Breakout

Store Wars: What’s Hot & What’s Not in the Mall

Breakout

Brick and mortar retailers aren't dead it just takes some work and determination to find them. Thankfully for us all, Brian Sozzi chief equities analyst at NBG Productions spent most of his Thanksgiving skulking around shopping malls on a quest for winners and losers this holiday season.

His technique is creepy simplicity. "Just stand outside the store," he says in the attached video, "you can see where people are gravitating and what they're buying."

Losers:

RadioShack (RSH)

The remarkable thing isn't that RadioShack is a loser, but that the company hasn't won in a meaningful way since the '90s. Sozzi says the company is resorting to deep discounting on already cheap remote control devices and cell phones. That brings them directly into competition with Target (TGT), Walmart (WMT) and ToysRUs, among others.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co (ANF)

Sozzi says the feeling at ANF is more rave than retail. Describing the staff as half-naked people in the dark, Sozzi seems unconvinced that the chain's recent recovery is here to stay. Go into a store to see for yourself but it's probably best not to leave any beverages unattended while you do, judging by Sozzi's description.

Winners:

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO)

"Some of their employees actually asked me to dance!" enthuses Sozzi. He means it in a good way. Sozzi says the high energy feel creates a warm, welcoming feeling that resonates with AEO's younger demographic.

Foot Locker (FL)

A "sneaky pick", Foot Locker has quietly had a huge run, up over 50% in the last year. It's got more room to run, says Sozzi. He's impressed by the company's aggressive marketing into a stubbornly hot marketplace.

"Unbeknownst to everybody else they offered a 15% discount online and in stores," Sozzi notes. "Footwear's been a hot, trending category; if you get 15% customers will respond."

Rates

View Comments