Top Retail Companies To Own In Right Now

Gold is innate to Indian culture. This trait is best reflected during times of festivities when people flock to the streets to buy a piece of the yellow metal bringing the touch of auspiciousness to the occasion.

Although gold buying is often tagged to the fulfillment of cultural and religious practices, in reality, its economic underpinnings that drive this behavior. For the rural masses, it’s one of the only means of saving and storing wealth. For the urban masses, it’s a store of value and an excellent means to diversify their portfolios.

Will this time be different?

A lot of gold gets consumed in India during the last calendar quarter which holds a series of festivals and also the onset of marriage season. Dhanteras which marks the beginning of Diwali is observed as the biggest gold buying day.

However, the economic slowdown coupled with high inflation is likely to strain consumer budgets this season. Will this deter consumers who are going for gold?

Top Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: Groupon Inc (GRPN)

Groupon, Inc. (Groupon) is a local e-commerce marketplace that connects merchants to consumers by offering goods and services at a discount. Each day the Company e-mails its subscribers discounted offers for goods and services that are targeted by location and personal preferences. Consumers also access its deals directly through its Websites and mobile applications. The Company operates in two segments: North America, which represents the United States and Canada; and International, which represents the rest of its global operations. Customers purchase Groupons from the Company and redeem them with its merchants. As of September 30, 2011, the Company featured deals from over 190,000 merchants worldwide across over 190 categories of goods and services. Groupon primarily addresses the worldwide local commerce markets in the leisure, recreation, foodservice and retail sectors. In February 2012, the Company announced the launch of Groupon Thailand. In September 2012, it acqui red Savored.

In May 2010, the Company acquired CityDeal Europe GmbH (CityDeal). In August 2010, the Company acquired Qpod.inc (Qpod). In November 2010, the Company acquired Ludic Labs, Inc., a company that designs and develops local marketing services. During the year ended December 31, 2010, the Company acquired Mobly, Inc. In February 2011, the Company launched Deal Channels, which aggregates daily deals from the same category.

The Company distributes a featured daily deal by e-mail on behalf of local merchants to subscribers. It offers daily deals from more than 40 national merchants, including Bath & Body Works, The Body Shop, Hyatt Regency, InterContinental Hotels, Lions Gate, Redbox, Shutterfly and Zipcar across subsets of the North American market. Daily deals that do not appear as a featured daily deal appear as Deals Nearby. Each Deal Nearby is summarized in fewer than 20 words next to the featured daily deal. Deals Nearby often extends bey ond the subscriber’s closest market or buying preferences.

National merchants also have used the Company’s marketplace as an alternative to traditional marketing and brand advertising. On August 19, 2010, the Company e-mailed and posted a Groupon daily deal offering $50 of apparel at Gap for $25 to 9.2 million subscribers across 85 markets in North America. It sold approximately 433,000 Groupons in 24 hours. Of the consumers who purchased Groupons, approximately 200,000 were new subscribers. As of September 30, 2011, it had 142.9 million subscribers to its daily e-mails.

Groupon NOW is a deal initiated by a merchant on demand and offered instantly to subscribers through mobile devices and its Website. Subsequent to the year ended December 31, 2010, the Company launched Groupon NOW in 25 North American markets. Deal Channels aggregate daily deals from the same category and are accessible through its Website and through e-mail alerts that subscribers sign up to receive. It offers Deal Channels in home and g arden and event tickets and travel. Merchants can register their deals to be included in a Deal Channel. Subscribers can use Deal Channels to focus on deals that are of interest to them.

Self-Service Deals allows the Company’s merchants to use a self-service platform to create and launch deals at their discretion. The use of the platform is free and allows merchants to establish a permanent e-commerce presence on Groupon that can be visited and followed by subscribers. The Company receives a portion of the purchase price from deals sold through Self-Service Deals based on the extent to which it marketed the deal. In December 2010, it launched Self-Service Deals in selected North American markets.

Groupon Goods enables consumers to purchase vouchers for products directly from its Website. The Company e-mails deals for Groupon Goods weekly to a targeted subscriber base. The Company offers deals for a variety of product categories, including electro nics, home and garden and toys. In September 2011, the Compa! ny launch! ed Groupon Goods in select North American and International markets.

Groupon Rewards enables consumers to unlock special Groupon deals from local merchants through repeat visits. Consumers earn reward points at participating merchants by paying with the credit or debit card they have registered with the Company. Merchants set the amount the consumer must spend to unlock a reward deal, and once a consumer is eligible to unlock a deal, it automatically notifies them. The Company distributes its deals directly through several platforms: a daily e-mail, its Websites, its mobile applications and social networks.

