Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Softer Side of Department Store Sales

Click to enlarge.

See Also:
Quote of the Day (Musical Tribute)

Source Data:
U.S. Census: Retail Trade: Department Stores (Excl. Leased Dept.)
St. Louis Fed: CPI
St. Louis Fed: Population


Fatboy said...

Not adjusted for inflation? Check out the same data on a per store basis. The trend is even lower

Stagflationary Mark said...


It is adjusted for inflation.

Troy said...

hmm. Interesting. There was a demographic surge of the 5-40 yo population -- as it was 100M in 1952, 110M in 1962, 120M in 1970, 130M in 1979, but stuck at the 134M level from 1986-1999. This doesn't count immigrants, which would skew the numbers a bit (~1M/yr net add) I guess.

In 2003-2006 this active consumer population bottomed out at the 132M level but is now over 136M as the baby boom echo starts replacing themselves.

It will hit 140M in 2016 and and 150M in 2030, and maybe 160M by 2050.

Stagflationary Mark said...


I think the bulk of the decline can be attributed to the exponential rise in nonstore retail sales (Amazon.com) and a stagnant economy.

It is also leading to the exponential failure in the overall growth of retail sales employees, since nonstore retailers require far fewer employees per dollar in revenue.