Black Friday all year long

Commentary2 months ago
As the popularity of baseball has waned in recent decades, America’s favorite pastime has become consuming.
Goods, services, content: Americans love it all. If political leaders learned one thing during the pandemic, it’s that if you give Americans money, they will spend it—with great enthusiasm.
As of October, U.S. real retail sales (in-person and online)—adjusted for inflation—were 13% higher than “pre-pandemic” levels.
The following chart compares total retail spending to February 2020, when the Covid-induced recession began, and we can see enthusiastic spending is not just a this-month phenomenon.
Retail sales have surged since the pandemic-induced recession ended
What the pandemic appears to have changed, in our view, is when and how that money gets spent. A report from Adobe Analytics published earlier this week suggested online spending over the Thanksgiving weekend (including the typically-infamous Black Friday) was down across the board.
According to Adobe, Cyber Monday sales dropped 1.4% from last year; Cyber Week sales — which cover Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday — dropped 1.4%; and Black Friday online sales dropped 1.3%. Plenty of outlets seized on this nugget of data as an ominous sign.
But zoom out, and Adobe’s data shows a much rosier picture.
From November 1, 2021 through November 29, 2021, Adobe’s data shows online consumer spending is up 11.9% over the same period last year. And the firm expects that from November 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021, online sales will rise 10% to a new record of $270 billion.
A common refrain we heard as the pandemic began is that this event would force ten years of change into one year’s time. This idea may overstate the magnitude of some changes, but we believe shopping behaviors have materially changed.
E-commerce sales as a percent of total retail sales in the U.S. peaked at 15.7% in the second quarter of 2020, but still totaled 13% in the third quarter of 2021. In the fourth quarter of 2019, the last full quarter before the Covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce sales accounted for just 11.4% of retail sales. And in our view, this figure likely understates the impact online shopping has had on many categories, given that retail sales include gasoline, which has not been disrupted by Amazon. (Yet.)
So with more consumer spending moving online, the patterns emerging this holiday season may suggest that our new, digital era for retail is less levered to the success of the traditional holiday shopping period.
Titan Flagship holding Shopify, for instance, enables any retailer to become an e-commerce powerhouse. Titan Opportunities holding Farfetch has brought much of the caché of luxury shopping into the online sphere. And Flagship holding Amazon’s Prime Day is a strong example of how a retailer can create a “shopping holiday” based on little beyond a desire to clear excess inventory.
As retail continues to move into the timeless, spaceless void of digital commerce, we believe these behavioral changes are just beginning.

Become a Titan investor today.

Investment articles and resources
Become the smartest investor you've ever been through straightforward, easy-to-read investment articles.
Titan Global Capital Management USA, Inc ("Titan") is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). By using this website, you accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Titan’s investment advisory services are available only to residents of the United States in jurisdictions where Titan is registered. Nothing on this website should be considered an offer, solicitation of an offer, or advice to buy or sell securities. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any historical returns, expected returns [or probability projections] are hypothetical in nature and may not reflect actual future performance. Account holdings are for illustrative purposes only and are not investment recommendations. The content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a comprehensive description of Titan’s investment advisory services.
Refer to Titan's Program Brochure for more information. Certain investments are not suitable for all investors. Before investing, consider your investment objectives and Titan’s fees. The rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long term investments. Investment losses are possible, including the potential loss of all amounts invested. Brokerage services are provided to Titan Clients by Apex Clearing, an SEC registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC. For more information, see our disclosures. Information provided by Titan Support is for informational and general educational purposes only and is not investment or financial advice.
© Copyright 2022 Titan Global Capital Management USA, Inc. All Rights Reserved.