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Published
Apr 18, 2018
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Amazon becomes fifth largest retailer in the UK

Published
Apr 18, 2018

Amazon continues its rise to world domination as it becomes the fifth biggest player in UK retail, according to new research. The retail behemoth accounted for over £4 in every £100 spent on retail in the UK last year.


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Its growth continues to outstrip the UK online channel, with retail revenues estimated to have grown by 22.5% in 2017, according to GlobalData, a data and analytics company. By contrast, online spend increased by just 8.4% in the UK last year.

“Amazon is soaring up the ranks of UK retail with the online behemoth only held off the top spot by the big four grocers in 2017,” says Sofie Willmott, senior retail analyst at GlobalData.

“Its dominance in the retail market considering it primarily sells non-essential items in comparison to the grocers who benefit from selling indispensable, everyday goods, and that it does not have any physical stores in the UK, is evidence of how Amazon has continually innovated and succeeded in meeting consumer needs, in terms of both product range and shopping experience.”

The online platform launched a dedicated site for the UK in 1998, and has since then expanded from selling books to stocking everything from furniture and household essentials to fashion and beauty products. The company has invested £6.4 billion in the UK over the last seven years to build a strong infrastructure.

The push has paid off, with the company accounting for 33.5% of all UK spend online in 2017, according to GlobalData. With its impressive performance and the UK retail sector seeing limited growth, some retailers might be tempted to ramp up their online sales with the e-tailer.

But having a strong standalone presence will remain essential in the competitive market, says GlobalData. “It is imperative that retailers continue to give shoppers a reason to visit and purchase from their own sites, such as exclusive products or loyalty rewards, to maximise profits and consolidate their place in the market,” Willmott  says.

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