Amazon UK growth accelerates
Feb 5, 2018
Amazon’s annual report has revealed just how much of a threat the e-commerce giant is to British retailers, as the ongoing rise of the online marketplace continues to accelerate.
In the year to 31 of December, UK revenues surged 19% to $11.4 billion, compared with annual revenue of $9.5 billion in 2016 and $9.0 billion in 2015.
When converted back to sterling using average daily exchange rates, the company’s UK revenue increased by 25% to £8.8 billion in 2017, said market researcher Globaldata. This means Amazon’s growth rate has been accelerating for three consecutive years and reached in 2017 its fastest rate since 2011, when it grew by 31% year-on-year.
“We believe that Amazon UK, is not only taking online market share, but driving the online market itself, and stealing increasingly large chunks of sales from physical store-based retailers. Rather than the threat subsiding as it matures, its latest results indicate that its impact on the market will be greater and faster than suspected,” commented GlobalData.
The UK market remains relatively small for the online company, and accounts for less than 7% of total sales. But it’s becoming increasingly important, boosted by an increase in overseas orders following the devaluation of the pound in 2016.
And currently, more non-food spend goes through Amazon’s UK site than through any other retailer, GlobalData said.
Amazon is also investing heavily in its British infrastructure. Last year, it opened new headquarters in Shoreditch, London, and launched new fulfilment centres in Warrington, Daventry, Doncaster and Tilbury, and a new development centre in Cambridge, creating more than 5,000 new jobs across the country. The company has invested more than £6.4 billion in the UK since 2010.
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