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Children's Place (PLCE) Up More Than 80% YTD: What's Ahead?

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Shares of The Children's Place, Inc. PLCE have soared about 88.7% so far this year, comfortably outpacing the industry’s rally of 31.4%, courtesy of omni-channel solutions, customer-centric approach and brand innovation. We believe that there is still more room for this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock to sustain bullish run on the bourses, thereby providing short-term and long-term opportunities for investors.

Digital transformation, superior product assortment and sturdy demand — as people gradually resumes active social lifestyle and school starts in-person classes — are likely to play vital role in revenue generation. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current financial year sales and earnings suggests growth of 23.3% and 318.6%, respectively, from the year-ago period.

Here’s a Short Analysis

Children's Place has been aggressively adopting strategies and making planned investments to cater to consumer demand and behavior. It has been focusing on superior product strategy to resonate well with millennial customers as well as advancing omni-channel capabilities and augmenting supply chain. The company’s $50 million digital transformation investment is reaping benefits. Markedly, it has one of the highest digital penetrations in the industry.

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Zacks Investment Research

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We note that the company’s consolidated digital sales surged 37% during first-quarter fiscal 2021, representing 42% of total sales. Digital sales rose 35% in the United States and 82% in Canada. The expansion of digital business coupled with the significant sales transfer rate that the company is attaining owing to the strategic decision to shutter 300 stores is resulting in long-term steady state annual digital penetration of 50%.

With changing consumer shopping pattern, the company has been making efforts to lower dependency on brick-and-mortar platform and shift toward digitization. It anticipates mall-based brick-and-mortar portfolio to account for less than 25% of revenues entering fiscal 2022.

With respect to its store fleet optimization strategy, Children’s Place permanently shuttered 25 stores during the first quarter. The company now plans to shutter additional 98 stores in fiscal 2021. This will take the total store closure count to 300 for the two-year period.

Wrapping Up

Management foresees sales opportunities and operational efficiencies when social distancing measures as well as other restrictions such as limited-hour operations are further removed and the company’s stores and distribution centers start to operate normally. The company remains on track to accelerate operating margin expansion in fiscal 2021 and beyond. Management notified that lower occupancy costs owing to fleet optimization strategy should continue to fuel margin expansion. Additionally, if the majority of elementary schools revert to in-person learning, the company will be among the big gainers.

Pick These 3 Stocks Too

Abercrombie & Fitch ANF has a long-term earnings growth rate of 18%. It presently sports a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Boot Barn Holdings BOOT has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 51.7%, on average. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #1.

Foot Locker FL has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 47.6%, on average. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #1.

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Abercrombie & Fitch Company (ANF) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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The Childrens Place, Inc. (PLCE) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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