The holiday season is approaching but rising cases of coronavirus have kept retailers worried. Retail sales have now increased for the sixth straight month but are still way behind the year-ago level. However, the good sign is that people have started showing faith in the economy and are spending again. That said, people have been relying more on online shopping during the pandemic and the trend is likely to continue in the coming months.
According to market research agency Forrester, online holiday sales are going to hit historic highs this year. Moreover, despite low morale and millions of job losses, the retail sector has somewhat bounced back, thanks to e-commerce sales, and rising consumer spending.
Online Holiday Sales to Hit New High
According to Forrester, online holiday sales are projected to touch $173 billion compared with $139 billion in 2019. This suggests 24.4% year-over-year growth. E-commerce has been the mainstay of retail sales since the coronavirus outbreak and is expected to play a major role this holiday season too.
The holiday season is considered the two most important months for retailers across the United States and this year isn’t going to be any different. In fact, the crucial months of November and December are projected to account for almost 20% of the total U.S. retail sales for 2020.
E-Commerce, Other Factors Boosting Retail Sales
E-commerce so far has played a major role in saving the retail sector during the pandemic. The trend is likely to continue given that fears of another wave of the pandemic have already gripped millions, who would continue shopping online.
Although the morale of the retailers is still low, they have been on a hiring spree ahead of the all-important holiday season. Retail sales too have been on the rise for the past six months after hitting a nadir in April and May.
Moreover, hopes of a second round of stimulus may once again boost the purchasing power of consumers. Also, consumer spending has been on the rise, which is an indication that people are willing to spend.
Although fears of a second wave of coronavirus have gripped the nation, positive news on the vaccine front have also somewhat lifted the spirit of both consumers and retailers. Despite that people are likely to prefer shopping online keeping in mind the safety concerns. Investors thus hopeful of a fruitful holiday season for retailers should tap the following retail stocks, with a strong online presence.
Best Buy Co., Inc. BBY is a multinational specialty retailer of consumer electronics, home office products, entertainment software, communication, food preparation, wellness, health, security, appliances and related services.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 18%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 0.6% over the past 60 days. Best Buy presently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Overstock.com, Inc. OSTK is primarily an e-commerce service provider. The company sells its broad range of price-competitive products, including furniture, home decor, bedding and bath, and houseware through its www.overstock.com, www.o.co and www.o.biz websites.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 1.8%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved more than 100% over the past 60 days. Overstock has a Zacks Rank #2.
Systemax Inc. SYX is a direct marketer of brand name and private label products, including personal desktop computers, notebook computers, computer-related products, and industrial products, in North America and Europe.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 22.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 26.9% over the past 60 days. Systemax has a Zacks Rank #2.
Target Corporation TGT has evolved from just being a pure brick & mortar retailer to an omni-channel entity. The company has been investing in technologies, improving websites and mobile apps, and modernizing the supply chain to keep pace with the changing retail landscape and better compete with pure e-commerce players.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 13.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 1.8% over the past 60 days. Target carries a Zacks Rank #2.
Fiverr International Lt. FVRR provides an online marketplace for selling goods and services. The company provides logo, poster and brochure designing, as well as photoshop editing, content marketing, web analytics and translation services.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 28.6% over the past 60 days. Fiverr carries a Zacks Rank #2.
These Stocks Are Poised to Soar Past the Pandemic
The COVID-19 outbreak has shifted consumer behavior dramatically, and a handful of high-tech companies have stepped up to keep America running. Right now, investors in these companies have a shot at serious profits. For example, Zoom jumped 108.5% in less than 4 months while most other stocks were sinking.
Our research shows that 5 cutting-edge stocks could skyrocket from the exponential increase in demand for “stay at home” technologies. This could be one of the biggest buying opportunities of this decade, especially for those who get in early.
See the 5 high-tech stocks now>>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Target Corporation (TGT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Systemax Inc. (SYX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Overstock.com, Inc. (OSTK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Fiverr International Lt. (FVRR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research