E-commerce Sales Slower as Consumers Return to Brick-and-Mortar Stores

New York, NY, November 24, 2021-Consumers are spending freely on sporting goods and kitchen appliances, but they are doing more of their shopping in stores than they did last year when Covid-19 restrictions upended the holiday shopping season, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“Best Buy Co. posted a decline in e-commerce sales during the quarter ended Oct. 30, after such sales nearly tripled last year. Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. reported flat online sales in the same quarter, after they had nearly doubled a year earlier. Both chains reported higher overall sales than in 2019.

“Best Buy expects a strong holiday season but a slowdown in sales growth versus earlier in the year, said Best Buy chief financial officer Matt Bilunas on a call with analysts Tuesday. The electronics retailer tends to compete more head on with other big retailers during the holiday season as electronics become a gifting focus, he said.

“In addition, ‘some sales probably got pulled into October, similar to last year,’ as the narrative around supply-chain snarls worried consumers, Mr. Bilunas said. ‘We still feel really confident about our inventory levels and positioning for the holidays,’ he said.

“Overall, consumer demand has been strong as Americans continue to spend despite rising prices and global supply-chain snarls. Consumers spent nearly $640 billion in U.S. retail stores and restaurants in October, compared with about $520 billion in October 2019, according to government data.”