Retailers launch campaign to eliminate Alibaba ‘threat’
Washington, D.C. – The Alliance for Main Street Fairness (AMSF) launched a television advertising campaign to educate lawmakers on what is says is the imminent threat posed by China's online mega-retailer Alibaba as it enters the U.S. retail market. Retailers are asking the U.S. House of Representatives to join the U.S. Senate by passing e-fairness legislation that closes the online sales tax loophole this year.
Alibaba is on pace to become the largest online retailer in the world. In one day, Alibaba had more online sales ($9.3 billion) than all U.S. online sales during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend. According to AMSF, Alibaba's emergence in the American retail market will allow them to exploit the online sales tax loophole that allows online retailers to avoid charging sales tax in states where they do not have any physical operations (stores or distribution facilities).
In 2013, the U.S Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would close the online loophole and require all remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax just like their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
"Lots of politicians talked a good game this weekend, posting warm and fuzzy statements about Small Business Saturday and support for small businesses on their Facebook pages,” saidJoshua Baca, spokesperson for the Alliance for Main Street Fairness. “But we need Congress to do more than talk, we need them to act to support small businesses. There will be fewer small businesses to choose from next year if Congress continues to delay and gives companies like Alibaba a special tax advantage over local retailers."
Black Friday beats Thanksgiving on social media
Move over pumpkin pie: Black Friday fervor seemed to stir up more conversations on social media than the Thanksgiving holiday itself.
According to Salesforce.com, social media posts about Black Friday shopping numbered 2.7 million. Roughly 278,000 posts were stamped with the hashtag "#blackfriday" and another 8,000 were labeled "#deals," vs. just 85,000 with "#Thanksgiving."
There were also about 1.84 million holiday shopping posts on Thanksgiving Day, and about 719,000 posts the day before Thanksgiving.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving saw a drop to about 606,000 holiday shopping social posts.
Other notable trends included:
- Women represented a majority of holiday shopping posters each day, averaging around 60% of the total and peaking at 65% on Wednesday.
- Key topics by day were Cyber Monday, with 50,000 posts on Wednesday, Black Friday with 457,000 posts on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday brawls with 63,000 mentions on Friday, and Cyber Monday with 61,000 mentions on Saturday.
- Kohl’s was most-mentioned brand every day except Saturday, when Apple was the most-mentioned brand in anticipation of Cyber Monday.
- #blackfriday was the top holiday shopping hashtag on all four days, including the Saturday after Black Friday.
Study – Online retail to grow to $512 billion by 2020
Washington, D.C. – Online sales are expected to reach $300 billion in 2014, $335 billion in 2015 and $512 billion by 2020. According to predictions from FTI Consulting Inc., despite sluggish retail sales in the past year, FTI Consulting's Retail & Consumer Product experts believe online sales will continue to grow at a double-digit rate for the next several years.
FTI Consulting reports that the online channel's share of total retail sales (excluding autos and gasoline) is now approaching 11% compared with 7.4% in 2010. The online channel also accounts for approximately 15% of general merchandise, apparel and accessories, furniture and other sales ("GAFO") category spending during the holiday season. FTI Consulting believes that nearly three-quarters of the growth in sales will accrue to the online channel. The continued momentum of the online channel is led by mobile devices.
In addition, prompted by the spillover of spending from holiday gift card redemption, January remains the strongest month for online shopping relative to total monthly retail sales. This trend has strengthened in recent years.
The 2014 Holiday Retail Forecast considers GAFO retail sales and non-store sales for November 2014 through January 2015, and projects a 3.5% increase in nominal holiday sales this season.