The Great Retail Shift
Good retail figures today from the ONS, with another decade high:
• Year-on-year estimates of the quantity bought in the retail industry continued to show growth for the 20th consecutive month. In November 2014, the quantity bought increased by 6.4% compared with November 2013. This was the highest year-on-year increase since May 2004 when it grew by 6.9%.
This is always my favourite series:
There have been quite a number of papers over recent years (e.g. Cheshire et al, 2012) documenting how UK land use regulation has damaged retail productivity, for instance by restricting store size. I wonder to what extent the shift to on-line shopping is both a response to – and ultimately a route around – those regulatory restrictions. On a per capita basis, Amazon appears to have more warehouses in the UK than any other country; it would be fascinating to know how their productivity compares across countries.