Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bad Retail Numbers and Men's Warehouse (and Maidenform)

Update (12:35pm PST): I've found the equivalent in women's apparel! Maidenform Brands (MFB) who sells women's bras and panties, up 5% for the day ... Go figure (literally...).

So the Commerce Department released the April retail sales numbers that were worse than economists predicted. This week, bad news gets sold, not bought like in the past several weeks.

So I opened the panel that I track retail stocks, and in the sea of red I found a stock that's going up over 8% in the terrible tape. Men's Warehouse (MW).


Then I remembered seeing a strange CPI (Consumer Price Index) data about men's apparel, so I dug that up. Here it is (source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics):

In 3 months ended in March 2009,

  • Men's apparel went up 23.2% in seasonally adjusted annual percentage.

Within men's apparel category (in seasonally adjusted annual percentage),

  • Men's suits and coats went up only 1.2%; but
  • Men's furnishings (ties, cuff-links, tie pins, leather wallets, etc) went up 21.1%;
  • Men's shirts and sweaters went up 35.1%;
  • Men's pants and shorts went up 31.8%.

And these are US urban dwellers average. For urban wage earners, these percentages are higher.

So Men's Warehouse may not have made much money on suits and coats, but must have done a good business on shirts, sweaters, and pants.

By all accounts we are in a severe recession (some already calling depression). So I suppose men are dressing up like in the 1930s...

No comments:

Post a Comment