D&H Distributing has seen double-digit growth in retail sales in 2020. As consumers searched for safer shopping environments and embraced trends like curbside pick-up that met their convenience, the distributor saw significant increases in its retail e-commerce business.
Since the onset of Covid-19’s stay-at-home restrictions in April, retail sales at D&H have grown steadily within the 15 to 25 percent range monthly. Gains were led by an impressive growth of 87 percent in the PC gaming category through the first half of D&H’s fiscal year to-date (which began May 1). This is due in part to the launch of new gaming consoles from partners such as Microsoft this year and additional strong showings from manufacturers like NVIDIA, MSI, and HTC.
Key growth categories supported the work-from-home and learn-from-home trends that emerged as a result of stay-at-home mandates. This included products such as mobile computing devices, home Wi-Fi solutions, displays, webcams, and peripherals. These areas will see ongoing increases as workers and students continue to deal with a combination of on-site and virtual attendance requirements in early 2021. Products in the “kitchen and outdoor” categories also performed well this year, reflecting the new role of the home as a round-the-clock base of operations.
The Emergence of “BOPIS”
Retail sales were considerably bolstered by the “buy online – pick-up in-store” trend, which allowed consumers to patronize both big box and local retailers, avoid venturing far from home, and still maintain a controlled, safe shopping experience. And the same way work-from-home scenarios have come into favor for many workers, curbside shopping is gaining preference among consumers. This paradigm is predicted to stay in place even after Covid-19 subsides, now that shoppers have acclimated to the model.
“Traditional e-commerce is surging, as would be expected in an atmosphere where consumers are intent on a safe shopping experience,” says Fred Eddy, D&H’s vice president of retail sales. “We expect this to continue to be the focus until summer of 2021. The concept of ‘Black Friday’ has also diminished as a phenomenon in 2020. Promotions started earlier, which spread retail spending more equitably across October and November, as opposed to a Black Friday/Cyber Monday rush.”
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