MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Starting at midnight Wednesday, Amazon will be offering huge discounts on 1,000 items to its Prime members. The online retailer has deemed Wednesday, July 15, Prime Day. Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, is responding with deals on 2,000 of its items.

So, as these two companies battle for people’s dollars, where do we shop? Good Question.

“People shop at the same old stores they always have,” said David Brennan, a retail expert with the University of St. Thomas. “That’s why it’s hard for small retailers to get into the game.”

Shoppers are generally creatures of habit when it comes to shopping, but Brennan says some patterns do emerge.

About half of books and electronics are bought online. Clothes shopping is scattered all over the place, and there is one big winner in food: Wal-Mart. About a quarter of all Americans buy their food at Wal-Mart.

According to the National Retail Federation, Wal-Mart is the dominant leader in U.S. retail. With $508 billion in 2014 global sales, the company makes more than the next six companies combined: Kroger, Costco, Home Depot, Walgreens, Target and CVS. Lowe’s comes in at No. 8 and Amazon at No. 9.

“Amazon has dominated online retail,” CBS News Financial Contributor Melody Hobson told CBS This Morning. “Many say they’ve eaten Wal-Mart’s lunch in that regard.”

Amazon had $90 billion in sales in 2014, putting it at No. 2, behind China’s Alibaba. Apple is third in online sales with $18.4 billion, followed by Staples ($10.4 billion), then Wal-Mart ($10 billion).

“I think the bigger story is online,” Brennan said. “People have greater capability of buying more things at more places.”

Online sales make up just 7 percent of all retail sales, but experts predict it could jump to 20 percent in the next ten years.

Heather Brown

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