What was years in the making has finally happened, with Amazon passing Walmart to become the largest apparel retailer in the US.
Experts had been predicting Amazon would overtake Walmart for years. Like many other transformations, however, the pandemic is what finally pushed the online giant across the finish line. As individuals remained in lockdown and avoided crowded stores, Amazon’s business went into overdrive.
According to Wells Fargo, via CNBC, that was enough to help it surpass Walmart in the apparel space, with its apparel and footwear growing an estimated 15% in 2020 to more than $41 billion. That gives it a solid 20% to 25% lead over Walmart.
“This represents highly impressive 11%-12% share of all apparel sold in the U.S. and 34%-35% share of all apparel sold online,” wrote Wells Fargo analysts Ike Boruchow and Tom Nikic. “We now estimate Amazon will surpass $45 billion in apparel/footwear sales in 2021.”
Interestingly, the outlook was not all roses for Amazon, as there are still some high-profile brands that refuse to sell on the online store. Much of this is due to the way Amazon approaches the business, focusing on sales over helping companies build their brand.
“Until Amazon becomes a platform that works with companies to elevate brands, rather than viewing the relationship as transactional, companies who are fiercely protective of their brands (e.g. Nike), will not sell to Amazon,” said the analysts.