U.S. Markets closed

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Apple and Microsoft

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 19, 2013 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses the U.S. retail industry, including Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY), J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP), Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. (BBW), Apple Inc (AAPL) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).

A synopsis of today’s Industry Outlook is presented below. The full article can be read at  

Link: http://www.zacks.com/commentary/26346/retail-industry-stock-outlook-march-2013

"Transformation" is the new mantra among retailers. Despite rapid technological advancements which are influencing consumer behavior, the retail industry continues to reinvent, redesign and revitalize its physical store formats to maintain their dominance.

Of late, retail giants including Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY), Target, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP) and Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. (BBW) are focused on revisiting and re-evaluating conventionality and traditional business traits, while envisioning its brick-and-mortar store merchandise offerings. Additionally, these companies continue to actively re-engineer and re-tool various systems and processes.

Retail groups are coming up with strategic initiatives to boost operating efficiencies, drive growth and enhance shareholder value. Most of the retailers are focusing on drastically abridging costs to ensure competent operating channels. We believe that such measures are necessary to gain competitive advantage over peers. However, a focus on improving the top line should be prioritized to accelerate long-term growth.

The above-mentioned traits are made clear seeking the example of JC Penney, which has left no stones unturned to bring the company back on the growth trajectory. Management has taken up several initiatives -- from implementation of a new pricing strategy, refreshed logo, strategic merchandise and cost reduction -- while enhancing the shopping experience of customers. The company targets expenses to be 27% of sales by the end of the transformation process.

Moreover, the leading specialty retailer of consumer electronic products, Best Buy, shuttered stores which did not contribute to its growth, while modifications of others are also in the cards. The company plans to transform its big-box format to a big profit center by redesigning its prototype stores to resemble Apple Inc’s (AAPL) retail store format. Best Buy is not the first one to resort to such mimicry, as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and many others have already opened stores imitating the Apple format.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment

Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=4581.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ZacksInvestmentResearch

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339









Read the analyst report on BBY

Read the analyst report on JCP

Read the analyst report on BBW

Read the analyst report on AAPL

Read the analyst report on MSFT

Zacks Investment Research

More From Zacks.com