Apparel's Top 10 Retailers


Retail as a whole felt the chill this past winter as particularly harsh winter weather kept shoppers indoors — apparel retailers were among the hardest hit. RIS News' latest top 10 ranking examined 30 of the top apparel retailers and discovered some disturbing financial trends, including an average drop in stock price of over 20% year-over-year.
The significant dip in share price is even more worrisome when it is compared to the near 30% rise of the S&P 500 last year. Not all retailers in the Top 10 felt the big freeze, however, as scorching newcomer Michael Kors enjoyed 42.9% stock gains and a 54.4% increase in profit year-over-year.
The Top 10 Apparel Retailers ranking is the third in a series of Top 10 retailer lists RIS News will publish throughout 2014 — the fourth and final ranking will explore the evolving grocery segment.
The entire top 10 list is available here. But a sneak peak at the 9th and 10th positions follows.
#9 Genesco
Genesco is a retailer and wholesaler of apparel, footwear and accessories. The company’s retail holdings include Journeys Group, Schuh Group, Lids Sports Group and Johnston & Murphy. Revenue was near flat year-over-year, but stock price rose 22.6% — impressive considering the meager stock performance of much of the ranking. Shareholders were undoubtedly grinning from ear to ear when shares hit a lifetime high in June powered by an optimistic sales forecast. Genesco direct-to-customer sales growth continues to outpace comp store growth highlighting the organization’s omnichannel commitment. Despite growing e-commerce numbers the retailer is still dedicated to its brick-and-mortar presence and has plans to open or acquire 168 stores in fiscal 2015.
#10 Express
Express shoppers expect a combination of fashion, quality and competitive pricing — according to this ranking they are not disappointed. The men’s and women’s apparel and accessories retailer finished in fourth place in the W-Score ranking, signifying its ability to consistently meet customer expectations. Express’ millennial demographic is quickly transitioning to mobile commerce and the retailer has redesigned its mobile app to simplify the shopping process and capitalize on the trend. In addition, the brand has shifted its marketing spend to further capture the millennial market, including signing super model and fellow millennial Kate Upton as a brand ambassador. In response to its customers shopping online in increasing numbers the brand plans to close 50 underperforming brick-and-mortar locations over the next three years. It is not all doom and gloom on the store front, however, as the retailer has seen great success in its outlet format and plans to double its presence to 35 locations by year’s end.

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