The deadly coronavirus, COVID-19 has changed the lives of consumers around the world as businesses shut their doors, stay at home orders are issued and, in some cases, countrywide lockdowns come into effect. As shopping trips, gym sessions and dinners out with friends become a distant memory, businesses of all sizes are being forced to shut their doors and in turn, are seeing a massive drop in sales revenue. One sector that seems to be exempt from the negative impact of COVID-19 is eCommerce. While the rest of the world tries to stay afloat amid coronavirus chaos, some online retailers seem to be thriving. From big-box grocers like Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) to retail giants like Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE), businesses who have online shopping capabilities are cashing in big time. The global pandemic has also made way for some unlikely winners, like online pet retailer Chewy Inc. (NYSE:CHWY) and CBD eCommerce leader Mota Ventures (CSE:MOTA (OTC:PEMTF).
While it isn’t surprising to see grocers like Walmart and Target maintaining their sales numbers during the coronavirus outbreak, it’s interesting to see Nike faring well after closing most of its stores and cutting store hours in China during the height of the epidemic. But, perhaps the most intriguing is that specialty eCommerce retailers like Chewy and Mota Ventures are growing during these difficult times. Chewy Inc. (NYSE:CHWY) is planning to hire between 6,000 and 10,000 employees to handle a spike in orders from both new and existing customers, while Mota Ventures (CSE:MOTA (OTC:PEMTF) has seen its February 2020 sales grow by a whopping 832% compared to the same period last year.
Although most consumers are confined to their homes for the foreseeable future, they are still shopping. The dynamic, however, has changed, as have the types of products being purchased.
Online CBD Sales Rise Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
To help curb the spread of the coronavirus, government officials around the world have issued stay at home regulations that prevent individuals from leaving the house for anything other than household essentials and exercise. One result of these new rules is a rise in self-care spending, as consumers look for ways to protect their health, stave off boredom and maintain their sanity. Among these so-called self-care products being bought up at a rapid pace are CBD-infused offerings. According to Brightfield Group, 76% of CBD users turn to cannabidiol for self-care purposes. What’s more, COVID-19 is expected to increase CBD purchases significantly with 39% of users planning to use it more frequently during the pandemic.
Leading CBD e-commerce retailer Mota Ventures (CSE:MOTA (OTC:PEMTF) has already reaped the benefits of this new trend. The company’s First Class CBD February 2020 sales hit C$2.98 M, which represents an 832% increase from February 2019. Mota acquired the established US e-commerce retailer First Class CBD in January 2020 and hasn’t looked back ever since. First Class, which has a customer base of over 150,000 customers, offers a broad selection of CBD products, from infused gummies and oils to pain cream.
The company also recently announced the launch of its First Class CBD Immune Support product line, which couldn’t have come at a better time. On March 14, Mota announced the launch of its Pure Herbal Immunity Blend to meet customer demand for all-natural immune-boosting products. Unsurprisingly, the company acquired nearly 2,000 new customers within a week of launching the new product. By month’s end, Mota Ventures’ (CSE:MOTA (OTC:PEMTF) had 20,000 new total customers and more than 50,000 new customer inquiries.
It’s encouraging to see a CBD-focused business doing so well after the severe beating the entire cannabis industry took last year. Of course, Mota Ventures’ (CSE:MOTA (OTC:PEMTF) differs from other companies in the space. First off, the company’s zero-inventory business model protects it from changing consumer needs. Second, Mota is a pure-play eCommerce company, meaning it is immune to the COVID-19 store closures that affect the bottom line of businesses with brick and mortar locations.
Can eCommerce Save Retailers During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
We are still in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, so it is still unclear how much of an impact the virus will have on retailers moving forward. Companies with both physical and online stores like Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE), Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) will likely have to shift their focus more and more to their online efforts, while pure-play eCommerce businesses like Chewy Inc. (NYSE:CHWY) and Mota Ventures (CSE:MOTA (OTC:PEMTF) are better equipped to weather the shift in consumer spending behavior.
When Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) reported its fiscal Q3 revenue last week, it showed a 4% decrease in sales in China for the first time in over 20 straight quarters due to temporary store closures in the region. The company did, however, see a 30% increase in its online sales out of China during that time, which offset the losses from its brick and mortar stores.
Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) also saw a boost in its revenue thanks to an increasing focus on its digital efforts. The company’s Q4 and full-year 2019 results revealed a 29% increase in e-commerce sales last year, which can be attributed to a 90% jump in its same-day services (order pickup, drive up and Shipt delivery), which accounted for nearly 75% of the growth. Target’s annual sales increased by 3.6% to $77.1 billion, while revenue was up 3.7% to $78.1 billion.
Meanwhile, Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) isn’t likely to be affected too much by COVID-19 due to its essential services status. Although retail stores like Nike have been forced to shut their doors while quarantine measures are in place, groceries will always be crucial to our lives, which makes Walmart and other grocery stores chains immune to the detrimental effects of the coronavirus.
In regards to Mota Ventures (CSE:MOTA (OTC:PEMTF) and its CBD offerings, if Brightfield Group’s estimations about CBD consumers are correct, the company could have a very bright future indeed.
To get more information about Mota Ventures, please visit microsmallcap.com.
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