Since 2016, Civic Economics and the American Booksellers Association have collaborated to study the evolving impact of Amazon on the American Retail Landscape. Our continuous analysis of Amazon's retail activity has endowed us with a deep dataset dating to 2012.
The earliest iterations, entitled Empty Storefronts, focused on the accelerating displacement of storefronts and employment from commercial districts to outlying industrial parks, and quantified the enhanced local economic impact of independent booksellers over chain stores and online retailers.
The next iterations, in 2018 and 2019, were entitled Prime Numbers (PDF) for their focus on lost tax revenues associated with Amazon and other online retailers.
This iteration, UNFULFILLED, returns the focus to the economic benefit of independent retail and the displacement of economic activity from the traditional commercial districts around which American communities have historically been designed.
The infographics below hit the highlights of the study, but we invite you to download and read the complete report at left, and to reach out with questions to the American Booksellers Association or Civic Economics.
In previous iterations of our Amazon studies with the ABA, we provided detailed, state-by-state analyses of uncollected sales tax revenue. Happily, in UNFULFILLED, we were able to skip that analysis and, instead, celebrate the success of marketplace fairness campaigns across the nation.
Consumers have the power to enhance or weaken their local economy with every purchasing decision. Independent booksellers keep more money in the local economy than chain stores, while Amazon produces the bare minimum of local impact.