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Chart of the week: clicks eclipse bricks in US retail

America’s retail sector has reached a major milestone. In the first quarter, online sales overtook in-store sales for the first time on record.

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America's retail sector has reached a major milestone. In the first quarter, online sales overtook in-store sales for the first time on record, says Justin Walters of the Bespoke Investment Group. The trend was confirmed by the latest figures from the Commerce Department, which noted that the "general merchandise" category comprised 11.8% of overall retail sales in May, compared with non-store sales' 11.9%.

In the US the general merchandise category refers mainly to supercentres, such as Walmart, department stores, and warehouse clubs, such as Costco. Food and drink, cars, petrol and restaurants are counted separately. Cars and car parts jointly make up the biggest sector, accounting for a fifth of overall sales.

Viewpoint

Ben Marlow, The Sunday Telegraph

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