Holiday Shopping Results Are In

BAC Data Was Good

We are starting to get holiday sales data which tells us the true health of the consumer. Initial results are great for online shopping and terrible for in-person shopping which is what we expected. The chart below shows the only data that was positive heading into the holiday shopping season besides the NRF prediction. 

As you can see, BAC aggregate card sales were up 9.1% yearly in the week of November 21st. You wouldn’t expect such solid results because of the spreading pandemic and the rising jobless claims. Of course, initial claims have been less reliable than usual because of reporting delays and fraudulent claims. Therefore, anything is possible. Top half of the populace isn’t doing badly as the housing market and stock markets are on fire. Plus, it’s cheaper to work from home.

Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Thanksgiving Day foot traffic in brick and mortar stores was down 95% from last year. On the other hand, online sales were up 21.5% to $5.1 billion. If people decided to avoid seeing extended family on Thanksgiving, they surely weren’t going shopping. 

Plus, they had more time to shop online because they weren’t with their family. Retailers that offer curbside pickup had a 31% conversion rate on their sites. Retailers are changing their store layout as they expand the portion of the store for pickup of online orders.

In the NRF projection, they anticipated 20% to 30% online sales growth. Therefore, the results have been decent so far, but not amazing. Black Friday was almost the same as Thanksgiving as online sales growth was 21.6% as there were $9 billion in sales. Spending on smartphones was up 25.3% to $3.6 billion or 40% of online sales. As smartphone screens get bigger, people do more transactions on them.

Online grocery and personal care product sales were up 397% and 556%. That’s probably people stocking up on products they would normally buy anyway because of deals and the latest spread of the virus. Online spending on pet products was up 254% as more people got pets as they stayed in their houses more. 

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