Retail Report: Amazon’s Bezos Wears This Year’s Santa Hat

Jeff Bezos

In the retail world, Mike Duke isn’t this year’s Santa Claus, nor is Gregg Steinhafel. Rather, the red suit belongs to Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) very own Jeff Bezos, and it is all thanks to his little elves at the company’s toy factories.

The holiday shopping season has always been a retail gold mine for big-name companies like Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT), but this year, the competition has been especially fierce because the brick-and-mortar retailers are suffering struggling sales on account of new competition presented by e-commerce giants like Amazon.

Wal-Mart and Target have worked to combat this new rival by shoring up their Internet offerings and marketing enticing online deals, but a new report from Bloomberg shows that despite their best efforts, it still isn’t enough, because Amazon has a more impressive online availability of toys than Wal-Mart or Target do.

According to a December 12 Bloomberg Industries study measuring the online availability of a basket of 100 toys, Target had only 40 percent of the items in stock online, while Wal-Mart had 55 percent, and Amazon had 95 percent. Of the 20 toys Wal-Mart had on its hot toy list in September, a solid 12 were unavailable two weeks before Christmas, while the same in-demand toys could be found on Amazon’s website. This year marks the second year in a row that Amazon has outmatched its competitors for in-stock availability, a report that doesn’t bode well for brick-and-mortar retailers in the future.