February 24, 2010, 12:00 AM

Web-only retailers took the center stage for revenue growth in 2009

Among the 99 web-only retailers who have reported sales thus far for the 2010 Top 500 Guide, their combined 2009 sales increased 25.2%. Manufacturers grew 12.7% while catalogers and chain retailers declined 3.7% and 2.6%, respectively.

With 35% of Top 500 retailers now breaking out annual web sales, it’s clear that web-only merchants took business away from the rest of the retail market in 2009, according to analysis of data for Internet Retailer’s forthcoming 2010 Top 500 Guide.

Combined revenue for the 175 merchants that have reported annual web sales so far increased 13.8% to $49.70 billion in 2009 from $43.69 billion in 2008. However, among the 99 web-only retailers who have reported sales thus far, sales increased 25.2% to $32.45 billion from $25.92 billion in 2008. Even excluding growth powerhouse Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, which grew 27.9% to $24.51 billion from $19.17 billion in 2008, the remaining 98 web-only retailers grew 17.6% to $7.94 billion from $6.75 billion.

The analysis of 99 web-only retailers, 36 chain retailers, 32 catalog companies and eight consumer brand manufacturers reveals:

  • Even though only a few consumer brand manufacturers have released e-commerce figures thus far, that group grew collective annual web sales by 12.7% to $487.6 million from $432.5 million in 2008.
  • Chain retailers’ web sales declined 3.7% in 2009 to $12.94 billion from $13.44 billion.
  • Catalogers posted a 2.6% decline in online revenue to $3.8 billion from $3.9 billion.

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