The Extraordinary Size Of Amazon In One Chart

Tyler Durden's picture

What has more value: all major publicly traded department stores in the United States, or Amazon?

As Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins illustrates, Amazon takes the cake, and its no contest.

Add together the market caps of Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, JCPenney, Sears, and Macy’s, and they amount to a significant $297.8 billion.

However, it’s not enough to beat the Amazon machine.

The online retailer alone is worth $356 billion, making it one of the largest companies by market capitalization in the world.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist


Ten years ago, the future of brick and mortar retail sill looked bright. The aforementioned retailers were worth a collective $400 billion, and Amazon was only valued at $17.5 billion.

But disruption often comes without warning. Or if there were warning signs, they went unheeded by retailers.

Big box and department store sales plummeted, as consumers increasingly went online to do their shopping. This year, it is estimated that revenues are equal to just 62% of their totals in 2006:

Retailers without the right strategy saw their market caps plummet.

Sears went from being worth $27.8 billion to $1.1 billion (a 96% decrease), while JCPenney went from $18.1 billion to $2.6 billion (a 86% decrease).

Amazon, on the other hand, did okay for itself.

The online retailer gained 1,934% in value over the same timeframe, making it one of the most valuable companies in the world, and a key piece of Jeff Bezos’ business empire.

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LawsofPhysics's picture

So, it that a buy or sell?  I am confused...

FullHedge's picture

Dude. That's obviously a hold.

Hal n back's picture

they forgot Costco.

20 years for amzn, whats its cash flow?

its buying a story

Emergency Ward's picture

Probably HOLD.  They take a small loss on every sale but make it up on volume.

White Mountains's picture

LOL.  "Take a loss on every sale and make it up on volume".


peddling-fiction's picture

Trouble with the maff...

Yeah I get, kill brick and mortar and then squeeze all the muppets.

Kotzbomber747's picture

So is David Stockman gonna cry wolf again, predict the collapse of the financial system, and call to short AMZN like he did a couple of months ago?

froze25's picture

This should be Amazon's slogan, "Amazon, making it possible for White People to avoid those people one day at a time". Seriously it's the main reason people use it if you live in a "diverse" area. We had a nice outlet center but it was just on the outskirts of a ghetto area. With in 2 years the place that consisted of about 30 outlets went under. Simply because "those people" just hung around their and "chilled". Who the hell wants to deal with that when you simply want to go shopping. No one. Well "those People" don't spend money so no matter how great a deal the outlets offered they simply didn't have the traffic to keep them open.

Stuck on Zero's picture

The chart is simply misleading. The bulk of Amazon's worth is the cloud i.e. AWS. Retail is less than 50% of Amazon's profits.

techpriest's picture

Truth. AWS is the de facto standard in IT now for buying cloud server space. Personally I use Digital Ocean.

IMO what makes Amazon nice is that online retailers can set up a shop inside its platform, so you can buy virtually anything. I have seen numerous examples in the last two years - the future is online platforms that connect people to local or virtual vendors. People running the platform will get very rich shaving a penny or ten per transaction, and if you are a vendor within the platform you will be able to benefit, since the platform is your marketing + IT department.

N2OJoe's picture

Thank you froze25 for providing this daily dose of leftoid racism.

Midas's picture

I read in the Washington Post that it does make sense.

cro_maat's picture

Back in the 80's you could borrow the shares of Sears, Kohl's, etc., sell them today and then buy them back 6mths later at a lower price collecting a nice profit.

Today selling a bankrupt company short means that some algo will do a short squeeze into the close on just those "most shorted" companies right when you need to deliver the shares back to the pension fund that lent them.

As Jaron Lanier, the father of virtual reality, states "If you can pull money out of sufficiently advanced math (and colocated computers) then the law can't touch you."

Midas's picture

A few years ago when it became apparent Sears was going to implode I looked at puts and shorting it to make a little money.  I decided to just stay well away for the reasons you described.  I think those kind of moves are only for the insiders.  If you want to run with the big boys make sure your hedge fund manager is a former governor or something.  On second thought, don't do that either.

Hal n back's picture

the market is less efficient for the big boys than us

City_Of_Champyinz's picture

Fuck Amazon, fuck Bezos, and fuck his micro propaganda blog AKA The Washington Post.

Clowns on Acid's picture

Thats why Bezos funds Black Lives Matter, La Raza, et al..... no productive human wants to go to Malls or inner city stores where Bezos funded pavement apes maul, rape and pillage. Just buy it on Amazon, and get it delivered by drone. 

Rainman's picture

AMZN is a VIP resident of the hedge fund hotel, sporting a 182 p/e ... it gots to be money good ! BTFAH !!!

Clowns on Acid's picture

AMZN will be shorted like a sheet on 01/20/17

konputa's picture

I'm guessing you're correct with Jack Ma coming to the US.

NuYawkFrankie's picture

 Amazon is nothing more than a Main St. Strip-Mining Operation lurking behind a fancy web-site.

