June 7, 2021
Traditionally, consumers tend to shop less in the summer months. Other than venues tied to tourism and vacation, retailers typically don’t look forward to the summer doldrums. The possible exception to this rule is Father’s Day, when the National Retail Federation expects U.S. consumers to spend more than $20.1 billion on gifts and other items this year.
However, this summer may look a bit different after last year’s pandemic-related lockdown. Summer 2021 is likely to break the trend for several reasons. First, U.S. household savings nearly doubled and higher market values in equities and real estate lifted household wealth last year. Then there’s the pent-up desire to return to normal lifestyle activities. With that in mind, let’s take a shopping trip for some of the in-demand products during the summer and a few of the publicly traded retailers that want them in our shopping carts.
Beating the summer heat often means taking a trip to the pool, lake, beach, or favorite swimming hole. So let’s start our shopping excursion with a trip to Ross Stores (Tii:ROST) for our trousers, sunhats, shorts or skirts as well as swimwear. The discount clothing outlet offers a wide range of swimwear for men, women, and children through its 1,585 locations in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam. The retailer recently announced plans to expand its Ross Dress for Less and three dd’s DISCOUNTS stores, with a goal of opening 60 new locations in fiscal 2021.
With the swimwear acquired, it’s time to protect our skin from potentially harmful UV rays, which are stronger during the spring and summer months (except for those living near the equator). Ulta Beauty Inc. (Tii:ULTA) offers a robust line of sunblock, sunscreen, lotions and moisturizers. Sales are strong for the beauty store chain. For its first quarter ended May 1, 2021, net sales increased 65.2% to $1.9 billion. Ulta Beauty operates 1,290 retail stores across 50 states and also distributes products through its website.
If you’re planning a day at the beach or poolside, you’ll need a reliable backpack to store your gear and maybe a pair of flip-flops or sandals. With 1,282 T.J. Maxx, 1,147 Marshalls, 843 HomeGoods, 52 Sierra, and 39 Homesense stores, The TJX Companies, Inc. (Tii:TJX) is the next step in our shopping trip. Through the company’s HomeGoods stores, consumers can even shop its line of ice cream makers and ice pop molds in case summer plans include entertaining groups of kids.
These days you can’t be too careful when it comes to hygiene and killing germs, particularly if you have children. Dollar Tree Inc. (Tii:DLTR) carries a full line of hand sanitizers and toiletry bags in addition to its other frugal favorites. The discount retailer also offers a selection of party supplies that include streamers, party hats, paper plates and utensils, if your summer plans call for some outdoor entertaining.
Finally, let’s not forget to pick up some good reading material for your downtime this summer. Though now one of the retail industry giants, Amazon.com, Inc. (Tii:AMZN) began as an online bookstore, and consumers can still purchase an estimated 48.5 million titles through the e-commerce platform. Though many may opt for a digital copy for their tablets or e-readers, physical print books remain a popular format among U.S. consumers. Print book sales have actually improved over the last five years, and unit sales now amount to over 650 million per year. More than 65% of adults have read a print book in the last 12 months, according to market research provider Statista.
As the weather continues to warm, expect these and other retailers to ramp up marketing and social media activity as they look to offset the potential summertime retail blues.