Retail revenue numbers were 8.4% higher in the three months ended March 31 compared to the first quarter of 2019, despite stay-at-home orders implemented due to the COVID-19 epidemic. That's exactly what shoppers did. They stayed at home and pushed nearly a third of their collective purchases to Amazon.com. Without Amazon sales, the companies in the S&P 500 Retailing Industry index saw revenues rise only 1.8% year-over-year as of March 31.
Amazon reported more than $75.4 billion in the first quarter, up from $59.4 billion in Q1 2019. The next closest were Home Depot and Target, which reported revenues of $25.7 billion and $23.4 billion, respectively. Home Depot saw its year-over-year revenue decline over the period while its competitor, Lowe's, saw an uptick in revenue. Amazon's revenue, however, does include sales in non-retail sectors, particularly its Amazon Web Services offerings, which accounted for about $10.2 billion in Q1 revenue.
The COVID-19 epidemic didn't start the lopsided distribution of the retail industry's revenue, but it certainly accelerated it. Amazon's piece of the pie has expanded in each of the past five years. That growth isn't expected to slow as shoppers once again return to stores, so long as they don't mind waiting a few days for their goods.