The Rich Get Richer in Dealerscope’s 2019 Top 101 CE Retailers
In April, Dealerscope published its annual ranking of the Top 101 consumer electronics retailers. The companies in this annual registry of tech sellers in the U.S. and Canada found that these companies achieved total CE sales of $283.958 billion in 2018—an increase of 7.5 percent over the $264.17 billion the previous year.
The promising thing to note about the Top 101 list is that, despite all of the upheaval the retail industry experienced during the 2018 calendar year, the retailers on this list mostly held strong and continued to show year-over-year growth. Whereas the struggles of major names like Sears, GameStop, and Toys R Us could have put a serious dent in the overall performance of the Top 101 that simply wasn’t the case. Retailers this year average 4.09 percent growth in 2018, which was up from 0.5 percent last year.
At the top of the rankings, Amazon shored up its grip on the consumer electronics retail industry. The ecommerce giant’s CE sales ballooned more than 21 percent in 2018, hitting $41.26 billion, extending its lead over number-two Best Buy to nearly $7 billion.
With so many numbers at our disposal with the 2019 Top 101 CE Retailers list, there are myriad ways we could slice and dice our analysis. Here, though, are our four key findings from this year’s list.
- The Rich Get Richer. It’s long been known and reported on in our Top 101 coverage that the top 10 retailers each year account for a vast majority of the total CE sales. This year is no different, but the rate of growth among the top 10 retailers outpaced the rest of the industry. Retailers 1-10 achieved $234.7 billion in CE sales last year, which accounted for 83 percent of the total CE sales. That’s up from $213.07 billion last year, which represented 81 percent of CE sales at that time.
- Amazon Has Been on a Tear. Perhaps the least shocking “key finding” of all time, but it’s still worth noting. In addition to widening its margin over Best Buy in this year’s registry, Amazon continued an impressive run of year-over-year CE sales gains. Over the past four years of our Top 101 CE Retailers rankings, Amazon’s average CE sales growth checks in at 24.4 percent.
- Physical Footprint Shrank. One area that was a struggle for retailers this year was store count figures. The total number of stores open in 2018 was 91,803, down from 92,482 the year prior—an average of 6.72 store closings per retailer. Among the hardest hit retailers was Rite Aid, which saw nearly 2,000 stores leave its portfolio as a part of a sale to Walgreens Boots Alliance. And, of course, Toys R Us saw all of its locations close during the 2018 calendar year, while Sears continued to purge its brick-and-mortar portfolio.
- Rate of Growth Slowed. The 4 percent growth in total CE sales was a big slowdown year-over-year. In last year’s report, retailers saw total CE sales growth of more than 14 percent. The slower growth would seem discouraging, but it’s still well above the average over the past several years. Last year’s rankings appear to be something of an outlier with CE sales growing at a rate of just under 1 percent in the four years prior. So, while the optics of a 10 percent growth slowdown seems negative, the fact is, CE retailers saw their channel sales increase at a better-than-average rate.
For a look at this year’s complete Top 101 CE Retailers rankings, download our free report.
Related story: Dealerscope 2019 Top 101 Consumer Electronics Retailers