Jim Cramer's Best Blogs
Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, is long DVN.
Teen Retail Is Unknowable
Posted at 11:19 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug. 2
Do you have teens? I do. Have you ever, ever been able to figure what they wanted from minute to minute, let alone from month to month.
Yet people keep thinking that they can be gamed. I am constantly being bombarded by people saying, "Isn't this the month that Abercrombie & Fitch(ANF) will turn around? Or isn't True Religion(TRLG) down enough? Isn't this the moment for Aeropostale(ARO) ?"
To which I say, "It is no more the moment than when my daughter says to me in the last week of May 'I hate what Hollister (that's Abercrombie) has in its stores,' one month after she asks me for a birthday present from there."
Obviously my 18-year-old knows best or is at least unknowable because the numbers for Aerospostale and Abercrombie & Fitch are amazingly bad and the stocks have been crushed. As they should be, given how, like True Religion, they have missed the market. Of course Abercrombie's and True Religion's problems are complicated by the fact that they actually have a lot of Europe exposure, and in ANF's case, numbers are down more than 20%.
Meanwhile, we know exactly what we can gauge, and that's management that knows its customers and consistently offers product they want. That's why we should be gravitating to stocks like Macy's(M) and Gap(GPS) , or Ross Stores(ROST) and Costco(COST) , which have their customers down to a T, or even a T-shirt, and aren't dice rolling a fickle consumer from month to month.
You want higher risk with a higher reward you can go to Amazon.com(AMZN) , which doesn't even need to know what investors want because it has no inventory to begin with.
Or, you can look at it another way. Not that long ago J.Crew went private in part because the company was never going to get credit from Wall Street for its fabulous innovation and its willingness to take risks. I don't blame them. Two years ago I told my daughter about how amazing Madewell, which has a ton of teen apparel, was doing and that she simply had to go in and see what they were doing. The next day she told me that it was hideous.