With the increasing dominance of Amazon and Walmart, and e-commerce in general, brick and mortar companies, including big brands that once seemed invulnerable, are seeing their stock values plummet and their profits shrink dramatically. A new report by an investment analysis firm suggests 11 major retailers may not survive 2018.
Stock advising firm The Motley Fool offers a dark forecast for Sears Holdings and Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, both of which are facing "apocalyptic" scenarios. Sears Holdings "lost over 95% of its market value over the past decade as mall traffic dried up and it lost customers to e-tailers and superstores." Even after some drastic maneuvers by CEO Eddie Lampert, analysts expect its revenue "to tumble 26% to $12.4 billion this year, and for its earnings to remain deep in the red." Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores plans to close up to 100 of its stores over the next few months.
J.C. Penney's woes are no secret, as the company has very publicly attempted to rebrand itself and dramatically change its sales model to save itself, but things aren't looking good. "After three quarters of positive sales growth, its sales growth turned negative again with a 4% drop. Its comps rose just 0.2%, and it posted an adjusted net loss of $69 million," the Motley Fool notes. After the gloomy earnings report, the CEO abruptly resigned.
Another big name that is getting deeper in the red is Barnes and Noble, whose profits have "tumbled for 15 straight quarters, and its bottom line remains in the red. Its comps dropped 4.1% last quarter, with a 4% decline in retail sales and a 22% drop in NOOK sales." This year will likely see a 2% decline, analysts say.
Foot Locker, once the leader in the athletic shoe industry, is also in big trouble, with the major shoe brands opening up their own brick and mortar stores and other retailers offering a wide variety of shoes at competitive prices. The company is currently trying to downsize and offer more e-retail options, but the stock advisers say the company's "gross margins are stuck in a downward trend, and its so-called partners are becoming its biggest competitors."
Also in dire straits are Office Depot, which lost over 70% of its value in the last three years, GNC, whose stock "tumbled more than 90%" over the same period, Vitamin Shoppe, whose value is down 80%, and Vitamin World, "which filed for bankruptcy last November, and announced plans to close 124 of its stores and sell the remaining 210 locations." Both Payless Shoe Source and Charlotte Russe are also struggling to avoid collapse, but have made some moves that might stave it off, at least for awhile.