Although Internet Retailer is reporting 20% ecommerce growth among the top 500 etailers in 2008 based on their preliminary survey returns, Comscore notes that there was actually a 3% decline in ecommerce sales in q4 2008. The later statistic seems to be more in line with most retailers experience. However, the prognosis is not equally bad across all categories. Comscore notes that some categories (sport and fitness, video games, consumer electronics and apparel) actually saw growth last quarter:
Comscore speculates that this supports more “nesting” behavior in the recession.
McKinsey (free registration required) looks at all consumer expenditure across the last two recessions (not just ecommerce) and also finds some areas that grow while others decline: