Back to top

Image: Bigstock

5 Apparel Stocks to Buy as Industry Tries to Bounce Back

Read MoreHide Full Article

The retail sector has been one of the biggest casualties of the pandemic, with the apparel and footwear segment suffering the most. As the pandemic took a worse turn early last year, stores got closed and people got confined to their homes.

This saw apparel sales taking a major hit. However, things finally seem to be looking up given that the vaccination drive is in full swing and another round of stimulus checks is reaching millions. People are slowly gaining confidence and spending, which has seen apparel sales picking up.

Apparel Sales Jump in March

According to the latest Mastercard SpendingPulse, apparel sales grew a whopping 60.6% on a year-over-year basis in March. Last year was grim for the apparel industry. With millions confined to their homes due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown and fears of contracting the virus, not too many spent on apparels.

Moreover, stores too had to be closed down and thousands lost their jobs. This saw people spending more on necessities like groceries and less on consumer discretionary products. However, things have changed a lot over the past few months. A new round of stimulus has now given people more purchasing power and they are spending more confidently.

Apparel Market Poised to Grow

The 60.6% growth may look too high on a year-over-year basis but that is because apparel sales had come almost to a standstill last year. Even then, the picture is bright as the sales in March were 18.7% higher than March 2019.

In fact, not only apparel sales, the retail sector too is trying to bounce back as people are spending more freely. According to the Mastercard SpendingPulse, retail sales grew 56.8% in March on a year-over-year basis.

Understandably, the entire retail industry is trying to get back on its feet and apparel sales are rising as a result of this. According to Research and Markets, the global apparel market was valued at $527.1 billion in 2020, after declining 0.6% since 2015. The historic decline was mainly due to the lockdown and social distancing measures imposed by various governments owing to the pandemic. However, the market is expected to bounce back and witness a CAGR of 9.8% and reach $842.7 billion by 2025, and further soar to $1,138.8 billion in 2030.

Our Choices

New cases of coronavirus have been declining for the past few weeks and three vaccines have already been rolled out. This has seen people gain some confidence and they have once again started spending on apparel and footwear. This is thus the right opportunity to invest in apparel stocks that have a strong online presence.

L Brands, Inc. (LB - Free Report) evolved from an apparel-based specialty retailer to a segment leader focused on women’s intimate and other apparel, personal care, beauty and home fragrance products. 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 39.6%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 41.2% over the past 60 days. L Brands sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Citi Trends, Inc. (CTRN - Free Report) is a value-priced retailer of urban fashion apparel and accessories for the entire family.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 26.1%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 28.8% over the past 60 days. Citi Trends sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI - Free Report) designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi's, Dockers, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. and Denizen brands. 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 5.2% over the past 60 days. Levi Strauss sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Boot Barn Holdings, Inc. (BOOT - Free Report) operates as a lifestyle retail chain devoted to western and work-related footwear, apparel and accessories. The company's products include boots, denim, western shirts, cowboy hats, belts and belt buckles, and western-style jewelry and accessories.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 3.2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 0.6% over the past 60 days. Boot Barn Holdings carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Buckle, Inc. The (BKE - Free Report) is a leading retailer of medium to better-priced casual apparel, footwear, and accessories for fashion-conscious young men and women.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 3.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 18.5% over the past 60 days. Buckle has a Zacks Rank #2.

These Stocks Are Poised to Soar Past the Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak has shifted consumer behavior dramatically, and a handful of high-tech companies have stepped up to keep America running. Right now, investors in these companies have a shot at serious profits. For example, Zoom jumped 108.5% in less than 4 months while most other stocks were sinking.

Our research shows that 5 cutting-edge stocks could skyrocket from the exponential increase in demand for “stay at home” technologies. This could be one of the biggest buying opportunities of this decade, especially for those who get in early.

See the 5 high-tech stocks now>>