Taking No Prisoners this AMWeird
- Lumber prices are enough off their August peak to make you go "hmm," alongside the massive advance in homebuilder stocks.
- Department stores are showing too much inventory, especially in menswear to work and now women's wear.
- less "wowed" by price increases on merchandise; clearly cotton cost savings are being reinvested to maintain prices.
- I spotted my first Tesla charging station in an A-rated mall parking garage (yes, I have a picture, and it's on my Twitter account).
- Macy's (M) is on a renovation boom. Outside of the New York City flagship overhaul, a C-rated mall-based Macy's around my way has been completely knocked down to reopen in the fall of 2013 with a more upper-end style. Macy's Roosevelt Field is now displaying higher-end luxury shop in shops (think Louis Vuitton) upon entry, and the Bloomingdale's down the hallway is also receiving tweaks. All in all, I do wonder about holiday sales disruptions if work is not completed, if these malls are any indication of activity in other locations nationwide.
- I continue to see why my top back-to-school pick, American Eagle (AEO), announced a special dividend. I had not expected that dividend, but the company did close a lagging division and is opening stores at a slower pace, and it's a nice way to endear a new CEO to shareholders. Beyond this, American Eagle's product assortment remains the best relative to its primary competitor base.