Tech Contraction Continues, TWICE Report Shows

Discounters, direct sellers dominate Top 50 retail rankings

By Alan Wolf, YSN

The CE industry’s trendlines have seemingly reached their inevitable conclusion: control by a handful of retailers with Amazon at the top, and dominance by the direct-sale channel.

Those were two of the key takeaway’s from TWICE Magazine’s latest Top 50 Consumer Electronics Retailers Report, based on 2022 sales data compiled by market research firm Senex

Total revenue for the Top 50 topped $150 billion, representing a nearly 10 percent decline from the prior year’s take. Like many industries and probably more than most, the tech business fell victim to the component shortages and supply-chain snafus of the pandemic period, as well as the consumer buying frenzy that made for stomach-turning year-over-year sales comparisons after shoppers were sated.

Related: ProSource Dominates Top 100 CI Rankings

Still, the bigger kept on keeping on, with the five largest players — Amazon, Best Buy, Apple, Walmart and Target, in that order — comprising more than 80 percent of the Top 50’s cumulative sales volume, the report showed.

Broken out by channel, the aforementioned direct sellers, including Amazon, Newegg, QVC/HSN and manufacturers like Lenovo, HP and Dell, commanded the largest chunk of Top 50 revenue at nearly 29%. That was followed by electronics/appliance stores, a category that spans Best Buy, BrandSource’s own Grand Appliance and ProSource’s Crutchfield and World Wide Stereo, and garnered just over 24% of the total Top 50 take.

As TWICE Senior Editor Grant Morgan noted in his Top 50 commentary, “Signs point to a steady trend in consumers continuing to convert to online or omnichannel purchasing as digital apps and tools make it easier for consumers to click and ship what they need.”

Perhaps the report’s most important takeaway? “In short,” he concluded, “if your business doesn’t have a strong online presence that works, it’s way past time to get moving.”

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