Brick and mortar retailers have stumbled out of the gates so far in 2020 after a handful of companies reported disappointing holiday season sales growth. However, according to credit card data from Bank of America, online sales this holiday quarter were just fine.
Bank of America reported e-commerce spending was up 15% in November and December of 2019 compared to just 9.3% growth in 2018. In fact, online holiday sales growth this year was its highest since 2011.
So-called Cyber Week online sales growth this year was 21.5%, almost exactly in-line with last year’s 21.6% growth. Cyber Week represents the shopping period stretching from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.
Home furnishings led the surge in online holiday spending this year. Bank of America reported 31% growth in home furnishings sales, 19% growth in grocery sales and 18% growth in electronics sales this holiday season.
Bank of America analyst Justin Post said the strong online sales data this holiday season is good news for Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Wayfair Inc (NYSE: W) and even Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL).
“BAC aggregated credit and debit card data suggests strong eCommerce growth in the US, with record levels of online penetration, possibly aided by a shorter shopping season and faster shipping speeds,” Post wrote in a note.
While Amazon and Wayfair ride the e-commerce growth wave, department stores are the ones missing out. Bank of America said department store spending contracted on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis for the third consecutive month in December, which is bad news for retailers like J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE: JCP) and Kohl's Corporation (NYSE: KSS).
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