Retail: Winners and losers emerge as consumers adapt

|By:, SA News Editor

Retail is in a state of "bifurcation" as on-trend luxury retailers (KORS, JWN, TIF) and home improvement specialists (HD, LOW) thrive, while heavyweight merchandise retailers (WMT, TGT, COST), mall-based apparel chains (AEO, ARO, LTD), and discounters (DG, DLTR, FDO) disappoint.

As execs with Target noted during the firm's earnings call this morning, consumers seem more than happy to buy new automobiles and fix up their houses - but have tightened up on toothbrushes, socks, and soap.

A few companies - through some good luck and solid execution - sit in a consumer demand sweet spot. Ross Stores (RST), TJX Companies (TJX), and Subaru (FUJHY.PK) come to mind.

Related ETFs: XRT, RTH, PMR, RETL.