The Christmas shopping season has kicked off, and retailers are splurging on promotions, early-store openings, heavy discounts, as well as free shipping on online purchases to lure customers. Now that the Thanksgiving feast is done, it’s time for the biggest shopping day of the year.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), more than 164 million Americans are expected to shop in stores and online during the Thanksgiving weekend (spanning four days — Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Sunday). Of them, 21% (34 million) plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day while 71% (116 million) will likely shop on Black Friday. Almost 41% (67 million) will go shopping on Small Business Saturday and 20% (32 million) are expected to shop on Sunday (read: A Sumptuous ETF Meal for Thanksgiving). Special deals and promotions are attracting 65% of consumers to shop over the weekend, while the tradition of shopping over Thanksgiving weekend is inspiring 26% to spend. For 23%, shopping is “something to do over the holiday weekend,” and another 23% cited Thanksgiving weekend as their usual holiday shopping starting point. VIDEO
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, Black Friday shopping is expected to be strong, as consumers plan to spend an average of
$554.90 with $207.30 dedicated to holiday gifts. About 71% of shoppers will go to a shopping center or mall during the weekend, with millennials leading the pack at 83%. The big spending is backed by a booming economy with strong GDP growth, a 50-year low unemployment rate, the fastest pace of wage gains in nearly a decade, and almost two decades consumer confidence. What’s Hot? Nearly half of the weekend’s shoppers plan to spend more this year than they did last year. About 65% will spend on holiday-related items like decorations and cards. As much as 87% will be hitting discount department stores such as Target ( TGT - Free Report) and Walmart ( WMT - Free Report) , while 66% will spend at dollar/variety stores and 65%will shop at department stores. Among the most popular categories are TVs, video game consoles and games, Insta-pots and robotic vacuums (see: all the Consumer Discretionary ETFs here).
Below we have highlighted some of the best deals from retailers.
Amazon ( AMZN - Free Report) is ahead of all retailers having kicked off Black Friday on Nov 16 with Deals Week Live, wherein everything from kitchen appliances to clothing are up to 60% off. The e-commerce giant is matching its Prime Day pricing on Echo ($69, or $30 off full price) and offering Echo Dot for just $24 ($25.99 off). Additional products are being offered every day with Fire TV streamers and the first-ever discount on the brand-new Recast DVR added on Nov 25. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, kicked off the deal online on Nov 21 at 10 pm with some of the best deals — $50 off the Google Home Hub video speaker (normally $149), a $400 gift card (with lots of fine print) for last year's iPhones or $300 gift cards for the current crop. Other hot deals include the Walmart-exclusive HatchiBabies Foxfin toy for $34.88 (about $14 off its regular price), an 8-quart Instant Pot for $59 and $100 off the Xbox One X gaming console. The phone deals will be available in store, only starting Thanksgiving Day at 6 pm (read: Consumer ETFs to Buy as Wal-Mart Beats & Raises View). Target has started its online sale on Nov 21 midnight and is offering free two-day shipping on all orders (no minimum) for the holiday season until Dec 22. Some top deals include Amazon Echo for $69 ($30 off), $250 in Target gift cards with the purchase of the iPhone XS or XS Max, and the Nintendo Switch console with "Mario Kart 8" game for $299. Kohl’s ( KSS - Free Report) Black Friday sale kicked off online on Nov 19 at 12:01 am and in stores on Thanksgiving at 5 pm. Some of the best deals include the Echo Dot for $24 ($25.99 off) and the Xbox One S console with 1,000 Minecoins (the in-game currency for the game Minecraft) for $199 ($100 off) plus $60 in Kohl's Cash thrown in. Best Buy ( BBY - Free Report) has also started offering Black Friday deals. Some of its biggest deals include $300 off Samsung Galaxy Note 9, S9 and S9 Plus phones with qualified activation on Verizon, AT&T or Sprint, 13.3-inch Apple MacBook Air laptop for $799 ($200 off). KitchenAid Professional 500 Series stand mixer for $219 ($280 off) and up to $200 off the iPhone X with qualified activation on Verizon, AT&T or Sprint. ETFs to Tap All these attractive offers would boost retail sales and lead to a surge in stock prices in the days to follow. While an individual stock is certainly a great option to tap the Black Friday deals in the investment world, a basket approach through ETFs is diversified and more cost effective at lower risk. Below we have highlighted retail ETFs that investors should stock up this weekend. SPDR S&P Retail ETF ( XRT - Free Report) This product tracks the S&P Retail Select Industry Index, holding 95 securities in its basket with none accounting for more than 1.52%. Apparel retail takes the top spot at one-fourth share while Internet & direct marketing, automotive retail, and specialty stores round off the next three spots with a double-digit allocation each. The fund has amassed $587.2 million in its asset base and charges 35 bps in annual fees. The fund has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a Medium risk outlook. VanEck Vectors Retail ETF ( RTH - Free Report) This fund provides exposure to the 25 largest retail firms by tracking the MVIS US Listed Retail 25 Index. It is highly concentrated on the top firm, Amazon, at 17.4% while other firms hold no more than 10.3% share. The ETF has a certain tilt toward specialty retail, which accounts for 32% share while Internet & direct marketing (19%), hypermarkets (15%) and departmental stores (12%) round off the next three spots. The product has amassed $128.5 million in its asset base and charges 35 bps in annual fees. RTH has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a Medium risk outlook (read: A Sumptuous ETF Meal for Thanksgiving). Invesco Dynamic Retail ETF ( PMR - Free Report) This fund follows the Dynamic Retail Intellidex Index. In total, the product holds 30 securities, with each holding less than 6% of assets. In terms of industrial exposure, specialty retail takes the top spot at 53%, while hypermarkets (14%), department stores (13%), and food retail (12%) round off the top three positions. The fund has accumulated just $8.8 million in its asset base and charges 63 bps in fees per year. It carries a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a Medium risk outlook. First Trust Nasdaq Retail ETF ( FTXD - Free Report) The fund follows the Nasdaq US Smart Retail Index and holds 48 stocks in its basket. It is moderately concentrated on components, with each firm holding less than 9.3% of assets. Discount stores make up for a bigger chunk at 29.4%, followed by departmental stores with 14.5% share. FTXD has accumulated $6.5 million in its asset base and has an expense ratio of 0.60%. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (read: ETFs to Bet on the Upcoming Holiday Season). Amplify Online Retail ETF ( IBUY - Free Report) This ETF has attracted $340 million in its asset base. It offers global exposure to companies that derive 70% or more revenues from online and virtual retail by tracking the EQM Online Retail Index. The fund is home to 42 stocks that are widely diversified, with each holding no more than 3.7% of assets. The product charges 65 bps in fees per year. ProShares Online Retail ETF ( ONLN - Free Report) This has newly debuted in the space and is the first ETF focused exclusively on retailers that principally sell online. It follows the ProShares Online Retail Index, holding 21 stocks in its basket. Amazon is the top firm accounting for about 24.2% of the portfolio. The product has amassed $22.2 million in its asset base while charges 58 bps in annual fees from investors (read: Amazon Slumps Nearly 14% in the Last 2 Days: ETFs in Focus). Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week. Get it free >>