Here Are Retail Stocks Still Worth Shopping For: Pro
Despite signs the consumer may be starting to pull back, discount stores and home retailers remain attractive investment opportunities, one analyst says.
"The statistics clearly has shown that there is slowing," Joe Feldman, Telsey Advisory Group analyst, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."
Retail sales fell 0.4 percent in March, after gaining 1 percent in February, as abnormally cold weather kept consumers at home and payroll tax spike limited their spending. But consumers continue to buy basic goods and fix up and furnish their homes. "What is interesting in the [retail] sales report is that the furniture was actually up," Feldman said.
(Read More: Retail Sales Slump in March; Shoppers Stay Home)
Feldman said that sales of home-related goods continued to be an "area of brightness for the retailers."
Feldman is also bullish on discounters, dollar stores, and off-price retailers as consumer continue to spend money on basics.
Indeed, recent reports from Costco Wholesale and Family Dollar stores suggest consumers continue to seek out bargains. Warehouse club Costco reported a 5 percent increase in same-store sales in March over the similar period a year ago. Family Dollar reported quarterly earnings with a 2.9 percent increase in same-store sales for the period.
It's the discretionary purchases that are getting put off, Feldman said, and that may mean weaker sales for fashion retailers.
"It is really on the discretionary side that we are seeing a little bit more cautious spending tone," said Feldman.
High-end consumers may also be feeling a bit of the pinch from higher taxes. On Monday, JPMorgan downgraded Saks to "neutral" from "overweight," with a price target of $12. Higher tax rates and continuing fiscal uncertainty put pressure on Saks' high-end customers, the analysts said in a research report.
Recently, Macy's and Lord & Taylor also cited "concerns at the higher end given the higher tax burden," JPMorgan analysts wrote.
"While we believe the longer-term outlook for luxury and Saks remains bright, the picture remains more cloudy today, in our view," the analysts said.
JPMorgan currently has, or had within the past 12 months, Saks as a client.