Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT), Target Corporation (TGT) and J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) Gearing up for a Busy Second Half in Retail


The biggest retailers led by the likes of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) are gearing up for another busy second half awaiting to see the impact of the two biggest events that shape this period. The two biggest spending events are still ahead expected to offer a much needed offset to the below-par performance experienced in the first half of the year.

Wal-Mart Stores

First half sales for J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) significantly felt the impact of the harsh weather conditions in the months of January and February as stores experienced minimal traffic with many customers being limited to their homes. Target, JCP and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) are banking hard on back to school shopping as well as the holiday’s festivity that are known to come with increased shopping patterns from consumers.

Courtney Regan of CNBC News believes that the big retailers expect improved sales for the quarter although comparable stores look set to experience increased completion.

“The good news is most retailers are expecting a stronger close to the year. The bad news is they are up against tough competitors on comparable,” said Regan.

The second half of the year will also see more income being diverted to smartphone bills entertainment and sports according to Mrs. Regan.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has been facing its own challenges in the market seen by it reporting fifth straight quarter of negative U.S sales as well as dwindling traffic. It awaits to be seen what the newly appointed CEO Doug McMillon has in store for the giant retail store. The drop in sales for the first half of the year can be attributed to reduced traffic into the stores, due to harsh weather conditions, but such excuses cannot be tolerated for the second half of the year.

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) on the other hand will have to look for a formula to instill confidence into its loyal customers after having a data breach in the first half of the year. Increased competition from the likes of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) could push the retail store to the corner if strategic strategies are not implemented to shrug off competition. Promotional activities in this case will need to come into play for Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) if it is to win back its traditional customers.

Shopping patterns for back to school and Holiday festivities looks set to be of much benefit to JCP having sealed a new credit facility of $2.35 billion that will provide it with enough cash for various business operations, as the company said in a statement. JCP will look to build on posting a loss of $1.15 per share for the first quarter that was better than a loss of $1.58 posted a year earlier.  The improvement essentially shows that the company’s CEO Myron Ullman turnaround strategy could finally be bearing fruits.

Disclosure: none