The feat, charted by TWICE Magazine’s annual Top 100 Consumer Electronics Retailers report, comes less than 17 years after the e-tailer launched its first online tech store.
In the process, the House That Jeff Bezos Built has leapfrogged multitudes of mighty electronics merchants like Apple, Target and Sears, and arguably helped vanquish others, like Circuit City and Sony Stores.
This time around, Amazon has edged out the world’s largest retailer — Walmart — for the No. 2 spot on the TWICE hit parade, relegating the discount chain to third place.
How did Amazon do it? By driving a 28.1 percent increase in U.S. consumer electronics sales last year, to $23.1 billion, using a vast arsenal of tools. They include:
*proprietary products like Fire TV streaming media devices, Fire tablets, and Kindle e-readers;
*the $99/year Amazon Prime membership program, which provides two-day and, increasingly, same-day delivery, and access to millions of songs, books, TV shows and movies, including original content; and
*perhaps most compelling, its hard-to-beat prices and fastidious customer service.
In contrast, Walmart’s electronics sales rose 2.6 percent last year, to $22.2 billion, and those of No. 1 tech retailer Best Buy increased 3.8 percent, to $30.9 billion.
Indeed, Amazon’s gains came at the expense of a retail channel that could use a little loving. Total sales for the country’s 100 largest electronics retailers — representing about three-quarters of all U.S. consumer tech sales — rose 4.3 percent last year, to $130 billion, giving Amazon a 17 percent piece of the Top 100 pie.
That’s a far cry from just ten years ago, when the e-tailer ranked 18th on the TWICE charts, behind Newegg.com and the long-since shuttered Tweeter audio/video chain.
During the ensuing decade, Amazon’s electronics sales grew a chart-topping 118 percent, which must certainly give Best Buy pause as Bezos looms ever larger in its rearview mirror.
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The complete report, developed in conjunction with longtime TWICE market research partner The Stevenson Company and its proprietary TraQline consumer tracking platform, is available for purchase here.