Amazon will soon dethrone Best Buy as the top seller of consumer electronics

Someone has a reason to smile.
Someone has a reason to smile.
Image: Reuters/Jason Redmond
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

US sales of consumer electronics increased by $5.6 billion last year, almost none of which would have happened without Amazon.

The online retailer founded by Jeff Bezos accounted for a staggering 90% of consumer electronics sales growth in 2015, according to an analyst note sent by Deutsche Bank on Tuesday (June 21). Amazon has already displaced Walmart as the second-largest retailer of consumer electronics, and is now fast on its way to stealing the top spot. Best Buy, the longtime leader, has continued to lose market share.

The trend goes back several years, but has been more pronounced recently. In 2015, Amazon’s consumer electronics sales grew 28% over the previous year, while comparable sales grew 4.3% at Apple and just 3.8% at Best Buy. (Admittedly, this was better than Best Buy’s four preceding years, during which sales consistently fell.)

Within the consumer tech space, the fastest-growing devices are portable wireless speakers, fitness wearables, wireless headphones, and smart TVs, according to the Consumer Technology Association. The top-owned device is a television, of which there are an estimated 320 million installed in the US, followed by DVD and Blu-ray players.

Consumer electronics is just one sector in which traditional retailers are struggling to compete against internet giants—online sales make up just 10.6% of Best Buy’s US revenue. In what seemed like an admission of its fate, Best Buy described its flat same-store sales in the most recent quarter as “better than expected.”