February 1, 2011, 1:59 PM

Top 500 analysis: It was web-only merchants and then everyone else in 2010

Fueled by Amazon.com, web-only retailers grew sales 37.8% in 2010.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

It’s early in the data analysis for Internet Retailer’s forthcoming 2011 Top 500 Guide, but one trend is already evident—web-only merchants took business away from the rest of the market in 2010.

Combined revenue for the 87 merchants that have so far reported annual web sales increased 32.9% to $46.53 billion in 2010 from $35 billion in 2009. In comparison, total retail sales grew year over year about 3% to $2.4 trillion last year from $2.33 trillion in 2009, according to the National Retail Federation.

Fueled by Amazon.com, web-only retailers grew the most in 2010. Among the 55 web-only retailers who have reported their revenue so far, sales were up 37.8% in 2010 to $39.47 billion from $28.64 billion in 2009.

Without Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide which grew sales year over year by 39.5% to $34.20 billion from $24.51 billion, the remaining 54 online-only merchants grew revenue 27.6% to $5.27 billion in 2010 from $4.13 billion in 2009.

The analysis of the 55 web-only retailers, 15 catalog companies, 14 chain retailers and three consumer brand manufacturers also reveals:

  • Even with only a handful of companies reporting e-commerce sales thus far, consumer brand manufacturers continue to see the Internet as a vital sales channel. Top 500 manufacturers posted combined sales of $340.4 million in 2010 from $233.2 million in 2009, an increase of 46%.
  • Store-based retailers continue to generate more business online. The combined web sales of chain retailers grew 13.8% to $4.30 billion last year from $3.78 billion in 2009.
  • Catalogers posted the lowest growth rates among all Top 500 merchant types in 2010, growing web sales 3% year over year to $2.41 billion from $2.34 billion.
  •  Without Amazon, the remaining 87 merchants experienced annual growth of 17.5% from sales of $10.49 billion in 2009 to $12.33 billion in 2010.




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