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Expand chart
Data: U.S. Census Bureau and FTI Consulting analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

Expect retail's recent boom to ebb after June.

What's new: FTI Consulting writes in a report, out this morning, that for many retailers, the second quarter "might represent the last hurrah in a one-year period of above-average consumer spending on goods, largely subsidized by Uncle Sam."

Why it matters: As the economy reopens, there are more experiences and services to spend money on, and the discretionary cushions are disappearing. Retail sales already dipped slightly in May.

The big picture: E-commerce encroached further into brick-and-mortar market share during the pandemic, as those who had rarely shopped online were forced to do so.

  • The market share of online retail sales grew to 19.8% in the first quarter of this year, up from 19% in 2020 and 15.4% in 2019.

The online share will rise further.

  • FTI projects that online retail sales will grow 13.5% this year compared to 2020, reaching $865 billion.
  • That would represent a 20.5% market share of retail sales in the U.S. (excluding cars and gas), the firm forecasts.

The Amazon effect: About 62% of the respondents to FTI's survey said they did most of their shopping online at Amazon.

  • However, more than 60% said they shopped direct-to-consumer channels more often last year, including 36% who said significantly more.
  • Worryingly for Main Street, almost no one said they avoided Amazon in order to support smaller or local businesses.

What to watch: Whether the pandemic-induced demand for online shopping has changed behavior for good.

  • Less than 20% of those surveyed said they really missed in-store shopping. 
  • "Consumers have embraced online shopping to a new extent. We do not foresee a drastic shift or reversal in these behaviors as the economy fully reopens," J.D. Wichser, leader of FTI's retail & consumer products practice, said in a statement.

Go deeper

Arkansans bring happy hour home during the pandemic

Expand chart
Data: Department of Finance and Administration; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Bars and restaurants took financial hits last year as the pandemic drastically limited their business, but it doesn't appear to have impacted the consumption of alcohol in Arkansas.

What's happening: After nine years of growth, the taxes collected on the sale of beer, liquor and mixed drinks in the state dropped 6% to $32 million in 2020.

  • This compares with an all-time high of $35 million in 2019, according to the state Department of Finance and Administration.
  • No entity collects data on total state alcohol sales, so tax collections are the best indicator of consumption.
28 mins ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.