In today’s top retail news, Wayfair is seeing a decline in active customers as the nesting trend ends, while Etsy says it’s hanging onto people who came to its marketplace during the pandemic. Also, the toy industry saw a boost as kids returned to outdoor activities post-pandemic, and Petco is entering the buy now, pay later (BNPL) arena.
Furnishings and home goods retailer Wayfair said the fundamentals driving growth of online furniture sales remain intact despite falling orders and active customers in the second quarter.
The Boston-based retailer saw active customers drop by 2 million in the second quarter and a nearly 18 percent year-over-year decrease in repeat customer orders. Orders delivered in the second quarter were 13.9 million, a decrease of over 26 percent.
Despite concerns that consumers who flocked to Etsy at the height of the pandemic would disappear when more shopping options became available, executives at the online marketplace say they’ve seen nothing to suggest that is happening. In fact, in the second quarter, Etsy added 8 million new customers to its ranks, almost double the number of new buyers it was adding per quarter prior to the pandemic. Another 4 million buyers were reactivated after not making a purchase on Etsy in over a year.
The U.S. toy industry grew almost 20 percent in the first half of 2021, up $1.7 billion to $11 billion, according to the NPD Group. Ten of the 11 so-called “super-categories” tracked by NPD grew in 2021, led by outdoor and sports toys at $2.9 billion in sales — more than double that of games and puzzles, the second-highest super-category. Arts and crafts was the only super-category to drop in the last 12 months, down 1 percent overall, as craft kits — which make up 42 percent of the super-category — saw a significant decline.
Petco will begin offering its customers a BNPL option with the help of the Klarna. The new payment option lets pet parents split their purchases into four interest-free installments, paid off over the course of six weeks. The Klarna option will become available later this year and can be applied to both merchandise and certain services.