And to add insult to injury, its profits are ploughed into the strip-mining of minds via the Washington Post - the prime purveyor Of FAKE NEWS

Which is why Amazon must be smashed into a thousand pieces with the FULL FORCE of Antitrust Law. The fact that Bezos is a low-life slug should be further incentive.

garypaul's picture

Fuck I hate incomplete articles like this. That indicates to me that the author is bullshitting. Yes big box revenues are down to 62%, but what are the REVENUES for Amazon?? The article conveniently leaves this out. Yes I know the market cap is up 2000%.

techpriest's picture

Give Bezos ten bucks and you'll double his profits.

jamesmmu's picture

Shut down Amazon and retail jobs will come back in no time.

zuuma's picture

I think you might have forgotten your perscription this morning.

CorporateCongress's picture

In part, Amzn is a symptom of people having less and less disposable income

woody188's picture

It's more about disposable time. I can waste time and fuel driving around to big box stores looking for something I want or I can go online and find what I want and have it delivered to me.

SubjectivObject's picture

Does Amazon pay sales taxes yet?

NuYawkFrankie's picture

Don't you know that taxes are only for the "little people" when they've scraped together more than a few nickels to get thru the week?

shovelhead's picture

Yup, if your in a state with a distribution warehouse.

DollarMenu's picture

Amazon does not "pay" sales taxes.

It will however, depending on the sale, and the seller, and the buyer's address, collect sales taxes for the appropriate state.

Example, Amazon sales to Washington state residents have sales taxes added.

Amazon Marketplace sales are treated with a variant.

In the above example, if the Marketplace retailer is in California, the sale to the Washington resident will have no sales taxes collected, whereas if the retailer was in WA, taxes would be collected.

Amazon is in favor of collecting on-line sales taxes, they think it will favor their position in on-line sales over other on-line retailers.  Amazon has platoons of coders to navigate all the various taxing authorities, while mom-and-pop on-line retailers would be screwed trying to do the taxes math.

Yeah, maybe an app could be developed, but it would be very pricey for M&P.

Where are the Trust Busters of the early 20th Century?

peddling-fiction's picture

"Where are the Trust Busters of the early 20th Century?"

Tied and gagged in the cellar. Others are fish feed.

cro_maat's picture

This is all about massive computing power over distributed networks - "Where are the Trust Busters of the early 20th Century?"

The big agencies, trust funds and black ops have their own giant server farms and teams of quants as well as partnerships with many of the mainstream tech. firms. Bringing back the Trust Busters means more competition to their own government / black ops scams. Not gonna happen.

The Old Man's picture

In most states the sales tax is remitted on a weekly basis and separated out by the retailer as to state for which it was collected. So the scenario is: sure they want to collect sales tax. Who wouldn't at the level of sales they have. If an average sales tax of say 5%, for example, is collected and held in separate acounts for 7 days before remittance, how much money do you think internet retailers have in float in those accounts? Millions I'd guess. Just like American Express traveler's checks. At one time American Express had ~ 20 Billion $ in float money on a regular basis. So sales tax money, unless directed immediately to the particular state taxing ageny, has a continual float amount based on sales. Although it can't be touched for anything but the tax payment, what do you think goes on. I'll bet it's not GAAP!


The Old Man

1980XLS's picture

Amazon charges customers sales tax, but prolly never remits it to the states.

That's "Their" Profit, they get to keep, in exchange for WP propaganda services  for  the Deep State.

GodSpeed_00's picture

Maybe Amazon should buy Walmart

JustPrintMoreDuh's picture

Oh oh ... how's about a WalmApplezon?

White Mountains's picture

It is difficult to compete with a company that makes almost no profit.  Amazon is like Fracking - a strip mining operation that actually causes far more economic damage all things considered than the alleged profits it creates, leaving behind a desolate landscape and broken infrastructure.

Everything swirls to the bottom and becomes crappy, including quality of products AND jobs that make those products.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Reminds me of the era in China's 'growth' where factories were popping up everywhere, and none of us could figure out how they were making a profit.

Well, turns out companies WERE GIVEN land to build factories on, which the company then owned, and most of the gains were actually appreciation of the real estate!!!!  (kind of a page out of McDonald's 1950s corporate strategy)

Want to know another secret of China's 'success'?  Urban citizens can buy, hold and sell their property.  Rural citizens are UNABLE TO OWN the farmland they work on, and IF it is rezoned, it is the local Communist Party officials who will gain from the sale of the rural real estate!   So if you are ever wondering why there is push back from rural farmers in China, now you know...

cro_maat's picture

The USSA does that too (just ask the Bundys).

DollarMenu's picture

Isn't that sort of what WalMart did to Main Street retailers years ago?


woody188's picture

It's all going to the robots anyhow. UPS, FedEx and USPS seem pretty happy.

small axe's picture

and the enlightened progressives who wouldn't be caught dead in Walmart are Amazon's biggest customers...must be nice to go through life with blinders on

carneades_jazz_hands's picture

They better do all they can to keep wal-mart around.  Otherwise, those anti-trust regulators may be interested in this.

Fedtacular's picture

I stopped shopping at Chinamart and started shopping at

Roguebeekeeper's picture

My wife recently had to remove all of our credit cards off of Amazon because it is just too easy to get carried away on that site. Now we just get one $50 gift card per month.