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NEW YORK – Apparel shoppers are switching to Amazon in their droves according to new research, with the convenience and free delivery of ‘Prime’ membership helping the online retailer win market share from traditional department stores. Target Corp, Macy’s and JCPenney are being hardest hit, with adult footwear and casual clothing Amazon’s most popular buys.

Coresight Research’s Deep Dive: Amazon Apparel study found private label apparel purchases are growing in popularity on Amazon. Nike, Under Armour and Hanes are the top selling brands, and one in nine Amazon apparel shoppers have already bought Amazon private-label apparel.

The research found Amazon Prime is the key driver behind the continued upturn in apparel sales on Amazon. Among Amazon Prime members surveyed, a remarkable 46 per cent said they had shopped for clothing or footwear on Amazon in the past 12 months, with the retailer now running neck and neck with Target as the second-most-shopped apparel retailer in the US, as measured by number of shoppers. “Only Walmart has more apparel customers,” says the report, a startling finding considering Amazon’s relatively recent entry into the apparel space.

It adds: “Prime members have pushed Amazon into this strong position. Almost two-thirds of Prime members surveyed said they had bought clothing or footwear on Amazon in the past year, meaning that Amazon is comfortably the most-shopped retailer for apparel among Prime members.”

The impact of Prime in terms of customer sales is underscored by the fact that, among those who are not Prime members, Amazon falls to seventh place in terms of retailers who shopped for apparel.

Adds the report: “This implies that growth in Prime membership will underpin Amazon’s expansion into clothing and footwear. However, Prime membership levels are already high in the US, suggesting that they could plateau in the coming years.”

Euromoniror International estimates that Amazon US sold US$24.6bn worth of clothing and footwear in 2017, of which US$20bn was sold by third-party sellers. Coresight Research estimates that this total places Amazon roughly level with Walmart, America’s biggest apparel seller.

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