×

There are more leaders than laggards in retail today, Moody's says

  • Dollar stores, home-improvement chains, convenience stores and auto-parts retailers are among the leaders of the pack, Moody's Investor Services analyst Christina Boni said.
  • Off-price retailers, supermarkets and office-supply chains are also reporting more growth lately than lack thereof.
  • Department stores, warehouses, apparel retailers and auto retailers are some of the so-called laggards.

You might not believe it, but there are more leaders than laggards in the world of retail today, according to Moody's Investor Service.

Though department stores and specialty apparel chains seem to be dragging the rest of the industry down, there is a slew of sectors posting better financials, the firm wrote in a Friday note to clients.

Dollar stores, home-improvement chains, convenience stores and auto-parts retailers are among the leaders of the pack, Moody's analyst Christina Boni said. Off-price retailers, supermarkets and office-supply chains are also reporting more growth lately than lack thereof.

Retailers' financial metrics, per Moody's estimates

Source: Moody's Investor Services

"Distressed [retail] names are growing, but still a small part of our rated universe," Boni pointed out. "The broader industry remains fundamentally healthy."

"Bottom line, the retail industry may be undergoing sweeping changes, but there continue to be a number of outperformers."

Meantime, for all retailers, having an e-commerce presence will continue to drive companies' growth, Moody's said. And nobody is "immune" from sector headwinds or from being "caught in the cross-hairs" of Amazon.

Most retailers, if they haven't already, are preparing to report quarterly earnings in August — what will be a telltale sign of the industry's health, moving into the second half of the year.

Department stores, which have been tagged the worst of the industry, will post results from Macy's, Kohl's, Nordstrom and J.C. Penney next week.

According to Thomson Reuters' same-store sales index, retailers are expected, overall, to post growth of 0.7 percent in the second quarter of 2017, down from 0.9 percent during the same period last year.

See Thomson Reuters' full second-quarter earnings preview.

WATCH: Telltale signs of retailers entering Amazon-free zone