Between a pandemic and global recession, one would imagine that consumer-facing companies had a brutal 2020. There’s no shortage of stocks that struggled in this year, but the ceiling was high for consumer companies positioned perfectly to cash in on the stay-at-home movement.
Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ:PTON), Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY), Wayfair (NYSE:W), Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU), and Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) are consumer goods winners. They have all more than doubled in 2020. Let’s see why they thrived during the shelter-in-place phase of the pandemic, with year-to-date gains through Monday’s close.
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Peloton: Up 468%
With indoor gyms and fitness centers closing down early in the pandemic, folks with the means to spring for a Peloton brought the spinning class boutique into their homes. Peloton’s signature stationary bikes and to a lesser extent treadmills have become ubiquitous, and demand is still growing faster than supply. You have to wait weeks — and in some instances a couple of months — for your Peloton order to arrive.
Growth is bonkers, and accelerating. Revenue surged 92%, 139%, and then 160% in the first three calendar quarters of 2020. Like any heavy-duty workout, we’re going to cool off soon, but don’t go thinking that folks will abandon their Pelotons when the pandemic is over. You don’t give up on four-figure investments that easily, especially when the platform offers the bells and whistles of an in-class workout with the convenience of staying home. Peloton recently introduced lower-priced equipment, digital memberships that don’t require connected fitness hardware, and this week announced the acquisition of a smaller rival that will boost its manufacturing capabilities while increasing its presence in the commercial market.
Etsy: Up 346%
At first glance, Etsy may seem more like an out-in-public instead of stay-at-home pandemic play. The arts and crafts marketplace operator got its biggest boost early in the COVID-19 crisis when artisans on the site started to create unique face coverings. Folks on the go wanted more fashionable cloth masks and Etsy delivered.
However, Etsy is ultimately a stay-at-home winner because the shelter-in-place lull has inspired crafty people to work from home. Gross merchandise sales more than doubled through the first nine months of the year, accelerating to 119% in its latest report. Profits have more than tripled. Buyers have come in droves to Etsy this year, but so have sellers. There are now nearly 3.7 million active sellers on the platform, 42% more than a year earlier.
Wayfair: Up 215%
Spending more time at home will make you more critical about your surroundings. Those creaky dining room chairs and that stained loveseat are finally getting replaced, and a lot of us are turning to Wayfair to do it.
The online furniture retailer turned heads earlier this year when its second-quarter revenue surged 84%. The pace slowed to 67% in the following report, but Wayfair is obviously gobbling up market share from local showrooms and fellow e-commerce platforms. Wayfair works. It offers low prices, shipping costs baked into the pricing, and high-tech tools including the ability to use augmented reality to place an item you’re looking at into your desired spot for it in your digs. Once you shop on Wayfair you tend to stick around, as a whopping 72% of orders placed in its latest quarter came from existing customers.
Roku: Up 165%
We spent a lot of time watching TV at home this year. There are plenty of streaming services and live TV streaming offerings that are thriving this year, but let’s boil it all down to Roku. It’s the leading hub for folks streaming right now, available for free as the built-in standard for a growing number of smart TVs as well as through dirt cheap dongles that snap onto your TV in seconds.
There are 46 million active accounts right now on Roku, a 43% increase over the past year. Roku homes are streaming an average of 3.5 hours a day, and that’s a feast for the fast-growing company that makes money from ad revenue as well as the streaming service providers when folks sign up through its hub. The only real shocker here is that Roku stock actually declined through the first six months of the year. Roku’s monster gains in 2020 have come entirely in the second half of the year.
Freshpet: Up 144%
Staying at home gave us more time to be with our pets this year. Pet adoptions are on the rise, and the humanization of pets — where we treat our furry friends like part of the family — is creating a spike in demand for fresh dog and cat food. Dry kibble doesn’t cut it these days.
Freshpet’s leading the way with its cleverly branded refrigerators now in 22,371 supermarkets, mass market retailers, and warehouse clubs. Freshpet isn’t growing as quickly as the other names on this list. Net sales rose a modest 29% in its latest quarter. However, a lot of that growth is coming from young pets that will be feasting on Freshpet for the next decade or two. It’s definitely a growth stock. The excitement in Freshpet is warranted, and it was definitely helped out by the pop in demand for canine and feline companionship during the stay-at-home phase of the pandemic.