The retail plot thickens. Tonight one of the original disappointers of the holiday season, Urban Outfitters (URBN) came out with this line in its 10Q filed tonight: a 10: "thus far during the first quarter of fiscal 2014 comparable retail segment net sales are mid-single digits positive." While I would prefer to know the breakdown of stores as Urban has lagged, the real issue, even as (its units) Anthropologie and Free People have been stellar, it is another sign that perhaps the holiday season isn't that bad.
That's the third today, the first being the excellent piece by our own Brian Sozzi about how strong Best Buy's (BBY) numbers were over the Black Friday weekend. Brian's stuff is simply much better than everyone else's. I just felt terrific about Best Buy, specifically, and hard goods retail in general after reading it.
Then after the close I spoke to Morris Goldfarb, the amazing CEO of G-III Apparel (GIII), the apparel company, who is seeing strength pretty much across the board in everything cold weather apparel, to women's fashion, to sportswear to accessories --particularly handbags -- and finally to the goods sold at the Wilson's stores -- 10% comps on the latter.
When you put these clues together with what PVH (PVH) CEO Manny Chirico said last night about the strength in 80% of the PVH that isn't denim as well as the compilation of data that Alliance Data Systems has as a matter of course because it is the brains behind so many of the affinity cards we use, then you have to be cheered and to recognize that the media isn't capturing the new holiday spend as well as it should -- to say the least.
I remain bullish that when we get the results from the online companies as well as the online divisions of omni-channel retailers we will recognize why the retail stocks haven't been hit or bounce right back.
It's just a much better holiday than people think, especially with this spate of cold weather. If we had the extra week I would venture to go as far to say we would be blowout and don't forget that Manny thinks it STILL could happen