The retail industry is among the fastest recovering industries from the pandemic-driven recession, boosted by the continuing adoption of digital platforms and increasing foot traffic in physical stores this year. We believe the industry’s structural changes position mega retailers Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Costco Wholesale (COST) for continued growth. Read on.Solid progress on the COVID-19 vaccination front and a consequent easing of social distancing restrictions has been driving increasing foot traffic at brick-and-mortar stores over the past couple of months. Furthermore, many retailers have strengthened their digital presence over the last year. Retail sales grew an estimated 6.7% in 2020, well above the five-year 4.4% average.
With 53.6% of the U.S. population having been vaccinated with at least one dose, consumers are now increasingly opting for in-person shopping. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the retail industry is rebounding at record levels, at a rate last witnessed 15 years ago. The NRF also forecasts the retail sales to grow between 10.5% -13.5% to more than $4.44 trillion this year.
Given this backdrop, we believe major companies in this space, for example Walmart Inc. (WMT) and Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), should be good names in which to invest and hold for a long term.