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4Q19 US Retail Inventory Tracker: Higher Inventory Turnover Due to Solid Holiday Sales and Disciplined Approaches

In our quarterly US Retail Inventory Tracker reports, we analyze inventory trends among those US retailers listed in the Coresight 100. We look at the inventory levels of various retailers in 4Q19 and assess why levels may have changed from the year-ago period. The coronavirus crisis means 4Q trends will not be an accurate guide to 2020, but those retailers heading into the storm with cleaner stock levels will enjoy an advantage over more heavily stocked rivals.

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4Q19 US Earnings Season Wrap-Up

Fourth-quarter 2019 retail earnings show that many companies across the retail industry saw strong growth. However, our coverage of the Coresight 100 reveals that the CPG and department-store sectors bucked this trend, with the latter continuing to struggle. Companies across the board have updated their guidance due to coronavirus disruption in the supply chain and demand in Asia, but we are yet to see updates based on the spread of the virus to the US, with the nation moving closer to lockdown.

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Reviewing 2019 US and UK Store Closures

We review store closures and openings in the US and UK for the full-year 2019. We break down the numbers by sector and analyze the key retailers that significantly contributed to total openings and closures over the course of the year.

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3Q19 US Earnings Season Wrap-Up

Third-quarter 2019 retail earnings show mixed results across categories. Our coverage of the Coresight 100 reveal most companies beat consensus, but there were sectors that fared much better than others—and luxury was one that did not meet expectations despite recent recovery.

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Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NasdaqGS: ASNA)

Ascena is a specialty retailer offering apparel, shoes and accessories for women and tween girls under four segments: Premium Fashion, Value Fashion, Plus Fashion and Kids Fashion. The company operates approximately 4,600 stores int the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico through the brands Ann Taylor, Loft, Maurices, Dressbarn, Lane Bryant, Catherines, and Justice brands. It also sells online, including anntaylor.com, LOFT.com, louandgrey.com, maurices.com, dressbarn.com, lanebryant.com, catherines.com, and shopjustice.com. The company was founded in 1962 and is based in Mahwah, New Jersey. It was known as Dress Barn, Inc. until 2011, when it changed its name to Ascena Retail Group, Inc.

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Background on Amazon and Retail

US Retail Bankruptcies Are at Post-recession Peak • Year to date, 14 retailers have filed for bankruptcy • That is more than the number of filings over the entire year in 2016 • Retail bankruptcies are on track to reach their highest level since 2009, when 18 retailers filed for bankruptcy • And there are likely more to come

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