Amazon is quietly upending a $19 billion business, and it's terrible news for Target and Bed Bath & Beyond

  • Amazon has quietly become a huge player in wedding registries.

  • Buying wedding gifts is a big business for retailers. Americans spend about $19 billion on registries every year, according to Loop Capital.

  • Amazon has added some big perks for couples registering with the e-commerce site.

  • Amazon has become the "'go-to' retailer" for millennials tying the knot, Loop Capital's Anthony Chukumba said in a note to investors.

Millennials seem to go to Amazon for everything these days — even wedding registries.

Eschewing classics like department stores, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Williams-Sonoma, more millennials getting ready to tie the knot are signing up for Amazon's wedding-registry service.

Retailers compete for registries, as couples ask for pricey things, and the people who buy them often pay full-price. It's a big business: wedding guests spend $19 billion every year specifically on wedding-registry gifts, according to Loop Capital.

Amazon has lured couples in to list their wedding registries on the site by offering discounts for completing the list of items, as well as bonus gifts when gift-givers have spent a certain amount of money on particular brands.

According to Loop Capital's Anthony Chukumba, who surveyed 200 couples getting married, Amazon is now "definitively positioned itself as the 'go-to' retailer for 'digital native' millennial couples."

Amazon now has the highest share of the wedding-registry market. 54% of couples surveyed were registered with the company, according to Chukumba's research. Though that number has dipped slightly in the last few months, Amazon now accounts for 40% of all registries of those surveyed, which is up from 39% in March.

Many couples surveyed were registered at more than one store, which explains why these numbers are a bit different.

In terms of share, Bed Bath & Beyond sits far back in second place with 27% of surveyed couples registering there, accounting for 20% of the total registries. It used to be the far-and-away category leader, but Amazon's online dominance has unseated it, Chukumba notes.

Target was in third place, with 20% of couples registering there, accounting for 15% of all the registries.

Both Bed Bath and Beyond and Target have been trending upward, while more specialty retailers like Williams-Sonoma are trending downward.

"We remain impressed by how quickly Amazon was able to become a force in the wedding-registry business — we note the company's total registrant and registry market shares were just 19% and 12%, respectively, when we completed our initial analysis less than a year and a half ago," Chukumba wrote.

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