Retailers 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
The growth of the Internet has been one of the top advancements in history. But with this good news comes the darker side, namely cyber attacks that cost billions of dollars in damages along with non-monetary impacts. Millions of Americans have gotten their personal data stolen over the past few years, and it will likely only worsen. There’s also the threat of cyber attacks on key government and intellectual assets.
But with the threat also comes a potential investment opportunity in cyber defense.
President Obama just requested another $14.0 billion to improve the government’s safeguards. Could you imagine foreign threats hacking into our nuclear installations and military? The threat is real.
Think about what happened to Sony Corporation (NYSE/SNE), when its database was broken into, costing the company about $100 million. There were also the major breaches to The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE/HD) and Target Corporation (NYSE/TGT). And just last week, the database at Anthem, Inc. (NYSE/ANTM), the country’s second-largest insurer, was hacked, impacting its 80 million clients.
Cyber Security Stocks a Boon to Investors in 2015?
Cyber security companies are attracting focus as an investment opportunity. The catalyst that will drive up the share price of these stocks will be security attacks that continue to plague companies and governments around the world and cause excessive monetary damage.
In the mid-cap area, an investment opportunity to look at is FireEye, Inc. (NASDAQ/FEYE), which was just hired by Anthem to help protect against further attacks. The company has a current share price of around $39.00.
FireEye has been a favorite on Wall Street following its debut in September 2013. The stock … Read More