The shift from physical to e-commerce is accelerating

Chart of the week

May’s retail sales figures have jumped sharply. Total sales shot up 17.7% in May, bringing volumes to 7.8%  of February’s level, before the crisis.

The rebound confirms the rise in online sales, which grew by 32.2% over two months. E-commerce now  accounts for 24% of retail sales, excluding cars and petrol.

Our analysis

An increasing share of retail sales is being carried out online. Prior to the last two months, e-commerce  accounted for 15% of retail sales, so lockdown appears to have accelerated the shift towards online shopping.  The question is whether the current level will become a new normal or whether there will be a return to the  previous long-term trend.

From a macroeconomic perspective, whether a purchase is made online or in-store matters little. However, if  the shift triggers retailer bankruptcies, the result will likely be a secondary economic impact.

 

See also :

Eurozone: PMI indices rebound in may

 

The opinion expressed above is dated 17 June 2020 and is liable to change.

 

This document is not pre-contractual or contractual in nature. It is provided for information purposes. The analyses and descriptions contained in this document shall not be interpreted as being advice or recommendations on the part of Lazard Frères Gestion SAS. This document does not constitute an offer or invitation to purchase or sell, nor an encouragement to invest. This document is the intellectual property of Lazard Frères Gestion SAS. LAZARD FRERES GESTION – a simplified joint stock company with share capital of €14,487,500 – Paris Trade and Companies Registry No. 352 213 599. 25, RUE DE COURCELLES – 75008 PARIS, FRANCE


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Julien-Pierre Nouen

Directeur des études économiques et de la gestion diversifiée