Holiday Sales Boom: Retail ETFs to Buy At a Bargain

The 2021 holiday shopping season has been great for retailers as consumers have stocked their carts with gifts and gadgets. This is especially true as retail sales surged the most in nearly two decades powered by soaring ecommerce sales as well as a rush to stores amid supply chain concerns, rising inflation and the raging new COVID-19 variant.

Despite the sales splurge, retail ETFs — SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT, VanEck Vectors Retail ETF RTH, First Trust Nasdaq Retail ETF FTXD, Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY and ProShares Online Retail ETF ONLN — have declined over the past two months. The beaten down prices could be attractive entry points for investors seeking to tap the upcoming surge arising from the holiday sales data (read: Retail ETFs Decline as Thanksgiving Weekend Sales Drop).

Per a report from Mastercard, U.S. retail sales jumped 8.5{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} (for the period Nov 1-Dec 24) from last year, the highest in 17 years, and are up 10.7{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} from the pre-pandemic 2019 holiday period. U.S. ecommerce sales jumped 11{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} while in-store sales rise 8.1{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} year over year. Apparel and jewelry experienced strong year-over-year growth of 47.3{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} and 32{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a}, respectively. Departmental stores and electronics saw sales surging 21.2{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} and 16.2{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a}, respectively.

The solid numbers have been backed by a healing job market, rising consumer confidence and higher wages. U.S. consumer confidence rose further in December, suggesting that the economy would continue to expand in 2022 despite a resurgence in COVID-19 infections and reduced fiscal stimulus. More consumers planned to buy houses and big-ticket items such as motor vehicles and major household appliances as well as go on a vacation over the next six months.

Meanwhile, President Biden’s administration took steps to eliminate supply-chain bottlenecks, indicating that higher inflation will not last very long. In another encouraging development, the Food and Drug Administration granted approval to Pfizer Inc.’s PFE oral antiviral COVID-19 pill for at-risk people aged 12 and above. This makes it the first at-home treatment for coronavirus and a potentially important tool in the fight against the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

Below we have highlighted ETFs in detail:  


SPDR S&P Retail ETF tracks the S&P Retail Select Industry Index, which provides exposure across large-, mid-and small-cap stocks. It holds a well-diversified 109 stocks in its basket with none making up for more than 1.2{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} share. Additionally, SPDR S&P Retail ETF is well spread across various industries with a double-digit allocation each in Internet & direct marketing retail, apparel retail, automotive retail and specialty stores.

SPDR S&P Retail ETF is the largest and most popular in the retail space with AUM of $852.9 million and an average trading volume of 3.4 million shares. It charges 35 bps in annual fees and has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy) with a Medium risk outlook (read: Secret Santa ETFs That Could Surprise You).

VanEck Vectors Retail ETF (RTH)

VanEck Vectors Retail ETF provides exposure to the 25 largest retail firms by tracking the MVIS US Listed Retail 25 Index, which measures the performance of the companies involved in retail distribution, wholesalers, online, direct mail and TV retailers, multi-line retailers, specialty retailers and food and other staples retailers. VanEck Vectors Retail ETF is highly concentrated on the top two firms with double-digit exposure each while the other firms hold no more than 5.7{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} share.

VanEck Vectors Retail ETF has amassed $232.5 million in its asset base and charges 35 bps in annual fees. It trades in a lower volume of 14,000 shares a day on average. VanEck Vectors Retail ETF has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a Medium risk outlook.

First Trust Nasdaq Retail ETF (FTXD)

First Trust Nasdaq Retail ETF follows the Nasdaq US Smart Retail Index. It holds 51 stocks in its basket with each accounting for no more than 6.6{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} of assets. First Trust Nasdaq Retail ETF is slightly skewed toward specialty retail at 36.6{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a}, while diversified retailers and drug retailers round off the next two spots with double-digit exposure each.

First Trust Nasdaq Retail ETF has accumulated $31.6 million in its asset base and has an expense ratio of 0.60{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a}. It trades in an average daily volume of 13,000 shares. First Trust Nasdaq Retail ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold).

Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY)

Amplify Online Retail ETF offers global exposure to companies that derive 70{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} or more revenues from online and virtual retail by tracking the EQM Online Retail Index. IBUY holds 79 stocks in its basket with none accounting for more than 2.4{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} of assets. Amplify Online Retail ETF has the largest allocation in traditional retail at 53.6{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} followed by 36.6{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} in the marketplace (read: ETFs to Benefit From a Record Surge in Online Prices).

Amplify Online Retail ETF has attracted $641.8 million in its asset base and charges 65 bps in annual fees. IBUY trades in an average daily volume of 76,000 shares.

ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN)

ProShares Online Retail ETF offers exposure to companies that principally sell online or through other non-store channels, and then zeros in on the companies that reshape the retail space. It tracks the ProShares Online Retail Index, holding 40 stocks in its basket. ONLN is highly concentrated on the top two firms while other firms hold no more than 4.3{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} of assets. American firms make up three-fourth of the portfolio, while Chinese firms account for 17.4{e9f0aada585b9d73d0d08d3c277fd760092386ec23cac37d50f4b8cd792b062a} share.

ProShares Online Retail ETF has accumulated $709.3 million in its asset base and charges 58 bps in annual fees. ONLN trades in an average daily volume of 93,000 shares.

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Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report

SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT): ETF Research Reports

VanEck Retail ETF (RTH): ETF Research Reports

Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY): ETF Research Reports

First Trust NASDAQ Retail ETF (FTXD): ETF Research Reports

ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN): ETF Research Reports

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