Brick and Click: Pre-pandemic levels amid healthy spending
E-commerce growth remains elevated, in-store shopping rebounds in a big way
U.S. discretionary spending on general merchandise continues to be healthier than expected. Dollar sales for the week ending June 12, 2021 rose 15% over the same period two years ago, continuing at a pace that exceeds the 9% growth over last year, according to “Retail Early Indicator” data from The NPD Group.
E-commerce appears to have reached a level of maturity, at least for the time being. Following huge growth during the heights of the pandemic, data shows slippage in online sales growth for the first time.
- Online sales accounted for an average of 29% of dollar sales for the 13 weeks ending May 29, 2021.
- The latest e-commerce results were a decline from the 38% weekly average during the same time in 2020, but still elevated compared to the 21% average in 2019.
Brick-and-mortar results are a bit more unexpected. Physical store sales have not only rebounded, they have exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
- The average weekly discretionary general merchandise dollar sales at U.S. brick-and-mortar retail for the 12 weeks ending May 15, 2021
- The recent in-store sales were $1.7B higher than last year, and $400M above two years ago.
“Clearly, the e-commerce growth has not impeded opportunity for brick-and-mortar to grow,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group. “This dual-channel growth demonstrates the need to link digital and in-store experiences. Consumers want a multi-dimensional retail option, and retailers and manufacturers need to speak to needs in both environments.”