Gift This, Not That to Beat Holiday Delivery Drama

Nov 26, 2021

Editor’s Note: I’m taking a break from my bear market series this week, but I’ll be back next week to talk about the importance of cash in a bear market.

I just wrapped up hosting 17 people for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a true honor to be able to host our family every single year. I showcase my chef skills and love every single minute of it!

Now, I don’t know what your traditions are, but in my family, we like to buy a lot of things for everyone on Black Friday. And not just for our friends and relatives; we also agreed as a family to be as giving as possible, so we’ll be sponsoring families in need so that their kids get great gifts this year.

Anyway, whether you get up before the crack of dawn to line up for the hottest deals or stay in your pajamas and eat leftovers while shopping online from your couch, there is a strong chance you’ll feel the repercussions of the supply chain delays leading into the holiday season.

Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’re well aware of the huge issues in the shipping and logistics industries. Despite that, just last week, we saw strong earnings reports from big-name retailers like Walmart, Target, and Macy’s — all of which seem to have found creative ways to get around the logistics nightmare.

And yet, I keep seeing headlines like this pop up on my phone:

And it leaves me wondering, how can I, like Walmart and Macy’s, find a creative solution to gifting that won’t leave me empty-handed this holiday season?

I’ve heard about the idea of gifting an experience; this is like buying season passes to the zoo or giving someone tickets to go skydiving. And that is definitely a creative solution, but then I thought about my passion and what I talk about nearly every waking moment: investing.

So I did a little research, and sure enough, there are services set up that will allow you to give the gift of stocks.

Gifting stock may seem boring, but especially for kids who have the benefit of time on their side to reap compounding returns, there is strong reason to consider this as a holiday gift option.

I won’t spend time here going into the various options for the actual services. I’ll leave you to do your own research there. But I will say this: Consider gifting stock you already own, and you could give yourself a nice little gift too, in the form of a tax benefit.

That said, I’d really rather give you insights on which stocks to gift.

And for that, I enlisted the help of my friends Andy and Landon Swan at LikeFolio.

If you’ve never heard me mention them before, they have a unique partnership with Twitter that allows them to analyze what consumers are saying about more than 300 public companies. Their proprietary research and indicators on consumer demand, purchase intent, and happiness are just the edge you need to know what is happening with any given stock long before it becomes a headline.

Here is what they had to say about holiday trends and the companies they are watching.

LikeFolio: Early Holiday Shopping Leaders are Emerging

Eyes are already on retailers ahead of this holiday shopping season as the market anticipates which retailers will fall into and out of favor with consumers.

At LikeFolio, we have our eyes on two key indicators to understand which companies stand to gain — or lose:

First: Understand the major macro-level consumer behavior shifts in the last quarter.

When it comes to holiday shopping, these trends caught our eye:

Consumer Mentions of Experiencing Delivery Delays: +49% QoQ

Consumers are very aware of potential timing issues with online orders and anything coming in from overseas, and they’re adjusting accordingly. Many are placing orders early to ensure proper delivery. This is in line with a theme that emerged in 2020, when consumers began holiday shopping well before traditional Black Friday sales. In addition, retailers with same-day fulfillment offerings, including delivery or buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS), are likely to resonate with consumers.

Mobile Shopping Mentions: +26% QoQ
Walmart app usage is helping to drive purchases, with mentions pacing +56% YoY.

Why is this so significant? Nearly $3 out of every $4 spent on all online purchases is completed via mobile device. Just five years ago, mobile purchases comprised approximately 50% of online purchases. That’s serious growth. So companies with robust mobile shopping experiences are positioned to thrive this holiday season.

Mall Shopping Visit Mentions: -17% QoQ
Data isn’t recording a resurgence in the total number of visits consumers are making to malls specifically. However, trends reported by retailers like Home Depot and Target (and also reflected in external research) indicate that when consumers are shopping, they’re spending more. Though traffic is lower, the average ticket is higher, and this ultimately IS driving sales higher on a YoY basis.

Second: Understand how retailers are performing versus peers.

We use an outlier grid to plot company demand growth versus Consumer Happiness levels. This gives us an idea of which retailers are gaining near-term momentum when it comes to purchasing behavior and overall experience.

The chart above illustrates how major mall retailers are faring, comparatively.

Note demand momentum from Build-A-Bear (BBW) and Macy’s (M) specifically, on the far right of the chart.

Meanwhile, Bath & Body Works (BBWI), American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), and Lululemon (LULU) are sustaining the highest levels of Consumer Happiness.

In contrast, Victoria’s Secret (VSCO) is falling behind all peers in demand growth and most peers in happiness.

For now, some surprising leaders are emerging.

Keith again… I hope you consider this new gift idea.

It’s different, it’s unique, and it’s memorable for sure! And these insights from LikeFolio will surely help you choose which stocks to give.

And one last pro tip… I just heard that many discount retailers, such as TJ Maxx and Kohl’s, finally have a surge of goods.

So best of luck making the holidays great. I hope you’ll gift some stocks and even consider sponsoring some strangers and showering them with gifts.

How are you planning to get around supply chain chaos this holiday season? Send me your thoughts or questions. As always, I can’t personally respond to every email, but I read them all.

My best wishes to you, your family, and your friends as we enter the holiday season.