As we say goodbye to August, one might think that discretionary retailers have "back-to-school" on their minds. But even though we are kicking off September today, this is not the case. The concern is Christmas and the all-important fourth quarter.
In a land of continued economic uncertainty (overused, but applicable), there's one area where I have firm conviction of difficulty on the horizon.
My "Call-to-Action" is to be wary of discretionary retailers. They could struggle mightily as year-end nears and here's why.
I looked at the Jeffries downgrade of Lululemon Athletica this week to "sell." It reminded me of the opinion I expressed earlier in the summer to be careful with this name.
As people continue to downsize, this is an example of a company that could get hurt. As retailers attempt to figure out inventory for Christmas, look for them to err of the side of conservatism. The good feeling that is needed to ramp up on labels is lacking.
Those that might suffer along with Lululemon are Abercrombie & Fitch and Urban Outfitters. When budgeting for Christmas shopping and big-ticket items, consumers could very well likely put the clampdown on these discretionary retailers.
Too early to think Christmas? Not by a longshot. Forget the new school wears and focus on what buyers will not be wearing in December.
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Gary Kaminsky does not hold any equity positions.
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