Women's apparel is like Christopher Walken: in the Dead Zone. It's where the real degradation is. When Ross Stores (ROST) has a miss and it blames it in part on women's apparel. That's devastating because that's its core competence.
Something has happened with women and shopping and apparel. We don't know if it is Amazon (AMZN) that's doing the stealing -- 27% growth in retail -- or the shoppers are on strike. We just can't figure it out.
Gap (GPS) did terribly in women's. Nordstrom (JWN) and Macy's (M) and Kohl's (KSS): all bad. Target (TGT) told me they did 2-3%-plus comps and good in swim, but the guide down for next quarter is very worrisome. The real strength in TJX (TJX) was at home goods. We know Lowe's (LOW) isn't apparel, hence the strength. Walmart (WMT) doesn't emphasize apparel. It's the killer category, meaning it kills anyone who touches it.
The saving graces? We did hear from Penney (JCP) that plus-size demands try-on and women are reluctant to buy large sizes from online. That's a positive.
American Eagle (AEOS) told a good apparel story, but then again, that's teen.
And footwear's doing well, not that there's a way to play it.
Stay close to this. There could be many read-throughs. I know some will want to short Lululemon (LULU) off of it, but Athleta was the only part of Gap that worked. Lots of better shorts to fry.