In December 2010, the Company partnered with Redbox to offer a daily deal to their user base and it acquired over 200,000 new customers through that offer and in March 2011, it partnered with eBay to offer a daily deal to their user base and it acquired over 290,000 new customers through that offer. The featured daily deal e-mail contains one hea dline deal with a full-description of the deal and often contains links to More Great Deals Nearby, all of which are available within a subscriber’s market.

Visitors are prompted to register as a subscriber when they first visit its Website and thereafter use the Website as a portal for featured daily deals, Deals Nearby, national deals, and where available, Deal Channels and Self-Service Deals. Consumers also access the Company’s deals through its mobile applications, which are available on the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows mobile operating systems. It launched its first mobile application in March 2010. The Company publishes its daily deals through various social networks and its notifications are adapted to the particular format of each of these social networking platforms.

Groupon competes with Google, Microsoft, Eversave, BuyWithMe and LivingSocial.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Coupons.Com Inc (NYSE: COUP) is the most recent small cap digital coupon or daily deal stock to emerge in a spectacular IPO to challenge existing players like mid cap Groupon Inc (NASDAQ: GRPN) and small caps LiveDeal Inc (NASDAQ: LIVE) and RetailMeNot Inc (NASDAQ: SALE). However and since the recent IPO, small cap Coupons.Com has been a relatively flat deal for investors.

  • [By Brian Lund]

    jdlasica/flickrMarc Andreessen is bullish on Bitcoin. It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Bitcoin. Hackers have had their way with three Bitcoin sites that hold customer funds, and one, for all intents and purposes, has gone out of business. Poloniex had $50,000 of Bitcoin stolen; Flexcoin reported $600,000 in theft; and Mt. Gox — the first and at one time, the largest exchange — reportedly had $400 million stolen, which caused it to cease business and declare bankruptcy. This turmoil has sent the former golden child of hipster investors plummeting from the nosebleed heights of $1,242 per coin to a low of $419. The virtual currency gods then poured salt into the wound when the Japanese government announced that it intended to regulate Bitcoin — a move that foreshadows similar actions by regulators in North America and the European Union. The dark cloud hanging over the currency got a bit darker — reminding us that though the currency is virtual, the people behind it are real — when it was announced that Autumn Radtke, CEO of bitcoin exchange First Meta, committed suicide at the age of 28. So why hasn’t Bitcoin failed once and for all? The answer doesn’t have to do so much with what is happening now with the currency as it does with who is betting big on its success. Follow the Leaders: Marc Andreessen and Fred Wilson Allow me to introduce you to two people who think Bitcoin is just in its infancy, and whose opinions you should pay attention to: Marc Andreessen and Fred Wilson. You might recognize Andreessen as the co-creator of the first web browser — Mosaic — and co-founder of Netscape Communications, which was purchased by AOL (AOL) (publisher of DailyFinance) in 1999 for $4.2 billion. After that, he went on to form Andreessen Horowitz, one of the premier Silicon Valley venture capital firms, which was an early investor in such obscure start-ups as Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), Groupon (GRPN) and Zynga (ZNGA). You might not recognize Fred Wil

  • [By Benjamin Pimentel]

    Microsoft (MSFT)  shed 0.8% to close at $38.11, while Groupon Inc. (GRPN)  slipped 1.3% to close at $8.57.

  • [By David Eller]

    Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN  ) announced earnings of $0.04 per share, which beat expectations by $0.02 and sent the shorts running for cover. The stock rocketed up 18% until people actually read the press release and found that Groupon is projecting a loss rather than a profit for the coming quarter. This is surprising, since revenue guidance was $50 million more than expected. So, the company is closing more business but making less money.

Top Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: CVS Corporation(CVS)

CVS Caremark Corporation operates as a pharmacy services company in the United States. The company?s Pharmacy Services segment provides a range of pharmacy benefit management services, including mail order pharmacy services, specialty pharmacy services, plan design and administration, formulary management, and claims processing; and drug benefits to eligible beneficiaries under the Federal Government?s Medicare Part D program. This segment primarily serves employers, insurance companies, unions, government employee groups, managed care organizations and other sponsors of health benefit plans, and individuals. As of December 31, 2010, it operated 44 retail specialty pharmacy stores, 18 specialty mail order pharmacies, and 4 mail service pharmacies located in 25 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. This segment operates business under the CVS Caremark Pharmacy Services, Caremark, CVS Caremark, CarePlus CVS/pharmacy, CarePlus, RxAmerica, Accordant, and TheraCom names. The company?s Retail Pharmacy segment sells prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, beauty products and cosmetics, seasonal merchandise, greeting cards, and convenience foods through its pharmacy retail stores and online, as well as offers film and photo finishing, and health care services. This segment operated 7,182 retail drugstores located in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia; and 560 retail health care clinics in 26 states and the District of Columbia under the MinuteClinic name. It has a strategic alliance with Alere, L.L.C. for the management of disease management program offerings that cover chronic diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease. CVS Caremark Corporation was founded in 1892 and is based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dan Burrows]

    Specifically, IRC specializes in retail locations. Some of its biggest customers are national chains like Walmart (WMT) and CVS (CVS).

