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Massive Layoffs In Retail May Be Approaching

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Massive Layoffs In Retail May Be Approaching
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Reflecting the precarious existence of brick-and-mortar stores, Cowen Research said in a note it sees the possibility of closure of 2,000 stores in its universe alone, according to a tweet by Carl Quintanilla of CNBC.

20+ Percent Closure In The Cards

Cowen Research based its deduction on its proprietary top-down metropolitan statistical area analysis combined with a bottom-up point of view. At J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE: JCP) and Macy's Inc (NYSE: M), the firm expects closures of 20 percent or greater.

Mall Retailers To Shrink

However, off-mall department stores such as Kohl's Corporation (NYSE: KSS) may require less trimming. According to the firm, among malls, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF), Gap Inc (NYSE: GPS), with its Gap and Banana Republic stores, and Ascena Retail Group Inc (NASDAQ: ASNA), with its Justice, Lane Bryant, Ann Taylor and LOFT, will need to significantly reduce their store counts.

Deep Value Retailers To Shine

On the other hand, Cowen Research said it sees strong unit growth for deep-value retailers such as TJX Companies Inc (NYSE: TJX) and Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST), strong> Burlington Stores Inc (NYSE: BURL), sporting goods consolidator Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE: DKS) and beauty retailer Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ: ULTA).

Quantifying The Unit Growth Expectations

  • TJX Companies: 50–60 percent.
  • Ross Stores: 50–60 percent.
  • Burlington Stores: 70 percent+.
  • Dicks Sporting: 40–50 percent.
  • Ulta Beauty: 60 percent.

Friday's Jobs Figures

On Friday, it was revealed that March's jobs figures came in almost 50 percent below expectations, with 180,000 job creations expected versus only 98,000 actually created.

Of significant note, CNBC reported, "Retail jobs fell by 30,000."

"It was not a particularly good number, that's for sure," TD Ameritrade's JJ Kinahan commented. "[B]ut I think one of the things we have to do in fairness is take out the retail number [...] Let's face it, retail stores are trying to figure out what is the proper balance between brick-and-mortar and online sales. If you do take that number out, it's not quite as bad a jobs report."

Quintanilla tweeted out his own response, emphasizing the number of retail jobs lost within the context of what could be an emerging trend.

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Latest Ratings for ANF

DateFirmActionFromTo
Jan 2018Bank of AmericaMaintainsUnderperformUnderperform
Jan 2018ArgusUpgradesHoldBuy
Nov 2017CitigroupMaintainsBuy

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