The Broken Department Store Model

Four of the five worst-per­form­ing S&P 500 stocks in the first half of the year were department stores. A few days into the sec­ond half of 2019, there is no in­di­ca­tion that trend is changing.

Nordstrom, which fin­ished June with the du­bi­ous dis­tinc­tion of the S&P 500’s worst per­former, lost 2.3% Tues­day af­ter UBS be­came the lat­est in a string of firms to lower its rat­ing for the stock.

The sell­ing pres­sure spilled over more broadly in the re­tail sec­tor: Macy’s and Kohl’s were also among the five big­gest S&P 500 de­clin­ers in the first half of the year, fell 1.3% and 1.1% respec­tively. Gap Inc.. fills out the roster. And, JCPenney is down 55% for the 12 month period.

The disruption is not about retail in general: Walmart, Target, Costco, Marshall’s, Ross Stores, Home Depot, Lowes and others are showing growth in sales and earnings.

And then there is Amazon

The business model for department stores has been disrupted. And, disruption is the mother of invention. Stay tuned…

From Akane Otani for the Wall Street Journal

Investing in Retail Stores

What apocalypse?

The Tiffany & Co. building on 5th Avenue & 57th Street in New York City may be the most enduring example of what traditional retailing looked like before the Internet arrived. So it’s striking that the Tiffany & Co. of 2018, faced with an onslaught of online ecommerce, is responding by making a big new bet on that big old store. It’s investing $250 million in the 78-year-old flagship.

It turns out that all over the disrupted and evolving retail sector, companies are rethinking the mantra that the future is digital, and are pouring money into actual brick-and-mortar stores. 

Three blocks west of Tiffany’s flagship store is the new 47,000 sq. ft. Nordstrom‘s Men’s Store with a full store opening next door. And, Target has committed $7 billion to upgrade operations, and while the Minneapolis retailer hasn’t disclosed how much of that will go to improving physical locations, a spokeswoman said stores are an “incredibly important linchpin.”

Why? Because the bulk of America’s retail is still done the old-fashioned way, in stores…

{An “Apocalypse” is an event involving destruction on a catastrophic scale. Whereas “evolution” is the development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.}

Department Stores & Apparel: The Future is Blurry

Morgan Stanley predicts that the department store share of the apparel market will drop from 24 percent in 2006 to only 8 percent by 2022.

Many analysts continue to predict that, this year, Amazon will become the largest retailer of apparel in the United States. 

Top apparel retailers are ranked as Walmart, Amazon, Target, Macy’s, Kohl’s, The TJX Companies, Gap, Costco Wholesale, Nordstrom, Ross Stores, and JCPenney.

Continue reading “Department Stores & Apparel: The Future is Blurry”