Online Sales of Health and Beauty Pick Up While Demand for Alcohol Softens as Bars and Restaurants Slowly Reopen
The coronavirus pandemic has upended virtually every aspect of our work and personal lives and continues to impact everything from online goods sales to pet adoptions. Now, as all 50 states begin taking tentative steps to re-open, the latest data on the top-performing merchants shows the first positive indicators for the industries that have been the hardest-hit since the onset of the pandemic in early March.
The hot-selling items within the top merchants for the week ending May 9th show how we have embraced the DIY spirit to cope with self-isolation and social distancing orders. We’re taking on home improvement and crafting projects, which in turn has driven up Y/Y orders growth for Big Lots (+3142%), Ace Hardware (+919%), Michael’s (+621%) and Menards (+580%).
Restaurants and bars have been closed, so we’ve been preparing our meals and holding happy hours at home. Alcohol retailer BevMo tops the list with Y/Y orders growth up more than 3000% (note the trend of more consumers choosing hard seltzer over beer continues), followed by cookware (and MLM industry growth leader) Pampered Chef (+1,133%).
Kiehl’s is the lone Health/Beauty retailer on the list for week ending May 9th, but that changes as we move into sales for week ending May 16th:
The top 5 growth merchants based on Y/Y sales remain largely unchanged: Pampered Chef, Big Lots, Michaels, Wegmans, and ACE Hardware. However, for the first time since early March, the list does not include any wine/alcohol deliverers. That segment overall was +257%, a marked deceleration after six straight weeks of 400+% order growth, which may be related to the reopening of bars and restaurants in some states.
Discretionary merchants continue to re-enter, including six that have not yet been listed int he top 20 in 2020, the highest of the year. The Health/Beauty sector has the most merchants represented including Sally Beauty, which has seen its 2019 digital investment pay off with the country under lockdown. Sales grew 353% in April, and despite slowing in May (+516% MTD vs +768% in April), the company continues to post triple-digit growth.
Haircare retailers and brands have performed particularly well, including:
The Travel and Entertainment industries have been devastated by travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders, but there is some encouraging news.
First, there are16 travel and entertainment companies in the bottom 20 – the smallest number since the onset of the pandemic in early March. And while the overall travel/entertainment sector was down 62% for the week (the second straight week of 60+% declines), that marks an improvement after six straight weeks of 70+% declines from mid-March to early May.
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