Amazon Captures 5 Percent Of American Retail Spending. Is That A Lot?

by MR Magazine Staff

Americans last year bought about $200 billion worth of stuff from Amazon and its Whole Foods grocery stores. That figure is based on a Bloomberg Intelligence estimate that Amazon sold about $300 billion in merchandise in 2017 and the company’s report that two-thirds of its revenue comes from the U.S. If that’s accurate, Inc. captured about 5 percent of Americans’ retail spending, excluding cars and car parts and visits to restaurants and bars. Whether 5 percent is a lot or a little is in the eye of the beholder. President Trump and the left-leaning think tank the Open Markets Institute have suggested that antimonopoly laws should be used to tie Amazon’s hands. An influential 2017 article in the Yale Law Journal said Amazon’s market size and short-term prices don’t effectively reflect the company’s ability to crush competition. Amazon has responded that it’s a minnow in America’s vast retail sea: For comparison, Walmart Inc.’s U.S. sales were $381 billion in its latest fiscal year, or about 10 percent of Americans’ spending (again, excluding restaurants, bars, and cars). Read more at Bloomberg.