NPD: In-store shopping in big rebound as online growth slips

Marianne Wilson
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Spending at both physical stores and e-commerce is exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

Dollar sales for the week ending June 12, 2021, rose 15% over the same period two years ago, continuing at a pace that exceeds the 9% growth over last year, according to “Retail Early Indicator” data from The NPD Group. In other findings, discretionary spending on general merchandise continues to be healthier than expected.

The data also showed that physical store sales have not only rebounded, but have exceeded pre-pandemic levels. The recent in-store sales were $1.7 billion higher than last year, and $400 million above two years ago.

In other findings, e-commerce appears to have reached a level of maturity, at least for the time being. Following huge growth during the heights of the pandemic, the data revealed slippage in online sales growth for the first time.

Online sales accounted for an average of 29% of dollar sales for the 13 weeks ending May 29, 2021. The latest e-commerce results were down from the 38% weekly average during the same time in 2020, but still elevated compared to the 21% average in 2019.

“Clearly, the e-commerce growth has not impeded opportunity for brick-and-mortar to grow,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group. “This dual-channel growth demonstrates the need to link digital and in-store experiences. Consumers want a multi-dimensional retail option, and retailers and manufacturers need to speak to needs in both environments.”