    Also, IRC is the only name in this group of dividend stocks that’s above $10 as of this writing … but I wouldn’t hold that against Inland.

  • [By Victor Selva]

    As we can see, the firm has a lower ROE than Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO) and CVS Caremark Corporation (CVS).

    Final Comment

Top Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: Burberry Group PLC (BRBY)

Burberry Group plc (Burberry) is a holding company. The Company designs and sources luxury apparel and accessories, selling through a diversified network of retail (including digital), wholesale and licensing channels worldwide. The Company’s Retail/wholesale channel is engaged in the sale of luxury goods through Burberry mainline stores, concessions, outlets and digital commerce, as well as Burberry franchisees, prestige department stores globally and multi-brand specialty accounts. The Company’s retail channel includes approximately 206 mainline stores, 214 concessions within department stores, digital commerce and 49 outlets. The Company’s wholesale channel includes sales to department stores, multi-brand specialty accounts, Travel Retail and franchisees who operates approximately 65 Burberry stores. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jonathan Morgan]

    Burberry (BRBY) added 1.8 percent to 1,488 pence. Revenue climbed 17 percent to 1.03 billion pounds, while adjusted pretax profit for the six months ended Sept. 30 rose to 174 million pounds from 173 million pounds a year earlier, the London-based trenchcoat maker said in a statement.

  • [By Alexis Xydias]

    Prudential Plc, Britain’s biggest insurer by market value, climbed 1.6 percent after saying nine-month sales rose 6 percent. Burberry (BRBY) Group Plc rose 0.6 percent after reporting first-half earnings.

  • [By Sarah Jones]

    Burberry Group Plc (BRBY) climbed 1.4 percent to 1,299 pence. Goldman Sachs also added the U.K.’s largest luxury-goods maker to its conviction buy list. The brokerage said that Burberry’s fundamentals remain robust.

  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    Commodity producers slid as the release fueled concern about the slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy. Burberry Group Plc (BRBY) gained 4.8 percent after the company’s spring-summer collection helped increase retail sales in its fiscal first quarter by more than analysts had estimated. Tryg A/S (TRYG) added 3.3 percent after posting better-than-forecast pretax profit as cost cuts offset increased weather-related claims.

Top Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: Natural Grocers By Vitamin Cottage Inc (NGVC)

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc., incorporated on April 9, 2012, is a specialty retailer of natural and organic groceries and dietary supplements. The Company operates within the natural products retail industry. The Company offers products and brands, including a selection of natural and organic food, dietary supplements, body care products, pet care products and books.

The Company offers its customers an average of approximately 18,000 store-keeping units (SKUs) of natural and organic products per store, including an average of approximately 7,000 SKU of dietary supplements. As of June 30, 2012, the Company operated 55 stores in 11 states, including Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, as well as a bulk food repackaging facility and distribution center in Colorado. The size of its stores varies from 5,000 selling square feet to 14,500 selling square feet, and a new store averages 9,500 selling square feet.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NYSE: NGVC) and mid cap Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (NASDAQ: SFM) are taking aim at natural and organic foods supermarket giant Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM), but do either of these stocks have what it takes to take on the the king of organic retailing? Whole Foods Market was founded in Austin way back in 1978 by a twenty-five year old college dropout and a twenty-one year old at a time when there were only a handful of natural or organic supermarkets in the country. Today, Whole Foods Market has 364 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom – which are sometimes referred to as “Whole Wallet”or “Whole Paycheck” given how much it costs to shop there.

  • [By David Mamos]

    The Fresh Market Inc. (Nasdaq: TFM), Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc. (NYSE: NGVC), and privately held Trader Joe’s are others crowding into the field.

Top Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX)

Express Scripts Holding Company, incorporated in 2011, provides healthcare management and administration services on behalf of its clients, which include health maintenance organizations (HMOs), health insurers, third-party administrators, employers, union-sponsored benefit plans, workers compensation plans, and government health programs. The Company operates in two segments: Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) and Emerging Markets (EM). PBM services include network claims processing, home delivery services, patient care and direct specialty and fertility home delivery to patients, benefit plan design consultation, drug utilization review, formulary management, drug data analysis services, distribution of injectable drugs to patients homes and physicians offices, bio-pharma services, and fulfillment of prescriptions to low-income patients through manufacturer-sponsored patient assistance programs. EM segment provides distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to p roviders and clinics, healthcare account administration and implementation of consumer-directed healthcare solutions. In September 2013, it announced the acquisition of the SmartD Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP).

