When was the last time you went to a mall?
If you’re like many Americans, chances are you haven’t been to the mall or a department store in ages, and why would you? Shopping on sites like Amazon and eBay is oodles more convenient, less expensive, and doesn’t require walking through a long corridor of stores you don’t care about for hours at a time.
Unfortunately for many retail stores, this convenience is driving longstanding companies out of business. With less foot traffic and fewer sales across the board, retailers are closing hundreds of stores and going bankrupt at an alarming rate.
Yet not every retailer is having this problem. These five stocks, for instance, are doing rather well right now — especially when it comes to the stock market. But should you invest in them during a turbulent time for retail?
Amazon ($AMZN) offers everything Costco ($COST) has and more, minus the free samples. Yet people still shop at Costco in droves, and the company still makes a killing thanks to membership fees and high sales. Costco also sells fresh meat at a significant discount, and provides a way to buy alcohol in bulk without going to a beer or liquor wholesaler. These and other selling points are why the company’s stock is up by over 9% since the beginning of the year, or 17% in the last year.
Try buying lumber or other bulk hardware supplies online and getting them delivered in an hour. Unless you’re paying a TaskRabbit to do that, you’re probably going to have to trek out to your nearest Home Depot ($HD). The hardware chain is performing rather well these days, even when compared to Lowes, a more “upscale” competitor. The hardware chain’s stock is up 16.44% since the beginning of the year, and 18.06% since this time last year.
The Children’s Place
The Children’s Place ($PLCE) defies logic. It’s a mall staple, but the company’s sales are increasing. Foot traffic is also increasing at the chain’s physical locations. Best of all, The Children’s Place has a robust online store loved and used by many parents. Though it grew only 5.79% since the beginning of the year, the company’s stock is up a whopping 51.53% in the last full year. That’s almost unheard of for a mall store.
You’d think everyone buys electronics online these days. Yet Best Buy ($BBY) is the best performing stock on this list thanks to steady revenue growth. The company’s stock is up 40.57% since January of 2017, and 88.09% in the last year. The electronics chain’s online store is also seeing a giant increase in sales, especially in the last quarter. Could they actually give Amazon a run for their money? Time will certainly tell.
Walmart ($WMT) isn’t going away any time soon. Sure, they’re no longer bigger than Amazon, but the company is focused on beating everyone’s favorite online retailer at their own game. Walmart offers free expedited shipping, steep discounts, and many of the products sold on Amazon, among other selling points of their online store. The company’s stock is up by 13.32% since January of this year, and 10.34% since this time last year. These aren’t Amazon-level stock gains, but they’re not terrible, either.
Should you invest in these retailers?
Out of these five retail stocks, all but The Children’s Place have outpaced the market average since the start of this year. Best Buy is performing exceptionally well thanks to a surprise surge in their earnings, as investors believe they could possibly take on Amazon’s online electronics sales. Though the retail industry will continue to decline for the foreseeable future, these stores are well positioned to handle such a decline and brave through it.
If you really want to invest in retail — especially a high-performing store with an impressive online presence — be sure to do your research before you consider any of these five stocks. If you think the retail downturn will affect all companies that aren’t Amazon, simply invest elsewhere.