Amazon is the most-shopped apparel retailer, surpassing Walmart Inc., according to Coresight Research. While Coresight is the only research firm to suggest that Amazon and Walmart have traded places in the apparel sweepstakes, the well-respected researcher said it reached its conclusion by conducting an online survey of 1,732 demographically representative adults in the U.S. between Jan. 28 and Feb. 5. About 94 percent of the respondents had bought clothing or footwear in the past year.
In the past year, 65 percent of respondents bought clothing or footwear from Amazon, and apparel is the category that’s purchased most often on the site. That means apparel has pushed ahead of books, beauty and electronics to reach the number-one slot, the latter two categories have historically been Amazon strongholds.
Amazon continues to grow its private label offerings. According to Coresight, Amazon offered 4,904 private label apparel products. The research company’s survey showed strong demand for the collections. The digital giant’s private apparel labels are the fourth-most purchased clothing and footwear “brands” on the site. Only Nike, Under Armour and Adidas ranked higher than Amazon’s private labels, collectively.
Coresight also saw high interest among consumers in trying Amazon’s private labels, with 21.5 percent of respondents saying they’d opt to purchase apparel or footwear in this category.
There’s bad news for mass merchants in the findings. When consumers of Amazon clothing and footwear were asked to name the retailers they’d switched apparel spending from, the top answer was Walmart, closely followed by Target. “We believe this reflects Amazon’s incremental shift toward the very heart of the apparel market, given Walmart has long been the biggest retailer of apparel in the U.S.,” Coresight said.
Department store shoppers are switching to Amazon in high numbers. Macy’s and J.C. Penney have lost a disproportionately high number of apparel consumers, in part or in full to Amazon. T.J. Maxx and Marshalls consumers are also switching to Amazon in meaningful rates. About 19 percent of respondents said they switched some or all of their apparel spend from T.J. Maxx and Marshalls to Amazon in 2019, up from 16.6 percent in the 2018 survey.
Ease of browsing followed by good or cheap delivery were the top reasons for shopping Amazon, along with broad assortment.
If there’s any silver lining for retailers, it’s that penetration rates for apparel shopping among Prime members may be close to peak or at peak. “To grow apparel sales from Prime members, Amazon may need to turn to levers such as increasing average spend and frequency of purchase.”