Tag Archives: holiday sales

dead sector walking: traditional retail is still an investing graveyard

After last year’s better-than-expected holiday season, I cautioned investors not to get too hopeful about the seemingly endless supply of retailers looking to rebound. With local stores starting to put up Christmas lights again, it seems like a good time to revisit that advice and check back on the sector. How has retail fared in 2015?

Pretty much the same as 2014, 2013, 2012, and just about every year for the last decade. That is to say: quite poorly.

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is it time to stock up on struggling retailers?

[Note: this post originally appeared on the CFA Institute’s Enterprising Investor blog.]

Many retailers enjoyed a cheerful holiday season. November sales figures handily beat analysts’ expectations, rising nearly 5% year-over-year (YOY), and lower gas prices and an improving economy drove strong results in December as well. Investors looking to capitalize on these glad tidings might be tempted to consider some of the bargain stocks in the sector, especially those that have faltered in recent years, such as JC Penney (JCP) and Sears (SHLD), or even deeply troubled firms, such as RadioShack (RSH) and Wet Seal (WTSL).

Not to play the Grinch, but history suggests this would be a terrible idea.

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