S&P Capital IQ Equity Research Publishes 2013 Holiday Retail Outlook
Modest retail sales growth projected; AMZN, GME, TJX seen well positioned
PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- S&P Capital IQ Equity Research has published its 2013 Holiday Retail Outlook, which projects a 2.5% increase in general merchandise, apparel, furnishings, and other goods sales for the holiday season, which would be  the weakest holiday season since 2008.  Consumer confidence has fallen in recent months, and the equity retail analysts at S&P Capital IQ see many additional factors that are likely to make the 2013 holiday season a challenging one for retailers in general.

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Despite the forecast for only modest retail growth, S&P Capital IQ equity analysts think Amazon.com (AMZN 363 ***), GameStop (GME 52 ****), and TJX Companies (TJX 63 ****) are well positioned for the holidays.  "We think Amazon's recent rapid expansion of fulfillment centers gives it an edge over other online retailers when consumers are considering last-minute purchases since products can be delivered rapidly," said analyst Michael Souers.  "Amazon's low prices, convenience of use, and a favorable returns policy should make the company a favorite of shoppers all season long.  We see Amazon growing revenues 22% in the November-December time period, well above expected growth of online and traditional retailers."

GameStop should benefit from the introduction of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One video game consoles, according to analyst Ian Gordon.  "GameStop's marketshare in the video game industry has increased substantially over the last several years as competitors have de-emphasized the category given softening trends," added Mr. Gordon.  "We think GameStop will be able to retain a significant portion of this share as others return, due to its large database of loyal customers and its buy-sell-trade ecosystem." 

"We see TJX's T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods brands attracting cost-conscious and time-strapped holiday shoppers this year with their strong value proposition and convenient off-mall store locations," said analyst Jason Asaeda.  "We also look for the company, by operating its stores with lean inventories, to drive margin expansion through faster inventory turns and low markdowns." 

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