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E-Commerce Continues to Drive Retail Sales: 4 Picks

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The retail sector has been doing relatively well despite skyrocketing commodity prices. This saw retail sales jump in April. Once again, e-commerce played a major role in driving overall retail sales.

Although in-store sales have been picking up over the past few months as more people are visiting stores, e-commerce, a trend that picked up during the peak of the pandemic, is still playing a dominant role. Given this scenario, retailers with a strong online arm like Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI - Free Report) , The Lovesac Company (LOVE - Free Report) , Boot Barn Holdings, Inc. (BOOT - Free Report) and Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (GOOS - Free Report) are likely to do well in the near term.

Online Sales Grow

Retail sales grew 0.9% in April, the Commerce Department said earlier this month. While sales have been growing steadily, e-commerce has been a key driver.

According to the report released by the Commerce Department, online retail sales grew 2.1% in April. Of this, 2% of total online sales grew in restaurants and bars. Understandably, people are spending aggressively and online is their preferred choice, which includes ordering food online.

Online retail sales have been on the rise over the past couple of years and this year has been good so far. According to the report, online sales grew 2.4% in the first quarter of 2022, which is a significant jump, given that retail sales had slowed down in the earlier part of the year.

Online Sales Poised to Grow

The overall retail sector has been doing well despite growing concerns over rising costs, and e-commerce remains a bring spot. In fact, e-commerce played a major role in saving the retail sector during the pandemic.

Millions shopped online during the peak of the pandemic as physical stores remained closed. This not only helped the sector from total collapse but also helped people during the crisis. At the same time, people realized the ease and safety of shopping online. Although e-commerce had existed for long, millions got used to shopping online only during the pandemic.

This has now finally turned into a habit. Also, many had predicted that online retail sales would drastically decline once the economy reopens and brick-and-mortar stores get operational. However, that has not happened.

In-store sales definitely have picked up over the past few months, slightly impacting online sales, but it hasn’t been felt much. E-commerce is thus likely to continue to play a significant role in driving retail sales in the days to come.

Our Choices

Although fears of the COVID-19 pandemic have waned, it is far from over. 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.

Levi Strauss & Co. designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi's, Dockers, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. and Denizen brands. LEVI’s products are sold through chain retailers, department stores, online sites and brand-dedicated retail stores, and shop-in-shops. Levi Strauss & Co. is based in San Francisco.

Levi Strauss & Co’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 5.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 2% over the past 60 days. LEVI carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The Lovesac Company retails home furnishing products. LOVE offers alternative furniture stores, sectionals, bean bags, bean bag chairs as well as other accessories such as blankets, footsacs and throw pillows.

The Lovesac Company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 71.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 65.4% over the past 60 days. LOVE sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Boot Barn Holdings, Inc. operates as a lifestyle retail chain devoted to western and work-related footwear, apparel and accessories. BOOT’s products include boots, denim, western shirts, cowboy hats, belts and belt buckles, and western-style jewelry and accessories. Boot Barn sells its products through bootbarn.com, an e-commerce website. 

Boot Barn Holdings’ expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 4.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 17.3% over the past 60 days. BOOT carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Canada Goose Holdings Inc. is a global outerwear brand. Canada Goose is a designer, manufacturer, distributor and retailer of premium outerwear for men, women and children. GOOS’ jackets are sold in 36 countries around the world, including in two owned retail stores and four e-commerce stores.

Canada Goose’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 64.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 6.7% over the past 60 days. GOOS carries a Zacks Rank #2.