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Here's why retail isn't a dying industry

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Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi breaks down positive retail sales numbers in 2021.

Video Transcript

MYLES UDLAND: Brian Sozzi, known internally as the retail undertaker. I'm sure we'll get some negative retail news in this segment. But Brian, we do want to talk about some good news that we're getting from retailers.

We've got a big retail conference going on this week, ICR Conference. And a number of companies coming out with either firm or sort of soft guidance or results as they get ready to present here. And the numbers that have been pretty good.

BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah. I just want to say for the record, though, I'm a sunny, cheery, happy due. And ever since Julia gave me that nickname last week, I've been fending off a lot of emails of people asking me if I'm in fact OK. Yes, I am. But to your question--

JULIE HYMAN: (LAUGHING) Sorry, Brian.

BRIAN SOZZI: It's OK. It's all good. Now, I appreciate the-- I appreciate the nickname. Anyway, some positive retail sales numbers. The week started off with Lululemon, guys, coming out yesterday morning and saying that their sales are going to be for the fourth quarter at the high end of expectations. And that just opened the floodgates, as a lot of these executives present at the ICR Consumer Conference.

Boot Barn, maker of cowboy and cowgirl boots-- they came out and said same-store sales up 4.6%. CEO Jim Conroy said January or the fourth quarter is off to a strong start. I guess a lot of people are taking their stimulus checks and going out and buying cowboy and cowboy-- cowgirl boots to use in their at-home gym workouts.

Next up, Genesco, the shoewear retailer, not necessarily a great fourth quarter. Same-store sales were down 14%. But they said that sales so far in this month are looking good.

And then last but not least, you had Zumiez. Same-store sales for 10 weeks ended in December are up 1.7%. They said same-store sales in January-- get this-- are up double digits.

And what's interesting about all of these things-- and that these stocks are really going through the roof on these results telling you that a lot of investors are not positioned for this retail rebound. Also too, let's also keep this in mind-- you had Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Mark Tritton come on our network last Friday and say, guys, sales in January are quote, "looking good." Since he said that, Bed Bath & Beyond shares are up close to 9%. So it's almost as if the investors want to get in here and buy some of these stocks.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah. Brian, you make a really good point. I think with the exception of Lululemon, that these stocks are really contrary to the rest of the market in that the valuations are not as high. The expectations are not as high. So then when they do beat, obviously, as you can see from the action, there's more room for upside.

BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah. It's all about the cowboy boots, right?

JULIE HYMAN: Apparently.

MYLES UDLAND: I love doing burpees in cowboy boots. Nothing really-- and you get that--

BRIAN SOZZI: I know you do.

MYLES UDLAND: --you get that good--

BRIAN SOZZI: You told me that--

MYLES UDLAND: --you get that good bounce-- you get that good bounce on the way back up--

JULIE HYMAN: Yeehaw!

MYLES UDLAND: --with that little jump. It's the perfect person-- perfect piece of footwear to pair with that kind of workout.