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An inside look at Amazon’s housewares business

March 2, 2017 07:00 AM
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A new glimpse at the inner workings of Amazon.com Inc.’s pull in the housewares category sheds light on the impact the online retailer has online and offline.

Amazon does not break down its sales by product category in its public filings—it only breaks out its revenue by media, electronics and other general merchandise. However, a report from retail analytics firm One Click Retail suggests the housewares category is a growing part of Amazon’s business. What’s more, Amazon is becoming a major player in the housewares industry—online and offline.

Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, sold roughly $7 billion worth of housewares products alone to U.S. consumers last year—a 33% jump from 2015, OneClick estimates. That’s 13% more than the $6.2 billion Internet Retailer estimates Macy’s Inc. (No. 6) sold globally online in 2015 across all categories, and double the $3.3 billion top web-only housewares merchant—Wayfair Inc. (No. 24)—sold last year.

It’s also more than three times the year-over-year growth rate of the U.S. housewares market as a whole, which One Click pegs at 9.4%. The analytics firm further estimates that the housewares category alone contributed to 15% of Amazon’s sales growth last year.

One Click uses a combination of website indexing, machine learning and proprietary software to estimate weekly online sales figures at the SKU level on Amazon. The firm claims it has run its sales estimates by brand manufacturers that sell on Amazon, and that its data is 98.5% accurate. Included in the housewares category are such items as home decor, bath products, artwork, bedding, cooking appliances, bakeware and storage items. Furniture is not included in One Click’s estimates.

Here are some top sellers of kitchen-related items specifically, as well as a breakdown of year-over-year growth rates of segments of this category.

Amazon’s growing share of the housewares industry isn’t all that surprising, as consumers increasingly buy more home-related items on the web. A recent Internet Retailer report, “At Home on the Web,” finds that 18.0% of housewares and home furnishings purchases were placed online in 2015—up 220 basis points from 15.8% in 2014.


 

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