On July 20, 2011, Express Scripts, Inc. (ESI) entered into a merger agreement (the Merger Agreement) with Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (Medco). During the year ended December 31, 2011, it reorganized its FreedomFP line of business from its EM segment into its PBM segment. On April 2, 2012, the Company completed the Merger Agreement, and after which ESI and Medco became the wholly owned subsidiaries of the Company. The Company’s customers include HMOs, health insurers, third-party administrators, employers, union-sponsored benefit plans, government health programs, office-based oncologists, renal dialysis clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, primary care physicians, retina specialists and others.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Mani]

    Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX) could deliver relative outperformance in 2014 as the upcoming generic wave should offer a two-fold opportunity for pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).

  • [By Lu Wang]

    Express Scripts Holding Co. (ESRX) declined 4.5 percent to $60.88, the lowest since May. The largest U.S. processor of prescription drug claims reduced its 2013 cash flow forecast, citing delays in some non-client integration activities.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Express Scripts (ESRX) has fallen 2.7% to $62 in after-hours trading after it reported a profit of $1.08, in line with analyst forecasts, but said the fourth quarter would come in between $109 and $1.13. Analyst had forecast $1.12.

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool’s free investing community, pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX  ) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

Top Retail Companies To Own In Right Now: West Marine Inc (WMAR)

West Marine, Inc., incorporated in September 1993, is a specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories. The Company offers an assortment of merchandise for the boat and for the boater. It operates in three segments: Stores, Port Supply and Direct-to-Customer. The Company sells to both retail and wholesale customers in its Stores segment. In addition, the Company has three franchised stores in Turkey. The Company’s Port Supply segment is its wholesale segment. The Company’s Direct-to-Customer, which includes e-commerce, catalog and call center transactions. During the year ended December 31, 2011, Stores segment generated approximately 90% of its net revenues. During 2011, products shipped to Port Supply customers directly from its warehouses represented approximately 4% of its net revenues.

During 2011, its Direct Sales segment offered customers around the world more than 75,000 products and accounted for the remaining 6% of its net revenues. Priva te label products, which the Company sells under the West Marine, Black Tip, Third Reef, Pure Oceans, Lifesling, SeaVolt and Seafit brand names, usually are manufactured in Asia, the United States and Europe.

Stores Segment

During 2011, the Company opened six stores while closing 14 stores. In December 2011, it opened its Fort Lauderdale Boating Superstore, a 50,000 square foot flagship. Its flagship stores ranging in size from 21,000 to 50,000 square feet, offering an array of merchandise typically about 16,000 items, as well as displays designed to help customers make informed product selections. It also operates large format stores, standard-sized stores and smaller Express stores. Its large format stores range from 13,000 to 19,000 square feet and carry about 11,000 items. The standard-sized stores typically range from 6,000 to 12,000 square feet and carry over 6,000 items. Express stores typically range from 2,500 to 3,000 square feet and carry over 4,000 items, mainly hardware and other supplies needed! for day-to-day boat maintenance and repairs.

Port Supply Segment

Port Supply customers include businesses involved in boat sales, boat building, boat commissioning and repair, yacht chartering, marina operations and other boating-related activities. In addition, Port Supply sells to government and industrial customers who use its products for boating and non-boating purposes. Port Supply, the Company’s wholesale segment, serves wholesale customers seeking convenience and a larger assortment of products than those carried by typical distributors.

Direct-to-Customer Segment

The Company’s e-commerce Website provides its customers with access to a selection of approximately 75,000 products, product advisor tips and technical information, over 450 product videos and customer-submitted product reviews. This segment also provides customers with access to knowledgeable technical advisors who can assist its customers in underst anding the various uses and applications of the products it sell. It operates a virtual call center from which its associates assist its customers by taking calls from their homes or from its support center in Watsonville, California. Its virtual call center supports sales generated through its e-commerce Website, catalogs and stores and provides customer service offerings.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Interactive Buyside]

    West Marine (Nasdaq: WMAR) is an undervalued retailer.  The company is going through a change in focus from a bricks and mortar boat product retailer to a fully integrated retail and wholesale business through bricks and clicks, targeting the boating and water enthusiast customer.   Recent results have been affected by a severe rainy and cool spring which hurt boat usage and delayed the start of the season.  The company has accelerated cash investments to build larger more productive stores and expand its ecommerce abilities, consequently affecting free cash flow short term.  The stock lacks sponsorship as there is only one research report written on the company by a small boutique firm.  The stock trades at only book value despite the company being the leading industry player with a solid balance sheet and significant net cash position.