Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Business establishments in electronic shopping triple from 2001 to 2017

July 23, 2018

From 2001 to 2017, the number of business establishments in the electronic shopping and mail order houses industry tripled and employment increased by 68 percent. Over that period, the number of establishments decreased in most other retail trade industries.

Percent change in employment and establishments, selected retail industries, 2001 to 2017, annual averages
Industry Percent change in establishments(p) Percent change in employment(p) Employment in 2017(p)

Electronic shopping and mail-order houses

199.0% 67.8% 402,791

Health and personal care stores

43.4 13.7 1,066,464

Beer, wine, and liquor stores

21.9 11.7 157,327

Clothing stores

12.1 7.9 1,037,101

Other miscellaneous store retailers

9.9 10.4 335,369

Auto parts, accessories, and tire stores

7.1 12.3 553,348

Direct selling establishments

6.5 -21.8 132,608

Grocery stores

5.2 6.7 2,700,833

Used merchandise stores

4.6 64.7 174,387

Sporting goods and musical instrument stores

-2.3 16.9 516,696

Gasoline stations

-2.3 1.3 931,908

Other motor vehicle dealers

-7.9 13.3 154,067

Automobile dealers

-7.9 5.2 1,290,996

Lawn and garden equipment and supplies stores

-9.9 -0.7 154,638

Specialty foods stores

-12.1 -14.0 228,601

Building material and garden supply stores

-12.6 14.7 1,129,136

Electronics and appliance stores

-19.1 -9.6 503,317

Shoe stores

-19.2 10.9 209,434

Furniture stores

-19.3 -20.9 223,031

Home furnishing stores

-20.5 -1.6 251,932

Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores

-25.5 -23.2 134,008

Vending machine operators

-41.4 -41.1 38,668

Office supplies, stationery, and gift stores

-42.1 -43.1 259,573


-45.6 -51.6 60,277

Book stores and news dealers

-65.3 -66.3 80,905

(p) = preliminary.

From 2001 to 2017, other industries that experienced an increase in employment and establishments included health and personal care stores; beer, wine, and liquor stores; clothing stores; and auto parts, accessories and tire stores.

The number of establishments in book stores and news dealers decreased 65 percent from 2001 to 2017, while employment in that industry decreased 66 percent. Over that period, employment in florists decreased by 52 percent to 60,277 in 2017. The number of florist shops decreased by 46 percent. Employment in office supplies, stationery, and gift shops decreased to 259,573 in 2017, a 43-percent decrease from 2001. Establishments in this industry decreased 42 percent over the same period.

Among retail industries with an increase in employment from 2001 to 2017, several experienced a decrease in their number of establishments. These industries included shoe stores and building material and garden supply stores, which experienced a decrease of over 10 percent.

These data are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. For more data on establishments and employment, see the QCEW data retrieval tool.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Business establishments in electronic shopping triple from 2001 to 2017 at (visited July 15, 2024).

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics