandise, and unless retailers offer innovative products in attractive, convenient and entertaining venues, they find themselves in a precarious position," said Wendy Liebmann, president, WSL Strategic Retail. "As convenience becomes increasingly important to consumers who are streamlining their shopping habits to include fewer weekly shopping trips, retailers like supermarkets, mass retailers and drugstores find themselves in increasing jeopardy."

WSL Strategic Retail began charting the growth of the Internet as a retail channel in 1998, and its latest report maintains that the Internet is a vital and vibrant retail channel. "On a quarterly basis, Internet shopping is up to 24 percent from 10 percent in 2000 and five percent in 1998," Liebmann said.

The report also finds that equal percentages of 18-to 34-year-olds (29 percent) and 35-to 54-year-olds (27 percent) shop on the Internet; however, it is still a higher-income shoppers' channel (41 percent with incomes over $70,000 vs. 26 percent or less with incomes under $70,000).
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