Black Friday is finally upon us. Today is the unofficial American holiday that kicks off the holiday shopping season. Here at Zacks, we have covered Black Friday shopping in great detail (please read " The Ultimate Black Friday Shopping Guide " and " What It's Like to Work in Retail on Black Friday " for a different perspective on what occurs in stores today.)
Today is also a half-day of trading for the stock market, which is only open until 1:00 PM ET. Many retailers, on the contrary, have been open since Thanksgiving evening to prepare for one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Roughly 135.8 million Americans are expected to shop in stores or online over this four-day weekend, according to the National Retail Federation via Bloomberg , the largest U.S. retail trade organization.
Let's take a look and see how some of the top retailers in the U.S. were performing mid-day during this abbreviated trading period as well as there stock prices over the last year.
- Amazon Inc. ( AMZN ) - up $0.85 or 0.13% as of 11:15 AM ET
- Best Buy ( BBY ) - down $0.42 or 1.31% as of 11:15 AM ET
- Macys Inc. ( M ) - down $0.48 or 1.19% as of 11:15 AM ET
- Target Corp. ( TGT ) - up $0.08 or 0.11% as of 11:15 AM ET
- Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT ) - down $0.19 or 0.32% as of 11:15 AM ET
As you can see, there is not much movement going on mid-day to cause serious concerns for these retailers. However, the changes in stock price over the last year for these companies do suggest a different story.
- Amazon Inc.
- Best Buy
- Macys Inc.
- Target Corp.
- Wal-Mart Stores
Amazon, the online retailer juggernaut, is the only company in this sample to show a consistent and continual stock price growth since the beginning of 2015. Amazon is now trading near an all-time high and has a market cap of $316.57 billion. That's $54.47 billion more than the COMBINED market cap of the other four retailers listed above.
This growth may be due to investors' confidence in Amazon being the premier retailer in an industry that is transitioning to the Internet. According to the previously citied Bloomberg article, by 5 PM ET on Thanksgiving, $1.1 billion was spent online, per Adobe Systems Inc. ( ADBE ). The company also stated that the full day was expected to total $1.7 billion, which is a 22% increase from the same period a year ago.
Shopping online via your personal computer, laptop, tablet, or cell-phone via a retailer's website or mobile app is the way of the future - if it is not currently the norm already. Amazon understands this completely and has capitalized on the changing retail landscape. It is time for their competitors to do the same.