Retailers, consumers and prices
We are in the heart of the earnings season and every day brings reports that offer grist for both sides of the argument about whether the recovery has begun.
For the optimists, we have sports clothing and footwear maker Under Armour, which posted a stronger-than-expected quarter and raised its outlook, and yoga clothing and athletic gear maker Lululemon Athletica, which raised its forecast.
Meanwhile, DineEquity, home of the Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity breakfast at IHOP, topped Wall Street’s expectations due to lower costs, and better sales and more efficient staffing allowed outdoor gear retailer Cabela’s to post stronger-than-expected earnings.
On the other side of the tug-of-war, pessimists can point to VF Corp. The maker of such brands as the North Face, Vans, Wrangler and Lee missed analysts’ expectations and said consumer spending would remain challenged.
(Due to a tabulation error in the research, STORES Magazine has issued a corrected list. This is being corrected to remove Coldwater Creek from the Top 10 list and replace it with Citi Trends at No. 10)
Though the retail industry cooled last year to its slowest growth since 2002, a number of retail companies experienced fiery growth, according to the National Retail Federation. The hottest retailers, in general, grew through acquisitions, according to the trade group’s STORES Magazine.