So, we’re gonna have to play Captain Obvious this week, because the retail industry had no surprises for us (or Wall Street).
Weekly Retail Report for March 9
As you might expect, shoppers are looking for the highest markdowns and avoiding luxury outlets altogether. As a result, retailers like Saks and Victoria’s Secret are doing exponentially worse month to month, while stores that sell $15 handbags instead of $1000 handbags are still managing to hang on. (Target’s even opening some stores in Hawaii, while Gap hopes to get over this bad economy by going overseas.) But everyone’s struggling – just to different degrees. Liz Claiborne, Urban Outfitters, Macys (duh), Dillards (duh), and Ann Taylor are this week’s notable strugglers. In order to get folks into your stores, you gotta slash your prices, and that ultimately means you’re gonna make less of a profit. And so the circle of life continues.
Some exceptions to the economy’s new rules include Foot Locker, Adidas, Wet Seal, American Outfitters, The Buckle, Hot Topic, and above all, Wal-Mart, who are exceeding investors’ expectations. Are they doing awesome? Well, no. But they are doing a lot better than the rest. This is hopefully a sign that the economy is stabilizing itself and while it may not improve any time soon, it just might stop getting worse.