Year in Review in 7 Charts: The Last Dance for Retail

Lou Basenese

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

As a reminder, we’re ending the year on a visual note.

Each day this week, I’m selecting a chart to highlight a key investment trend from 2020 — a trend I fully expect to keep charging higher (or lower) as we turn the calendar to a new year.

And as always, I also share actionable insights, so you can start profiting right away!

Yesterday, I shared the single reason I believe airline stocks are about to take flight.

Today, it’s time to look at a sector destined to keep crashing and burning in 2021. No matter how much stimulus the government throws at it.

And of course, I’ll be sharing the smartest way to profit from this downfall. Without having to sell anything short, either.

So let’s get to it…

Brick by Brick

U.S. lawmakers finally reached a deal on another coronavirus relief package. As Axios reports, the new package “would give retailers, payment providers and small businesses a much needed boost.”

Sorry folks, but that’s not complete truth in journalism.

The new stimulus checks aren’t going to boost retailers one bit. They’re already dead and dying, as I shared with you last month.

You’ll recall, the pandemic is dramatically accelerating a trend that’s been in the works ever since… well, ever since Amazon.com (AMZN) came on the scene.

I’m talking about the shunning of traditional brick and mortar retail shopping, and flocking to online shopping instead.

Here’s the latest proof that click-and-order is on course to become the dominant way consumers shop in the not-too-distant future.

As you can see in the below chart from Coefficient Capital, e-commerce as a percentage of total U.S. retail sales made a massive jump higher in three month’s time.

And with lockdowns still in full effect, this figure is only heading higher as consumers permanently shift more and more spending online.

Put simply, we’re now at an inflection point for e-commerce acceleration, and at a tipping point of deceleration for traditional brick-and-mortar shopping.

As I shared earlier in the month, the easiest way to profit from both these trends is to buy The ProShares Long Online/Short Stores ETF (CLIX).

As its name suggests, this ETF combines long positions in retailers that have leading online businesses, with short positions in companies that derive 75% or more of their sales from brick-and-mortar stores.

And if you’re looking for a single stock to capitalize on this trend, keep an eye out for grocery delivery company Instacart’s IPO in 2021.

Why? Because it turns out online grocery shopping is enjoying the biggest surge right now. Take a look:

I’d argue that those estimates are conservative, too, as the latest consumer data trends show that a staggering 52% of Millennials now prefer online grocery shopping.

As the youngest group of grocery shoppers — and in turn, the future of the industry — it’s clear where the market is headed.

That means Instacart’s business is all but guaranteed to outperform in the quarters and years ahead.

After all, the company currently offers delivery to more than 85% of U.S. households from approximately 40,000 stores in 5,500 cities. No other grocer or delivery service can match this scale.

The company is still private. But credible news sources confirm management hired Goldman Sachs to take it public in early 2021.

So be on the lookout for more details. Once an official IPO filing is made, we’ll run the company through the proprietary IPO screening filters I shared with you earlier in the year. That’s how we’ll ensure this company is worthy of our hard earned capital. Stay tuned!

Ahead of the tape,
Lou Basenese
Lou Basenese

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