Can The Santa Experience Save Brick-And-Mortar Retail This Holiday Season?

Can The Santa Experience Save Brick-And-Mortar Retail This Holiday Season?

This is a quaint idea, but as the data published by ShopperTrak for Black Friday 2019  showed there is no putting the digital shopping genie back in the bottle, especially not after companies like Target and Walmart have ramped up their digital commerce efforts to battle Amazon.

Some holiday traditions are easy to explain — things like wrapping presents, drinking hot chocolate and baking cookies are all neatly summed up with the knowledge that the vast majority of people like opening presents and eating cookies.

Source: Can The Santa Experience Save Brick-And-Mortar Retail This Holiday Season?

Weekly Issue: The Changing Mood of the Market

Weekly Issue: The Changing Mood of the Market

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Black Friday Clicks vs Bricks

Black Friday Clicks vs Bricks

 

A Look at the Official Kick-Off to the 2017 Holiday Shopping Season

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Coming off the Thanksgiving holiday, this week Tematica’s investing mixologists Chris Versace and Lenore Hawkins discuss the meaning of the litany of data points for online shopping on Thanksgiving as well as overall results for Black Friday. Expectations were running high for continued wallet share gains by digital shopping, a key aspect of our Connected Society investing theme, and they did not disappoint. What was surprising was the percentage of holiday shopping done via smartphones.

Both the objective data, and as Chris and Lenore share, the anecdotal evidence, point to brick & mortar retail traffic over the holiday shopping weekend that was hardly robust. Per data from ShopperTrak, brick & mortar retail sales fell just under 2% year over year. No wonder retailers like Kohl’s (KSS) and JC Penney (JCP) were trying to put a positive spin on things by talking up their digital shopping. We continue to see brick & mortar retailers as challenged and remain bearish on mall operators.

While the holiday shopping season is off to a stronger start than last year, we still have some reservations about the final tally matching the National Retail Federation’s typically overly optimistic holiday shopping forecast calling for 3.6%-4.0% growth over last year. On the one hand, we’ve had tepid wage growth, ballooning credit card debt and student debt, which tells us the Cash-Strapped Consumer will be out in force this holiday shopping season. As we point out, roughly two-thirds of shoppers over the Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday period were looking to capitalize on retailer deals and promotions.

To hammer the point home, Cyber Monday is expected to be the biggest stand-alone day of the shopping long weekend. Expectations call for $6.6 billion to bought on Cyber Monday, up 16.5% year over year. To us, however, the real context is that’s not only looking like another record year, but it’s 32% greater than Black Friday online sales this year.

Which companies are best positioned to capitalize on our Connected Society, Cash-Strapped Consumer, Rise & Fall of the Middle Class and Affordable Luxury investing themes this holiday season?

You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out. Along the way, you’ll learn what the number two gift item will be this year and we’ll mention a sleeper gift card company that is a contender for our Cashless Consumption investing theme as well.

 

Companies mentioned on this podcast

  • Adobe Systems (ADBE)
  • Amazon (AMZN)
  • Apple (AAPL)
  • Best Buy (BBY)
  • Blackhawk Networks (HAWK)
  • JC Penney (JCP)
  • Kohl’s (KSS)
  • Macy’s (M)
  • MasterCard (MA)
  • National Retail Federation
  • Simon Property Group (SPG)
  • Shopify (SHOP)
  • ShopperTrak
  • Starbucks (SBUX)
  • Target (TGT)
  • Visa (V)
  • Wal-Mart (WMT)

 

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Books we’re currently reading:

 

 

 

Record $25 Billion on Alibaba’s Singles’ Day and Most was Mobile

Record $25 Billion on Alibaba’s Singles’ Day and Most was Mobile

For more than 90% of the past two millennia, China and India have dominated the global economy, generating over half of the total GDP in terms of real purchasing power. The incredible volume of sales generated by Alibaba (BABA) over the weekend illustrates the reemergence of that economic power.

Asia’s return to its multi-millennial dominant role began in the 1950s and started accelerating in the 1980s to rise from 16% to over 30% by 2000. Today Asia’s share of global GDP, excluding the Middle East, has reached a 160-year high of 43%. During that time, the share of the United States and Western Europe has fallen to a 166-year low of 33%, with the U.S. share cut to half its mid-20th peak and Western Europe losing nearly one-third of its share just since the start of the 21st century — all part of the story behind our Rise and Fall of the Middle Class as the west loses its dominance while emerging economies come into their own.

This was inevitable, given the demographic disparity between China, India and the U.S. The population of China is nearly 1.4 billion and India over 1.3 billion, while the United States population is less than a quarter of that at just over 320 million and Western Europe at 400 million. With such enormous population numbers, small gains in productivity have a much greater impact on growth.

Alibaba generated a mind-boggling $25.3 billion (168.2 billion yuan) in sales in just one day from at least 225 countries and regions, a 39% increase from the prior year. Sales are estimated to mean distribution of over 700 million packages after 11-11. What was even more astounding and illustrates the power of our Connected Society theme was that according to Bloomberg,

About 90 percent of transactions were done via mobile. At its peak, the company’s processors handled 256,000 transactions per second.

For perspective, on Black Friday last year, American’s spent a new record $3.34 billion online, a 21.6% increase over 2015. Black Friday’s mobile sales amounted to just $1.2 billion, which was a 33% increase over 2015.

Source: Alibaba’s Singles’ Day Goes Global With Record $25 Billion in Sales – Bloomberg