Consumers continued to spend on home categories in the first six weeks of 2021, reported The NPD Group, attributing such spending to the continuing pandemic and economic stimulus payments.
Consumer spending on general merchandise categories, including housewares, consumer electronics and small appliances, registered double-digit year-over-year dollar gains in January and the first week of February, according to NPD.
Spending at retail on these and other types of categories, including sports equipment, reached $706 billion in 2020, a 1% increase over 2019, NPD reported.
Online dollar sales of discretionary general merchandise grew 34% in 2020, according to NPD. Small appliances, video games, housewares, consumer electronics and toys showed the strongest growth for the year with online gains greater than 50% each, NPD reported.
Each week in 2021 has registered double-digit growth in terms of discretionary retail spending in the general merchandise categories NPD tracks— a trend that has continued into early February. In the week ending February 6, discretionary retail dollar sales increased 13% versus the same week last year, NPD’s retail early indicator data shows.
NPD’s Checkout information shows purchasing in the online channel continues to outperform year-ago results by more than 30%.
“The robust nature of this continued spending, albeit helped by the stimulus payments, is impressive in that the consumer demand and desire for products to enhance their lives at home is clearly there,” said Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief retail industry advisor. “But with many products being one-and-done purchases by nature, future retail momentum will require product and marketing innovation that creates new consumer intrigue.”