Retail sales had somewhat slowed down over the past few months, with people spending more on services than goods as the economy reopened. However, people have once again started spending on goods, which saw retail sales jumping in August.
The jump comes amid growing fears of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. The retail sector had taken a bad hit due to the pandemic but e-commerce has been breathing life into the sector. And rising fears over the pandemic once again saw people relying more on e-commerce in August.
Retail Sales Grow in August
The Census Bureau said on Sep 16 that retail sales jumped 0.7% month over month in August, surprising analysts’ prediction of a 0.8% decline. On a year-over-year basis, retail sales increased 15.1% in August. The jump in August comes despite a decline in auto sales, as semiconductor shortage continues to hurt the production of new vehicles.
On a month-over-month basis, auto-related activity declined 3.6%, which could otherwise have further driven sales in August. Excluding auto, retail sales grew 1.8%, which was also a lot higher than analysts’ expectations of a 0.1% rise.
General merchandise sales increased 3.5%, while furniture and home furnishings sales grew an impressive 3.7%. However, sales of electronic goods and sporting goods saw a decline.
Sales were also driven by back-to-school shopping, which economists had predicted would drive the retail sector in August. Clothing and clothing accessories sales jumped 38.8%, year over year.
E-Commerce Boosting Retail Sales
E-commerce has been driving retail sales for over a year now. The pandemic saw millions shopping online and the trend continues. Although more than 50% of Americans are fully vaccinated now and are stepping out of their homes, fears of the Delta variant are once again gripping people.
This saw many turning to online shopping. Non-store sales increased 5.3% in August. It is expected that people will continue shopping online as they have finally realized the convenience and safety of contactless shopping and payment.
Also, as people start going back to their workplace, they are expected to earn more.Household savings too have hit a record high this year. This is likely to boost consumer spending, with the holiday season just around the corner.
According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, holiday season retail sales are projected to grow 7.4% on a year-over-year basis and 11.1% from 2019. Last year, holiday sales hit a record high both in terms of dollar gains and percentage points.
Online shopping will continue to be a safe bet for millions. This is thus the right opportunity to invest in retail stocks that have a strong online presence.
Each of the stocks sports a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy) or Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Foot Locker, Inc. FL is a retailer of athletic shoes and apparel. The company operates websites and mobile apps, aligned with the brand names of store banners comprising footlocker.com, ladyfootlocker.com, six02.com, kidsfootlocker.com, champssports.com, footaction.com, footlocker.ca, footlocker.eu, footlocker.com.au, sidestep-shoes.com, footlocker.hk, footlocker.sg, and footlocker.my.
As of Jul 31, 2021, the company operated 2,911 stores across 27 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 24.9% over the past 30 days. The company has a Zacks Rank #1.
The TJX Companies, Inc. TJX is a leading off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions in the United States and worldwide. It has more than 4,300 stores across the globe that are well known for their unique value proposition of brand, fashion, price and quality.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 12.6% over the past 60 days. TJX has a Zacks Rank #1.
Costco Wholesale Corporation COST sells high volumes of food and general merchandise, including household products and appliances, at discounted prices through membership warehouses.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 20.5%.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year earnings has improved 1.6% over the past 60 days. Costco carries a Zacks Rank #2.
Genesco Inc. GCO sells footwear, headwear and accessories in retail stores in the United States and Canada. The company sells its products principally under the names Journeys, Journeys Kidz, Shi by Journeys, Johnston & Murphy, Underground Station, Hatworld, Lids, Hat Shack, Hat Zone, Head Quarters and Cap Connection, and on Internet websites.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 21.5% over the past 60 days. It has a Zacks Rank #1.
Capri Holdings Limited CPRI provides women’s and men’s accessories, footwear, and ready-to-wear, as well as wearable technology, watches, jewelry, eyewear, and a full line of fragrance products.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 18.6% over the past 60 days. It has a Zacks Rank #2.
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