Goldman Sachs has its finger on the consumer spending pulse of young Americans.
As the ecosystem of retail, e-commerce, and consumer spending continues to evolve - especially seeing that millennials may be ramping up their spending - the bank has given its 2 cents on which stocks might be a good play and why.
"Nordstrom (JWN - Get Report) remains the fashion retail destination of choice among It Girls, ranking as the top clothing, handbag, shoe and luxury retailer for this group," said a Goldman Sachs note from Thursday, Sept. 6. For men, "Nordstrom ranks above other department stores across clothing, fragrance and luxury." Goldman's price target on the retailer is $73 a share, roughly 12% above its current level.
Nordstrom Inc. had been holding steady at around $50 a share for most of the year, largely shrugging off periods of volatility, but the stock popped in mid-August after it was one of a handful of retail stocks to report impressive earnings. Given that Nordstrom is now up about 32% this year, smoking the broader U.S. market, some may think it's not a great buy. But Goldman has it valued at $73 a share, pointing out that the retailer has got it right on young fashion trends. And if one assumes millennial spending is starting to pick up, Nordstrom may be well-positioned. Plus, much of its revenue beat this past quarter was attributable to a 23% year-over-year increase in digital sales, which is baked into the 32% year-to-date share appreciation. So Goldman's assessment that Nordstrom has it right on fashion trends for both women and men could create additional share gains.
"We continue to believe Amazon's (AMZN - Get Report) progress across apparel categories will mirror its steady press forward in every other category it has prioritized (electronics, media, cloud computing, etc.)," the note said. Amazon hasn't yet established a marked footprint in apparel, but plans to do so. Unsurprisingly, Amazon has yet another growth channel to pursue. But adding apparel to Amazon.com Inc.'s e-commerce inventory can't be enough to get it to Goldman's $2,300 price target. Believe it or not, e-commerce is still growing, and encroaching more and more on traditional retail sales. "E-commerce growth remains on an accelerating trend, as demonstrated by two consecutive years of accelerating growth reported by the CB and survey results highlighting a doubling of respondents increasing their online shopping versus last year," the note said.
Of note, Walmart's (WMT - Get Report) digital sales grew 40% in its latest quarter.. Walmart still has a ways to go to catch Amazon in e-commerce market share, but it's certainly charging ahead. Its purchase of Indian e-commerce leader Flipkart also will place it firmly in the Indian e-commerce market, which could soon explode, making it potentially hard for Amazon to enter India.
Still, continued expansion of e-commerce sales at large almost undoubtedly bodes well for Amazon.
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"Improved mind share for Adidas (ADS - Get Report) should alleviate investor concerns that the brand faces headwinds derived from 1) Nike returning to growth in the US and 2) a choppy transition from the brand's traditional silhouettes," the Goldman note said. Nike (NKE - Get Report) , the undisputed leader in sports apparel in the U.S., has continued to eat market share, but that doesn't mean Adidas is doomed, Goldman said. "We expect ongoing premium sales growth in APAC and North America amid a reacceleration of sports footwear sales growth alongside modest operating leverage," the note said.