U.S. holiday sales in 2021 came in at a better-than-expected $886.7 billion, boosted by customers returning to stores and splurging more online, even as a jump in Covid-19 cases and supply chain issues loomed.
Shopper foot traffic grew at Target during the recent holiday season compared with two years earlier, while visits to both Walmart and Best Buy stores fell overall, according to data measuring shopper visits.
U.S. shoppers spent less online during Black Friday this year, with many venturing back to physical stores despite coronavirus fears, tight supplies, and retailers' efforts to encourage earlier holiday purchases.
Shares of Nordstrom Inc and Gap Inc slumped more than 20% on Wednesday as warnings of product shortages during the crucial holiday season raised fears that the retailers were losing out to better-prepared competitors.
Macy's Inc raised its full-year sales and profit outlook on Thursday, signaling the department store chain had sidestepped supply chain snarls and was well stocked for the all-important holiday season.