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E-Commerce Continues to Boost Retail Sales: 4 Stocks to Buy

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An increasing number of Americans have been shopping online, thanks to the pandemic that has changed the way people have shopped and transacted so long. This has also seen manufacturers increasingly shifting their focus to e-commerce. According to MastercardSpending Pulse, retail sales increased year over year in February, driven significantly by e-commerce.

In fact, e-commerce has been saving the retail sector all throughthe pandemic and will continue to play a major role in the long term, as people have finally realized the convenience of shopping online. So much so that e-commerce is generating maximum revenues for most retail manufacturers, as people are still skeptical about visiting physical stores.

Online Boosts Retail Sales

According to MastercardSpending Pulse, U.S. retail sales jumped a solid 4.6% on a year-over-year basis in February. Online sales grew 54.7% year over year. The grocery sector grew 12.4% year over year. Moreover, shopping surged during the Valentine’s Day week. Spending on jewelry increased 5.9% year over year during the month and online spending on jewelry saw a jump of 63%.

Although apparel sales were still 5.3% down year over year in February, shopping continued to shift online. Online apparel sales grew 47.3% year over year in February. Of all the apparel purchased in February, 73.9% were done online. Furniture and furnishings sales surged 8.6%.

E-Commerce Proving Its Dominance

Last year marked yet another landmark for e-commerce which has been giving stiff competition to the brick-and-mortar stores. The pandemic has made people stay at home and shop online. This has also seen retailers going for a digital transition.

Another big change has been the growing popularity of curbside pickup, thanks again to the pandemic. The concept of BOPIS (Buy Online Pick-Up in Store) gained popularity and is likely to be a preferred choice for millions given the convenience and safety it offers.

Interestingly, February’s gains came despite inclement weather, which saw massive power outages. Although this somewhat hampered online shopping, sales soared.

Our Choices

New cases of COVID-19 have somewhat been on the decline and three vaccines are already in the markets. Nonetheless, online shopping will continue to be a safe bet for millions given its safety and convenience. This is thus the right opportunity to invest in retail stocks that have a strong online presence.

DICKS Sporting Goods, Inc. (DKS - Free Report) operates as a major omni-channel sporting goods retailer, offering athletic shoes, apparel, accessories, and a broad selection of outdoor and athletic equipment such as for team sports, fitness, camping, fishing, tennis, golf and water sports.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 58%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 0.3% over the past 60 days. DICKS Sporting carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Hibbett Sports, Inc. (HIBB - Free Report)  typically caters to small counties with a population ranging from 25,000-75,000 with a merchandise assortment focused on footwear, athletic equipment and apparel.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 5.4% over the past 60 days. Hibbett Sports has a Zacks Rank #1.

Tapestry, Inc. (TPR - Free Report) is the designer and marketer of fine accessories and gifts for women and men in the United States and internationally. The company offers lifestyle products, which include handbags, women’s and men’s accessories, footwear, jewelry, seasonal apparel collections, sunwear, travel bags, fragrance and watches.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 13.3% over the past 60 days. Tapestry carries a Zacks Rank #2.

eBay Inc. (EBAY - Free Report) operates as an online shopping site that allows visitors to browse through available products listed for sale or auction through each company's online storefront.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 16.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 9.3% over the past 60 days. eBay carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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