Daily Gains Letter

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Muted Retail Growth to Move Higher? How to Play the Sector Minus Risk

By for Daily Gains Letter | Feb 27, 2015

Retail Growth to Move HigherRetailers continue to fight for the limited dollar of the consumer. The retail sector is extremely competitive and success is contingent on the right strategy of attack, which means offering the right product mix, competitive pricing, and in the ultra-competitive apparel sector, it means keeping on top of the trends and consumer sentiment.

A good product today could be passé a year from now, as consumer sentiment changes rapidly.

Why Target Failed in Its Canadian Expansion

Target Corporation (NYSE/TGT) beat Wall Street estimates on Wednesday, despite recording a massive $5.1-billion charge after deciding to exit Canada in what has to be one of the biggest blunders in retail history. The reality is that it wasn’t the Canadian consumer sentiment that choked Target, but the company’s mistake in its expansion plans, the first outside of the United States.

Other major retailers, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE/WMT), The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE/HD), Lowes Companies, Inc. (NYSE/LOW), The Gap, Inc. (NYSE/GPS), and Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE/BBY) to name a few, have managed to expand successfully in Canada after understanding the consumer sentiment there.

Target simply did a bad job in not only its expansion after buying up locations via its purchase of troubled Zellers, but also its exit. The company operated poorly in Canada and failed to grasp the consumer sentiment there. My view is that Target should’ve kept some of its own developed stores in good locations and made the experience better for the Canadian shopper. It didn’t, so here we are. Projected sales growth of 1.6% for FY16 doesn’t offer much comfort.

Retailers Stalling, but Could Edge Higher

The … Read More