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Internet Retailer is out with its annual guide to the top 500 online retailers, reporting that US web merchants "turned in another strong year in 2014, growing web sales 16% while total U.S. store sales grew just 2.4% ... It was online stores and not physical stores that spurred growth among all U.S. retailers in 2014. In fact the U.S. web merchants ranked in Internet Retailer’s just-released 2015 Top 500 grew far faster than stores and overall retail in the United States in 2014, and faster than overall e-commerce growth."

Not surprisingly, the guide ranks Amazon as being the biggest web merchant, "with web sales in 2014 that increased 17.1% to an Internet Retailer-estimated $79.48 billion. Amazon reported net sales of $88.98 billion in 2014, a 19.5% increase from nearly $74.45 billion in 2013. But to make a cleaner revenue comparison with other Top 500 merchants Internet Retailer backs out revenue that is not directly associated with the online sales of physical goods or digital content, such as its Amazon Web Services unit that provides web-based data storage and server capacity. Overall, Amazon accounted for 31% of all U.S. Top 500 sales and 26.1% of all U.S. e-commerce sales."
KC's View:
One interesting note from the Internet Retailer rankings: Walmart is in the third position, Staples is in fourth, and Office Depot is ranked sixth. However, if the announced deal that would have Staples acquiring Office Depot is permitted to take place by antitrust regulators, the combined Staples-Office Depot online business would actually be bigger than Walmart's.

But not for long, I expect ... if Walmart continues to invest mightily in its e-commerce initiatives.