E-commerce has now dominated the retail scene for the past few years. Just ask Amazon—aka the world’s biggest e-retailer—who has maintained its status of being a retail powerhouse. Although its profits and ad sales slowed down in terms of growth, its stocks went up 20% in 2019.
To compete with Amazon, competitors like Target and Walmart have long been making efforts to ramp up their online sales and at the same time still attract shoppers to their physical stores—goals that they have been able to achieve by the end of the 2010s.
With the rise of online stores comes the slowing down of brick-and-mortar establishments; with thousands closing down in the United States in recent years. Coined as the “retail apocalypse”, these closures have become the main theme of the retail scene in 2019. In fact, as of August 2019, announced store closures in the U.S. went up to 7,888 from just 5,500 in the previous year.
Some retail players like Payless Shoes went out of business in the past year. However, there are those who managed to thrive in this changing retail landscape. Some even had their best financial record yet.
The year 2019 saw a significant increase in same-store sales and e-commerce growth for Target as it bounced back with a bang. Its shares went up by a whopping 60% as of the middle of 2019, while their stocks went up by 20%.
This growth can be attributed to the company’s successful efforts in modernizing its stores, adding new brands, improving logistics for online orders, and synergizing its physical retail and e-commerce.
Walmart’s efforts and strategies in terms of e-commerce have enabled them to compete with Amazon. In 2019, its e-commerce sales went up 37% and their reported earnings in the 1st quarter of that year became their best record in a decade. Walmart, which sells the most groceries of any U.S. retailer, managed to bump up their sales tremendously when they competed with Amazon’s online sales event, Prime Day, through launching thousands of deals.
Even though T.J. Maxx focused mostly on their in-store shopping experience, they still managed to thrive in a digital era dominated by Amazon. T.J. Maxx’s sales increased by 5% in the second quarter of 2019, while the TJX stock went up by 20%. Most of its shoppers come back due to the appeal of unexpected finds while browsing through aisle after aisle of discounted stuff.
By selling limited quantities at bargain prices, T.J. Maxx also gives off a sense of urgency for consumers to buy a certain deal they discover as it might not be there when they come back. Their other brand, Marshalls, is now following their digital footsteps and has adapted e-commerce as well.
Dollar stores became all the rage in the past decade due to the economic recession of the U.S. There was an increase in the number of dollar stores, and leading the pack is Dollar General.
They were able to report an increase in their net sales by 8.3% in the first quarter of 2019, while their stocks and shares went up by 6% and 28% respectively. Even though the economy has recovered, dollar stores are still thriving in the retail scenes.
This may be due to a couple of reasons. First is the slow wage growth even though the unemployment rate has now decreased substantially. Another reason may be that consumers have gotten used to dropping by their nearest dollar stores to scour through deals.