Germany has seen a steep rise in online and mail-order shopping, a new study has found. Some experts warn this trend is having a huge impact on conventional stores, with lots of them having to give up as a result.
Online and mail-order trade volumes experienced a massive boost in Germany throughout 2013, the national mail-order business association BVH announced Tuesday.
Total revenues surged by a staggering 23 percent year-on-year to 48.3 billion euros ($66.3 billion).
The biggest single item in the turnover was the sale of clothing, with customers ordering items worth 11.6 billion euros. Other hot-selling goods were books and consumer electronics.
Many market experts believed the drastic rise in online shopping would mean the demise of many more conventional shops particularly in rural areas.
"The flood gates are wide open," eWeb Research center trading expert Gerrit Heinemann commented. "Online traders are bound to take away an even bigger share of retail revenues from conventional stores in the years ahead."
And a trend reversal was not in sight, the German Association of Retailers, HDE, maintained. It expected growth in online shopping to expand times as fast as the retail trade as a whole, with an estimated 25 percent of all purchases to be made online in Germany within ten years.
hg/hc (dpa, AFP)