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Deutsche Bank's Mall Checks Suggests An 'Underwhelming Holiday Start'

Deutsche Bank's Mall Checks Suggests An 'Underwhelming Holiday Start'
  • Dave Weiner of Deutsche Bank commented in a note that his 250+ store-specific data points between Thursday and Sunday revealed an "underwhelming" start to the holiday shopping season.
  • Weiner noted his checks ‘don't add a lot of confidence' for the overall broad retail landscape.
  • The analyst added that store traffic and inventories are key concerns.

Dave Weiner oversaw the firm's fourth annual nationwide store calling and visit program. Between Thursday and Sunday, the analyst collected more than 250 sore-specific datapoints which led him to conclude an "overwhelming holiday start."

Weiner and his team asked associates at various stores if they are seeing more or less customer traffic versus last year. Seventy-seven percent of respondents indicated traffic is "same/higher" year-over-year (versus 85 percent last year), marking the lowest response rate since 2011.

Related Link: FBR Downgrades Lululemon, Sees 20% Downside

Ninety-five percent of checks/surveys saw "some or a lot of product on hand," although this rate dropped "quite a bit" after Friday. On the other hand, a "healthy" 35 percent of checks/surveys pointed to consumers spending more this year than last year.

Weiner also pointed out that outwear and accessories were selling better than apparel and footwear. However, given the wide range of brands being surveyed, the analyst suggested that it is difficult to draw any "big-picture conclusions" as to what trend or product line is selling best.

Under Armour, Timberland A Winner

Weiner said Under Armour Inc (NYSE: UA) and VF Corp (NYSE: VFC)'s Timberland brand saw the most traffic strength, followed by VF's North Face concept. The analyst also highlighted Coach Inc (NYSE: COH)'s improved year-over-year traffic gain as 89 percent of associates suggested that traffic in their stores were at least equal to last year, if not more.

Finally, Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE: KORS) posted the highest "weak year over year traffic" responses as both brands didn't participate in explicit holiday promotions at all.

Latest Ratings for COH

Nov 2017Initiates Coverage OnPositive
Oct 2017MaintainsOutperform
Oct 2017MaintainsBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for COH
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Posted-In: Black Friday Dave Weiner Deutsche Bank North FaceAnalyst Color Retail Sales Top Stories Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga


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