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Antitrust

11/04/2021

NetChoice Launches “Retail Is Everywhere” Initiative Analyzing the State of Retail

Zach Lilly
Zach Lilly Policy Manager

Today, NetChoice, a trade association that fights for free enterprise and free expression online, is launching an initiative entitled “Retail is Everywhere,” that will highlight the competitive and robust nature of retail. NetChoice’s Retail is Everywhere debuted a report titled Retail is Everywhere: A Look Into the Current State of Retail that analyzes how retail is far more dynamic than the “online versus in-store” dichotomy often referenced in discussions about retail.

Retailers of all sizes are competing, growing, and thriving. The report also reveals new research data on consumer preferences, which found that shoppers prefer retailers that offer a mix of physical and digital shopping options and believe they have more choice and convenience than ever.

Some lawmakers have claimed that small businesses can’t compete in retail, and therefore, legislation targeting large companies is needed to give smaller retailers a leg up on their competitors. Meanwhile, consumers and retailers don’t view the retail landscape as big vs small and offline vs online. Our research survey, conducted by Savanta, found that retail is full of opportunity and choice for retailers of all sizes and shoppers.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 68% prefer to shop at a business that offers both online and in-person shopping
  • More than two thirds conduct either online or offline research in 2-3 places before making a purchase
  • 77% of consumers feel it is important or somewhat important that a retailer offer a physical location
  • Overwhelming majority feel that shopping is more convenient than ever as retailers offer more fulfillment options
  • 80% of consumers believe retailers should be treated equally

“Retail is a dynamic space offering choice and convenience to both consumers and retailers. It is driven by innovation that has expanded the ways consumers shop, lowered prices, and improved the quality of products and services.” said Zach Lilly, Policy Manager at NetChoice and author of Retail is Everywhere: A Look Into the Current State of Retail. “Whether it is through brick and mortar locations, wholesaling, online marketplaces, business websites or a combination of these, retailers of all sizes have more ways to reach consumers and are succeeding.

Third-parties have also backed the findings of the research. Josh Withrow, Director of Technology Policy at National Taxpayers Union said:

  • “Lawmakers pushing changes to competition policy and other regulation of online marketplaces frequently act as though large digital retail platforms are somehow distinct from, or even an existential threat to, brick-and-mortar retailers. NetChoice’s new study brings the data to portray reality more accurately; that physical and online retailers are pushing one another and blending together to innovate and provide novel and beneficial services to consumers like never before.” –

Mario Lopez, President of the Hispanic Leadership Fund added:

  • “Congress and other policymakers would do well to look at the reality of the retail marketplace presented by the ‘Retail is Everywhere’ report. The report provides level-headed analysis of the retail industry based on actual data, and we endorse its findings as evidence of widespread competition and choice in retail.”

Ryan Young, Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute said:

  • “Activists from both parties are worried that online retail is on its way to being dominated by a few large companies. The solutions, they argue, are more antitrust enforcement and stricter regulations. This report shows those worries are unfounded.
  • One reason is that the relevant market is broader than many antitrust proponents will admit. Rather than a split between online and physical retail, consumers want both types of options. Keeping them apart is a false dichotomy, as many businesses are finding out the hard way. Companies are adapting to consumer needs, not the other way around. This rapid change is proof of a healthy competitive process.
  • Freezing today’s market in place with litigation and regulation would only entrench today’s biggest retailers, and prevent new retailers from finding new ways to better serve consumers.”

To learn more about how Retail is Everywhere, check out:

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