Amazon’s shoe business outpacing brick-and-mortar competitors

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Amazon’s shoe business outpacing brick-and-mortar competitors

By Deena M. Amato-McCoy - 08/03/2017

Amazon’s investments in the shoe business are paying off.

While 2017 is not even close to over, it is shaping up to being a strong year for shoes on Amazon. The company has already experienced 18% growth year-over-year during the first two quarters, alone. For 2016, Amazon had a total of 35% year-over-year growth, according to a study by One Click Retail.

These growth rates blow away total U.S. shoe revenues for 2016, which topped out at a 5% year-over-year increase. These were based on online and offline purchases among shoe-specific stores.

Amazon’s best-selling category for the first two quarters of 2017 is athletic shoes, which so far, has generated $205 million in sales. However, the category has only experienced a 45% YoY growth rate to date.

The company’s biggest growth category so far is juniors, which is at a 235% year-over-year growth rate, generating $120 million in sales to date. Comfort shoes is at a 210% growth, and kids’ shoes are at a 40% growth rate so far.

Adidas claims the title for the top growing item in Amazon’s shoe portfolio for the first two quarters.

Based on Amazon’s recent investments, the company’s shoe sales are on pace to continue their upward trajectory. Buying Zappos in 2009 for $1.2 billion gave Amazon a leg up in the category, but new opportunities are on the horizon. On July 25, the online giant stepped up its game with the introduction of The Fix, new private-label shoe and handbag line.

In June, Amazon introduced its Prime Wardrobe service, a program that allows Prime members to try on shoes, clothing and accessories for free. Shoppers can keep the merchandise for seven days, returning unwanted pieces and paying only for the items they keep.

The online giant also launched a pilot with Nike that will allow the sportswear giant to sell a limited selection of footwear, apparel, and accessories on Amazon. While Nike products have long been available on Amazon through unauthorized third party sellers, this program marks the first time that Nike has sold directly on the Amazon.

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