‘Call it relief spending,’ Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said
While many Americans have used their stimulus checks to cover basic needs such as groceries, mortgage or rent, there’s evidence people are also spending the money on non-essentials including electronics, clothes and toys, according to major retailers.
“Call it relief spending, as it was heavily influenced by stimulus dollars, leading to sales increases in categories such as apparel, televisions, video games, sporting goods and toys,” Walmart WMT, 0.20% Chief Executive Doug McMillon said during the company’s earnings call Tuesday.
Target TGT, 0.16%, BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. BJ, 2.30% and Best Buy Co. BBY, 1.19% also saw increased consumer demand for discretionary goods in mid-April as the stimulus payments from the $2.2-trillion CARES Act flowed into Americans’ bank accounts, the companies’ CEOs said this week. Apple AAPL, -0.18% saw an uptick in demand for its products “across the board,” CEO Tim Cook said April 30.
At Walmart, Target, shoppers bought more TVs, electronics, gaming equipment and apparel. Walmart also saw increased demand for adult-sized bikes.
BJ’s CEO Lee Delaney told investors on Thursday that the company saw “relatively significant growth” in discretionary categories, including electronics and TVs.
“We would imagine that there is certainly an impact from stimulus checks that are impacting the business,” Delaney said. “But I think it’s right to assume there is some benefit flowing through from stimulus checks in the business.”