Facebook’s product is important because email is the most cost-effective marketing channel that online retailers use.
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One offline retailer that does not expect to see any diminishment in offline shopping is Costco Wholesale Corp. "We have gas stations in many locations where we offer a significant discount to our members. Business has picked up significantly at those locations," says Ginnie Roeglin, senior vice president of e-commerce and publishing for Costco. "It’s actually driven sales to the warehouses as people come to buy gas and go inside to shop."
So no matter whether consumers go online or consolidate their shopping trips, or both, it’s clear that gasoline prices are having an impact on retail sales. The only real questions are how high will gas go and what further changes gas prices will have on retail spending.