The Retail Trade sector (sector 44-45) comprises establishments engaged in retailing merchandise, generally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise.
The retailing process is the final step in the distribution of merchandise; retailers are, therefore, organized to sell merchandise in small quantities to the general public. This sector comprises two main types of retailers: store and nonstore retailers.
Store retailers operate fixed point-of-sale locations, located and designed to attract a high volume of walk-in customers. In general, retail stores have extensive displays of merchandise and use mass-media advertising to attract customers. They typically sell merchandise to the general public for personal or household consumption, but some also serve business and institutional clients. In addition to retailing merchandise, some types of store retailers are also engaged in the provision of after-sales services, such as repair and installation. As a general rule, establishments engaged in retailing merchandise and providing after-sales services are classified in this sector.
Nonstore retailers, like store retailers, are organized to serve the general public, but their retailing methods differ. The establishments of this subsector reach customers and market merchandise with methods such as the broadcasting of “infomercials,” the broadcasting and publishing of direct-response advertising, the publishing of paper and electronic catalogs, door-to-door solicitation, in-home demonstration, selling from portable stalls (street vendors, except food), and distribution through vending machines. Establishments engaged in the direct sale (nonstore) of products, such as home heating oil dealers and home delivery newspaper routes, are classified in this sector.
Exclusions. Excluded from this sector are governmental organizations classified in the covered industries except for liquor stores operated by state and local governments. Data for direct sellers with no paid employees and post exchanges, ship stores, and similar establishments operated on military posts by agencies of the federal government are not included.
The tabulations for this sector do not include central administrative offices, warehouses, or other establishments that serve retail establishments within the same organization. Data for such establishments are classified according to the nature of the service they provide. For example, separate headquarters establishments are reported in NAICS sector 55, Management of Companies and Enterprises.
The reports described below exclude establishments of firms with no paid employees. These “nonemployers,” typically self-employed individuals or partnerships operating businesses that they have not chosen to incorporate, are reported separately in Nonemployer Statistics. The contribution of nonemployers, moderate for this sector, may be examined at www.census.gov/nonemployerimpact.
Definitions. Industry categories are defined in Appendix B, NAICS Codes, Titles, and Descriptions. Other terms are defined in Appendix A, Explanation of Terms.
The following reports provide statistics on this sector.
Industry Series. There are 21 reports, each covering a group of related industries. The reports present, by kind of business for the United States, general statistics for establishments of firms with payroll on number of establishments, sales, payroll, and employment; comparative statistics for 2002 and 1997; product lines; and concentration of business activity in the largest firms. The data in industry reports are preliminary and subject to change in the following reports.
Geographic Area Series. There is a separate report for each state, the District of Columbia, and the United States. Each state report presents, for establishments of firms with payroll, general statistics on number of establishments, sales, payroll, and employment by kind of business for the state, metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, counties, and places with 2,500 inhabitants or more. Greater kind-of-business detail is shown for larger areas. The United States report presents data for the United States as a whole for detailed kind-of-business classifications.
ZIP Code Statistics. This report presents data for establishments of firms with payroll by United States ZIP Code.
Other reports. Data for this sector are also included in reports with multisector coverage, including Nonemployer Statistics, Comparative Statistics, Bridge Between 2002 NAICS and 1997 NAICS, Business Expenses, and the Survey of Business Owners reports.
The level of geographic detail varies by report. Maps are available at www.census.gov/econ2002maps. Notes specific to areas in the state are included in Appendix D, Geographic Notes. Data may be presented for –
All dollar values presented are expressed in current dollars; i.e., 2002 data are expressed in 2002 dollars, and 1997 data, in 1997 dollars. Consequently, when making comparisons with prior years, users of the data should consider the changes in prices that have occurred.
All dollar values are shown in thousands of dollars.
Both the 2002 Economic Census and the 1997 Economic Census present data based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). There were revisions to some industries in this sector for 2002.
For the retail trade sector, additional levels of detail for department stores and nonstore retailers are included in 2002 NAICS. Department stores are now further broken down into Department Stores (except Discount Department Stores) and Discount Department Stores. Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses are now further broken down into Electronic Shopping, Electronic Auctions, and Mail-Order Houses.
All data compiled for this sector are subject to nonsampling errors. Nonsampling errors can be attributed to many sources: inability to identify all cases in the actual universe; definition and classification difficulties; differences in the interpretation of questions; errors in recording or coding the data obtained; and other errors of collection, response, coverage, processing, and estimation for missing or misreported data. Data presented in the Miscellaneous Subjects and Product Lines reports for this sector are subject to sampling errors, as well as nonsampling errors.
The accuracy of these tabulated data is determined by the joint effects of the various nonsampling errors or by the joint effects of sampling and nonsampling errors. No direct measurement of these effects has been obtained except for estimation for missing or misreported data, as by the percentages shown in the tables. Precautionary steps were taken in all phases of the collection, processing, and tabulation of the data in an effort to minimize the effects of nonsampling errors. More information on the reliability of the data is included in Appendix C, Methodology.
In accordance with federal law governing census reports (Title 13 of the United States Code), no data are published that would disclose the operations of an individual establishment or business. However, the number of establishments in a kind-of-business classification is not considered a disclosure; therefore, this information may be released even though other information is withheld. Techniques employed to limit disclosure are discussed at www.census.gov/epcd/ec02/disclosure.htm.
The Census Bureau conducts annual and monthly surveys on retail trade. These surveys, while providing more frequent observations, yield less kind-of-business and geographic detail than the economic census. In addition, the County Business Patterns program offers annual statistics on the number of establishments, employment, and payroll classified by industry within each county, and Statistics of U.S. Businesses provides annual statistics classified by the employment size of the enterprise, further classified by industry for the United States, and by broader categories for states and metropolitan areas.
Questions about these data may be directed to the U.S. Census Bureau, Service Sector Statistics Division, Retail Census Branch, 1-800-541-8345 or email@example.com.
The following abbreviations and symbols are used with these data:
|D||Withheld to avoid disclosing data of individual companies; data are included in higher level totals|
|N||Not available or not comparable|
|S||Withheld because estimates did not meet publication standards|
|Z||Less than half the unit shown|
|a||0 to 19 employees|
|b||20 to 99 employees|
|c||100 to 249 employees|
|e||250 to 499 employees|
|f||500 to 999 employees|
|g||1,000 to 2,499 employees|
|h||2,500 to 4,999 employees|
|i||5,000 to 9,999 employees|
|j||10,000 to 24,999 employees|
|k||25,000 to 49,999 employees|
|l||50,000 to 99,999 employees|
|m||100,000 employees or more|
|–||Represents zero (page image/print only)|
|(IC)||Independent city||CDP||Census designated place|