NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -03/23/12)- Retail stocks have been on an impressive run of late as a robust rebound in the U.S. labor market has boosted consumer discretionary spending. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) -- which seeks to replicate an index that invests in industries such as apparel retail, automotive retail, food retail, department stores, Internet retail, general merchandise stores, drug retail, and hypermarkets and super centers -- is up more than 16 percent year to date. The Paragon Report examines the outlook for companies in the Retail (Apparel) industry and provides equity research on Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU - News) (TSX: LLL.TO - News) and Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN - News). Access to the full company reports can be found at:
Earlier this month the U.S. Commerce Department announced that retail sales recorded their largest gain in five months in February as Americans snapped up motor vehicles and bought a range of goods. The February gain pushed total sales to a record $407.8 billion. That's 20.1 percent higher than the recession low hit in March 2009.
February clothing store receipts surged 1.8 percent, the largest increase since November 2010, while sales at building materials and garden equipment suppliers advanced 1.4 percent.
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Lululemon Athletica Inc., together with its subsidiaries engages in the design, manufacture, and distribution of athletic apparel and accessories for women, men, and female youth primarily in Canada, the United States, and Australia. Last week the company reported that its fourth-quarter profit jumped 34 percent on strong demand for its clothing. For the quarter ended Jan. 29, Lululemon earned $73.5 million, or 51 cents per share, up from $54.8 million, or 38 cents per share, in the same three months a year earlier.
Urban Outfitters, Inc. operates lifestyle specialty retail stores under the Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain, Leifsdottir, and BHLDN brands. The company's CFO, Eric Artz announced recently that he is stepping down, effective April 3, 2012, and is being replaced by Frank Conforti, the Company's Chief Accounting Officer.
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