Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Retail Split

We talked last week about the problems that department store stocks have been having this quarter. It's not about dropping retail sales: A Commerce Department report on Friday showed a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent jump in retail sales in April, as well as revisions higher to prior data.

But the data also showed a growing divide: sales among nonstore retailers, which includes online shopping, jumped 1.4 percent, while department-store sales had a much smaller increase of 0.2 percent. Nonstore sales are up nearly 12 percent over the past 12 months, while department store sales were down 3.7 percent.

So the news has been good for online retailers; Amazon’s shares climbed 0.6 percent Friday morning. But Nordstrom sank 8.2 percent, Dick’s dropped 6.6 percent, and J.C. Penney fell 7.6 percent. All are down more than 10 percent on the year, and J.C. Penney has fallen more than 40 percent.

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