Ecommerce Isn't Cheap

Recently came across (h/t: @scotwingo) an AlixPartners study of 20 publicly traded retailers that publicly announce online sales separately from brick & mortar along with earnings. The findings are as you would expect. Ecommerce growth does not come cheap and has led to severe declines in profitability. The cost of shipping, the high return rates and additional labor in the chase for growth just isn't paying off in EBIT percentages.

Even worse is how much tougher the shift to online purchasing has become for battered department stores. It's no wonder off-price retailers like Burlington, TJX and Ross aren't in a rush to push into ecommerce as long as new store openings fuel growth.