This article examines the current and medium-term future impact of Internet-based sales on the physical retail store format. The web-based retail sector currently has a minimal financial effect on physical-based retail. The evolution of e-retail sales will likely mimic that of the catalogue industry in terms of ultimate market share potential. Certain categories of goods (travel computers, electronic services, books, toys, and sporting goods) lend themselves more readily to shopping by computer and, therefore, are more susceptible to e-based competition. However, with Internet commerce firm profit forecasts still in the distant future, cutthroat price competition, and distribution and tactility constraints, e-retail will continue to present a relatively minor risk to experience-oriented and non-commodity physical retailers.
- Copyright ©2000 The Regents of the University of California