eCommerce – safe bank for retailers during Covid

eCommerce flourished in pandemic 2020 and helped cushion big retail groups’ overall sales decline

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted economies around the world. Stationary retail was among the most hard-hit industries. When the spread of the disease reached its first peak, extensive lockdowns were introduced across the globe, drying up an important revenue source for retailers almost overnight. Stationary sales stayed low throughout the year for many as people remained reluctant and further lockdowns followed. eCommerce was anchor not only for those who had to shut down their stationary business completely. Retail giants like Adidas or Kering, whose stationary sales partly came to a halt, could fall back on surging eCommerce sales. But also retailers of everyday essentials, who could usually leave their stores open, saw a pronounced offline-to-online shift in sales: The share of online sales in Walmart’s total sales, for example, rose from 7.6% in 2019 to 11.6% in 2020. Some retailers experienced significant overall sales losses in the pandemic 2020, but eCommerce significantly helped cushion the fall:

One example is the U.S. department store Kohl’s. The importance of online sales for the group had been increasing constantly but slowly over the past few years: Kohl’s Corporation’s overall net sales had been stagnating since 2014, while eCommerce sales increased from US$2.1 billion in 2014 to US$4.5 billion in 2019. In 2020, the development accelerated remarkably. While total sales went down by 20% year-on-year, eCommerce sales saw an increase of 33%, now making up 40% of Kohl’s total net sales, up from 24% in 2019.

The Australian department store chain Myer Holding, Ltd. saw a similar development. While total net sales had been decreasing only slightly over the years since 2016, 2020 then brought along a slump of almost -16%. eCommerce sales had been increasing over the whole time, jumping to AUD422.5 million in 2020, which corresponds to a share of 17% in total net sales for Myer Holding, Ltd, up from an online share of only 9% in 2019. Whether this was a one-off corona effect for the two department store corporations or the trend will continue cannot be assessed at this point in time.

Do you want to find out more about Kohl’s Corporation, Myer Holding or other big players in the eCommerce field? Check out the ecommerceDB Company Reports – now available for more than 100 companies. The reports give deep insights into company financials, net sales streams, online store KPI analyses, and more.

Visit our news area for additional content around the topic of eCommerce.

January 2022

Follow us on LinkedIn for regular eCommerce insights

Logo LinkedIn