Walmart Still Leads Amazon In Health And Beauty

It’s the one category where Walmart still owns Amazon. Exclusive PYMNTS data analysis shows that health and beauty has been tracking at a high rate of growth for Amazon, but the everyday nature of Walmart gives it the edge.

With Amazon’s Prime Day wrapped up and its counterprogramming from Walmart and other retailers still in progress, the U.S. consumer’s whole paycheck is being picked clean this week, and will continue to be under pressure as the holiday season proceeds. As it does, the Whole Paycheck Tracker is looking beyond the holiday. Because it’s in 2021 when the digital-first economy will continue to prove itself. One of the categories pointing to that future is health and beauty.

Amazon has already stated its intention to get deeper into the category through its Halo device. The marketplace powerhouse entered the wearables market in August with a wristband device that tracks various health performance indicators, allows for third-party integrations and also puts Amazon deeper into the subscriptions and services arena. Halo will directly compete with Apple Watch as well as Fitbit and other wearables on the market. The move also puts Amazon back into the device market.

While the health and beauty category has its share of expensive devices (Halo is mid-range at $64.99), the lion’s share of the health and beauty category include the basic consumer packaged goods items like shampoo, toothpaste and cosmetics. None of these products, or the whole category for that matter, have ever achieved much market share online. But with the onset of COVID-19, that is changing rapidly and dramatically. According to new data from PriceSpider, the health and beauty category easily beat out all others for growth during the pandemic, with 173.5 percent year-over-year online growth for Q3.

That’s good news for Amazon, and it comes in one of the rare categories where it can use a boost. The short version: Walmart is beating out Amazon in health and beauty. However, with a growth rate like 173 percent, it will be interesting to see how Amazon fares in this category as it continues to take close to a majority of the U.S. eCommerce business.

For now, it’s Walmart’s game to lose. PYMNTS’ exclusive data analysis developed for the most recent quarterly Whole Paycheck Tracker goes back to 2016, when the mass-market giant took $36.7 billion in the category online and in-store. That started a steady rise to $42.5 billion in 2019 for 5.4 percent of total consumer spending, just a shade under the percentage measured in 2016. Amazon started from way behind, getting $8.3 billion in 2016 but then spiking to $19.4 billion in 2019. That $19.4 billion was good for 2.5 percent of the total consumer spend.

The game got a bit closer in Q2 2020, when Amazon posted $6.5 billion, up from $4.4 billion in Q2 2019. It also posted a full percentage point gain from 2.4 to 3.5 percent of total spend. Walmart was roughly double the volume,

Florida city sells swans after Queen’s gift leads to overpopulation

A Florida city is selling dozens of its beloved swans to the public, after birds donated by Queen Elizabeth II in 1957 led to overpopulation.

Swans have lived in Lakeland, Florida, since at least 1923, according to the city, but by 1953 had all been eaten by alligators or fallen prey to dogs.

A Lakeland woman who was living in England at the time wrote to the Queen to ask for a gift of swans.

The given pair bred, and now 36 mute white swans are being sold.

The city, which has a swan as its symbol, did a “wellness check” on their entire flock prior to the sale. Proceeds of the sale will go towards their $10,000 (£7,700) annual feeding budget.

In addition to mute swans, black swans also reside at Lake MortonIn addition to mute swans, black swans also reside at Lake Morton
In addition to mute swans, black swans also reside at Lake Morton

“It’ll be hard to say goodbye,” Parks and Recreation Supervisor Steve Platt, who is known as “The Swanfather”, told the Lakeland Ledger newspaper.

The swans all live around Lake Morton in the city of 112,000 people, about 35 miles east of Tampa.

The city is charging $400 per swan. The buyers were chosen via raffle, and were contacted on Friday to arrange for pick up.

A Lakeland sculpture of a swanA Lakeland sculpture of a swan
The city of Lakeland uses a swan as its official logo

What is the history of the swans?

According to historians, a woman who was living in England while her husband was stationed there for the US Air Force, wrote to Buckingham Palace asking the Queen for a donation from her royal flock.

She agreed, as long as the Floridians raised the $300 to capture and safely import the breeding pair. While awaiting transport, a barge sank in London’s Thames River, covering the pair in oil and delaying their journey.

After they were cleaned off, they were successfully delivered to Lakeland on 9 February 1957. But within a week, the pair had gone missing, triggering a frantic helicopter search before they were safely rediscovered.

There have been other swan sales previously held in 2014 and 2011. Anyone who lives near a fresh body of water is welcome to apply for the lottery, officials add.

Most swans in Britain are technically property of the monarchy. Until 1998 it was considered treasonous to kill one. One of the Queen’s royal titles – in addition to Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith and Commander in Chief of the British Armed Forces – is Seigneur of the Swans.

Mute swans, which are the type being sold, are identified by their “deep red bill and jet black feet”, the city said, and are those descended from the Queen’s royal flock.

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