Walmart is still the largest retailer in the U.S.—but has one company on its heels, threatening to take over that spot in the next few years. Although Amazon is expected to be responsible for about 15% of the total retail market by 2026, the company is consistently losing customers in one area of its business all while rapidly expanding in another.
In a new survey of the online grocery shopping landscape, Coresight Research says that the last three years have seen a decline in online grocery shopping at Amazon. In 2018—12 years after it started selling groceries online and one year after purchasing Whole Foods—70.6% of Prime members surveyed for the annual report said they bought food from Amazon.com, according to Grocery Dive.
However, despite the pandemic and an increase in shoppers opting for browsing virtual aisles instead of physical ones, in 2021 that number dropped to 57.7%, and this year it has dropped even lower to 56.9%.
This news comes as the company ramps up openings of its brick-and-mortar Amazon Fresh grocery stores across the country. Fit with contactless checkout, Dash carts, Ask Alexa stations, and other futuristic technologies, these stores are clearly a big part of the company's outlook moving forward.
Walmart has it beat there with almost 5,000 locations in all 50 states, but Amazon still barely leads in online grocery sales even with the decline. The competition is heating up, though, with Walmart adding several distribution facilities lineup specifically to speed up delivery times for grocery and Walmart+ deliveries and creating sales events to rival Amazon prime Day.
In the end, it looks like this combination is what is driving Amazon closer and closer to Walmart's top spot.
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