More than 20 years after the internet was opened to commerce, the Census Bureau tells us that brick and mortar sales accounted for 92.3 percent of retail sales in the first quarter of 2016. Their data show that only 0.8 percent of retail sales shifted from offline to online between the beginning of 2015 and 2016. So, despite all the talk about drone deliveries to your doorstep, and all the retail execs expressing angst over consumers going online, the Census data suggest that physical retail is thriving. Of course, the shuttered stores, depressed execs, and tanking stocks suggest otherwise. What’s the real story?
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HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW 5/30/2016