E-Commerce Sales Help Department Stores Start Holiday 2018 Strong

Coming off a solid Q3 that saw overall top-line revenue growth, department stores are finally reaping the rewards of their e-Commerce investments. These retailers appear to have grabbed a sizeable slice of the $20.8 billion consumers shelled out online over the Thanksgiving Weekend. Sales totals for Cyber Monday alone show that the “big four” department stores significantly improved their online offerings at the start of the season, according to analysis of 3 million anonymized and aggregated email receipts from Edison Trends:

  • Kohl’s boosted revenue 42% on Cyber Monday;
  • Macy’s improved revenue 30%;
  • Nordstrom revenue climbed 33%;and
  • Even struggling JCPenney saw a slight sales boost (3%).

Overall, this sector’s leading players performed well on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday as well, with all four major department stores increasing sales at least 16% over the two days (Macy’s boosted sales 34% and Kohl’s bumped up its sales 27%).

Kohl’s was the weekend winner for its share of all online transactions across the top 50 retail web sites, according to research from Hitwise. While Amazon predictably dominated Black Friday at a 56.8% share, Kohl’s 4.8% share took third place overall, behind Walmart’s 8.4%. On Cyber Monday, Kohl’s had the fourth-largest market share (3.8%), behind Amazon (60.0%), Walmart (7.2%) and Target (5.9%). This result is a big win for Kohl’s given that the three retailers ahead of it are mass merchants, which shows that consumers are very attracted to its product line.

“A much stronger assortment presented in a more compelling way is a key reason for Kohl’s success with customers,” said Neil Saunders, Managing Director at GlobalData Retail in a RetailWire discussion. “Activewear has been a particular area of strength which, given the general slump in the sector as a whole, is positive. Brands like Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas are proving popular. These things have been underpinned by changes to the rewards program which have been rolled out across a number of markets, and better…