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Is 2017 the Year of the Retail Stock Famine?

These retail stocks are up against the cage going into 2017 and beyond

It’s just 11 days into the New Year, and some of the biggest retail stocks in the country have announced major store closings due to dismal holiday season sales and the continued shift to online shopping.

One of the biggest announcements came from retail stocks bellwether Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M), which — after reporting a 2.1% drop in comparable sales for November and December and slashing its full-year profit forecast — is closing 63 stores this spring, eliminating 10,000 jobs in the process.

Of the total jobs being cut, 3,900 jobs will be at stores being shut down, already part of a plan announced last August to close 100 of its 730 namesake stores. An additional 6,200 jobs will be eliminated due to streamlining and cutting costs.

Retail Stocks Are up Against the Cage

Fellow retail stock Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) announced it would close 109 Kmart stores and 41 of its namesake Sears outlets, in addition to news that it would sell its iconic Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (NYSE:SWK). The company did not say how many workers would be affected; SHLD closed 78 stores last year, and over 200 in 2015.

CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) recently outlined its long-term growth strategy, which includes closing 70 stores in the next few months as well as a cost-cutting plan that would bring in $3 billion in savings from 2017 to 2021.

Women’s clothing retailer The Limited, based in New Albany, Ohio, closed all of its brick-and-mortar stores this past weekend, but will continue to operate online only. The company operated about 250 mall-based stores in 2016, and the closings will affect roughly 4,000 jobs. Over the past several weeks, The Limited started winding down its business, heavily discounting its product up to 70% to 80% with signs exclaiming “Everything Must Go!”

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Other retail stocks like Aeropostale Inc (OTCMKTS:AROPQ), American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), Childrens Place Inc (NASDAQ:PLCE), Chico’s FAS, Inc. (NYSE:CHS), Finish Line Inc (NASDAQ:FINL), and Men’s Wearhouse are all expected to close stores this year as well. The first quarter is notoriously hard for retail stocks, as consumers are recovering from holiday shopping.

In the midst of all this traditional retail stock chaos looms, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), quietly waiting, ready to strike when the moment is right. In the past, that moment has been books, the Cloud, Internet of Things, movies and television, grocery shopping, drones and almost everything else. Whether it will ever be retail, only Jeff Bezos and his crystal ball have the power to tell us that.

Zacks’ Top 10 Stocks for 2017

In addition to the retail stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 finest buy-and-hold tickers for the entirety of 2017? Who wouldn’t? As of early December, the 2016 Top 10 produced 5 double-digit winners including oil and natural gas giant Pioneer Natural Resources which racked up a stellar +50% gain. The new list is painstakingly hand-picked from 4,400 companies covered by the Zacks Rank.  Be among the very first to see it>>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report

Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (SWK): Free Stock Analysis Report

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (AEO): Free Stock Analysis Report

Chico’s FAS, Inc. (CHS): Free Stock Analysis Report

The Finish Line, Inc. (FINL): Free Stock Analysis Report

Children’s Place, Inc. (The) (PLCE): Free Stock Analysis Report

CVS Health Corporation (CVS): Free Stock Analysis Report

Macy’s Inc (M): Free Stock Analysis Report

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