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Experts Shop For Retail Stocks

Retail sales were stronger than expected last month, with an unexpected gain in car sales helping to push them up 0.3 percent.

Charles Grom of JPMorgan and David Turner of BB&T Capital Markets gave CNBC some suggestions about retail plays for investors.

"We would focus on names that are typically trading below historical valuation levels, as well as a bent, but not completely broken, strategy," Turner told CNBC.

"Those names include Pacific Sunwear, and Skechers."

In addition to those big retailers, he also likes Citi Trends, a much smaller-cap company.

"You're not buying them for the quarter, you're not buying them for the comp number; there really are no catalysts," he said. "The valuations have come into a point where they're just too attractive to pass up from a risk-reward standpoint."

Grom takes what he calls a "barbell" approach to retail stocks.

His first pick is Costco.

"They're a defensive retailer," he told CNBC. "55 percent of their mix is food, but they have a lot of growth. They...have had really stable sales the past year, and we think that trend will continue."

Grom also likes JCPenney.

"I think you need to own some of these department stores, particularly JCPenney, to keep yourself exposed for the rally that we've seen year-to-date," he said.

Which retail stocks would he stay away from?

"We would avoid the 'dollar stores,'" he said. "We're underweight Family Dollar, we're underweight Dollar Tree, so we would fade the rally in these stocks."

Symbol
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COST
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CTRN
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DLTR
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FDO
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JCP
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PSUN
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SKX
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