2017 was a terrible year for the retail sector. It was nothing short of an apocalypse. Thousands for stores were closing, dozens of brands going bankrupt, and big stock sell-offs. It was the first phase of the predicted meltdown to be caused by the shift to ecommerce. However, this year retail stocks have soared, with the leading retail ETF (XRT) up 35% from its low last year. That said, there are still some great buys. The sector’s overall P/E is still just 16.4, well below its historical average of 18.8. Store closings have stabilized margins and consumer confidence and spending are rising, a strong proposition for the sector. Some good names to look at are Kohl’s, Gap, and Michael Kors.
FINSUM: Retailers are starting to figure out how to navigate the new ecommerce-driven paradigm, and the sector’s future is looking much brighter than it did 18 months ago.