Amazon Brick-and-Mortar Sales Drop 3 Percent Year-Over-Year
Don’t get me wrong, Amazon’s most recent quarterly earnings report, published Thursday evening, had a lot of great news for the company. Their sales were up 20 percent year-over-year, ending at $72.4 billion for the quarter. And the company’s operating cash flow ballooned 67 percent year-over-year to $30.7 billion.
But there was one piece of data that the company reported on that, when you read it, ought to make you give at least a half smile. Buried in its line items, down on page 14 of the 16-page report, Amazon notes that its Physical stores sales reached $4.4 billion during the fourth quarter, a 3 percent decline from the $4.52 billion they did last year during the same period. That figure includes sales at the company’s Whole Foods locations as well as its other physical stores like Amazon Go and the Amazon Bookstore locations that have been popping up around the country. This was the first year-over report that Amazon could give for its physical locations since acquiring Whole Foods in 2017.
For what it’s worth, physical stores represent a tiny segment of the business that Amazon does as a whole. But the blemish they left on what was otherwise a pretty solid quarterly earnings report shows that even big, bad Amazon is at least somewhat struggling to find a way to make brick-and-mortar work for them. And while they’ve been busy expanding their physical retail presence, competitors are quickly catching up on the ecommerce side of the business.