Are Home Improvement Stores a Bubble?

Is improvement really a growth industry or is it a bubble? After all The Home Depot had 2,274 stores in February 2016, and Lowes and its subsidiaries were operating 2,365 locations in 2015. That adds up to 4,639 stores which raises the obvious question: how many stores can the market support.

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Lowe’s Business Grows as its’ Income Shrinks

Now we come to the $1 billion question; can Lowe’s growth continue? My short answer to that would be yes based on the changes in the retail landscape. There’s plenty of opportunity for growth in Lowe’s sphere and limited competition.

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Sears it’s Worse than We Thought

The revenue shrinkage at Sears is incredible, if it keeps up the retail icon might soon be smaller than dollar stores and rival department store operators.

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Treading Water is good; JC Penney demonstrates how Awful Retail is

JC Penney (NYSE: JCP) is demonstrating how awful things are for brick and mortar retail with its revenues. Tiny revenue

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North America’s Real Estate Bubble

Both the United States and Canada are in the midst of serious real estate bubbles. Disturbingly, the Canadian bubble is

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US Retail Sales Stagnant

Americans have become far more selective about their spending; and old-fashioned 1980s style conspicuous consumption and shopping for shopping’s sake is out. Americans are shopping less and spending only on the things they really need or care about.

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Sears the Agony Continues

Just to remain viable as a retailer; Sears would have to close 43% of its stores or around 300 locations, Green Street estimated. That figure might be optimistic because of the loss of consumer confidence in Sears. There is no evidence that customers would return if Sears shuttered a bunch of money-losing locations.

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Lowe’s proves Home Improvement is a Safe Investment in the Midst of Retail Apocalypse

If you are looking a retailer to buy and hold for a long time, I’d recommend Lowe’s. It has a wide moat, a lot of cash, lots of float growing revenues and great growth prospects. At $77.06 a share, Lowe’s is also a bargain when compared to Home Depot’s $126.4 stock price. Lowe’s is definitely the value investment in home improvement.

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Ten Threats to Walmart

Much of Walmart’s success has been based upon its ability to deliver name brands at much lower price than competitors. This is threatened because Americans are no longer buying name brands. Three of the fastest growing retailers; Aldi, Costco and Trader Joe’s, base their business model on a limited selection of low-cost but high-quality private label products.

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Is Home Depot Overvalued?

My advice to investors would be to wait until Home Depot’s share price falls to a realistic level to buy. This is a good company; but it’s a good $100 a share stock, not a $130 a share stock.

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