The recent holiday quarter was a strong one for many retailers, but the specter of
com making more inroads is never far.
That’s the takeaway from a recent review by
analyst Ike Boruchow. He noted that while 2021 saw many shoppers return to bricks-and-mortar stores compared with a Covid-dampened 2020, that has done little to discourage Amazon (AMZN) in its plans to keep growing.
The shift to e-commerce that happened during the pandemic looks unlikely to fade, even if online sales slow a bit from the white-hot levels seen during lockdowns. And although some shoppers did venture back to the mall, that didn’t hurt Amazon, the country’s top seller of clothes and shoes.
Boruchow estimates that the company now sells more than $65 billion of apparel and footwear, almost double the total for
(WMT), in the No. 2 spot. Yet even with its spot at the top of the list, Amazon still has “clear ambitions to take ongoing share in the category,” he wrote.
He estimates that Amazon will notch apparel and footwear sales above $73 billion this year, bolstered by its investments in fulfillment centers. With the bulk of that outsize spending now behind the company, the company looks poised to reap greater profit from its retail operations as well.
Not surprisingly, Amazon is still top of mind for consumers as well. Boruchow’s survey of 1,000 Amazon shoppers showed that they are now more willing to consider Amazon as an apparel and footwear source than they were before the pandemic.
“Fashion Apparel is now a top 3 category US Amazon shoppers are most likely to purchase on Amazon (up from #9 last year)—pointing to the headway Amazon has made towards becoming a destination for fashion apparel in the eyes of the consumer,” he said.
Amazon reported a better-than-expected fourth quarter last month, although its online stores business was a bit weaker than Wall Street anticipated.
Amazon shares are down just over 1% this year. They are up nearly 7% in the past year and remain well above prepandemic levels.
Write to Teresa Rivas at [email protected]