Where People Shopped for Shoes in the Past Year May Surprise You

When you think about shopping for your next pair of statement heels or must-have sneakers, what retailer comes to mind?

It seems for more and more shoppers, the answer is Amazon.

The e-commerce giant — typically the go to source for electronics, books and other consumer goods — has accelerated its push to move deeper into the fashion space with a series of initiatives including brand partnerships and private-label expansion.

New data from Coresight Research shows Amazon’s efforts may be paying off: The site is America’s most-shopped retailer for clothing and footwear over the last 12 months. About 54% of those surveyed by Coresight indicated that they purchased apparel and footwear from the digital behemoth in the past year. (The researchers surveyed more than 1,600 internet users between January to February 2019 about their purchasing habits during the year prior.)

Mass merchants Walmart and Target were close behind with 47% and 41% of respondents, respectively, stating that they had acquired clothing and shoes from the retailers in the year to date.

Kohl’s — which has found favor among retail experts in recent months, thanks to its expanded Amazon partnership and new efforts to leverage its physical stores by subletting space to gyms and grocery stores — landed at No. 4. The department store was an apparel and footwear destination for about 35% of those surveyed.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, off-pricers TJ Maxx and Marshalls rounded out the top 5, with 27% of people saying they spent their bucks on fashion wares at the two retailers owned by The TJX Companies Inc. The discount channel has been booming, thanks to price-conscious millennials who are enamored of the “thrill of the find.”

Two names in the struggling department store sector also made the top 10, with 23% and 22% of consumers indicating they picked up shoes and apparel at Macy’s and JCPenney, respectively.

Over the past three years, department stores have been particularly hurt by the rise of digital — and for many in the space, sales have remained uneven as they test new strategies to evolve and remain relevant.

Several of the nation’s major chains reported disappointing first-quarter earnings last month as they grappled with ongoing shifts to e-commerce and a combination of issues merchandising issues, unseasonable weather and marketing misfires. Nordstrom, Kohl’s and JCPenney all reported Q1 results that missed forecasts.

Amazon, meanwhile, continues to ride the wave of consumer interest in convenience, fast and free shipping, and an endless aisle of merchandise. A survey by Goldman Sachs and Condé Nast last fall determined that the site had even eclipsed sportswear behemoths Nike and Adidas to become the go-to destinations for men’s footwear.

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