Janney On Branded Apparel & Footwear

November 26, 2012 8:04 AM EST
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This weekend, analyst at Janney performed channel checks at several malls throughout the Mid-Atlantic/North East. Commenting on the key takeaways, analyst Eric Tracy said, "Generally, on Black Friday, traffic was lighter than in years past, as consumers spread shopping across earlier store openings (midnight in most cases), while online migration continued."

Tracy also thinks fiscal cliff worries and the impact from Hurricane Sandy weighed on shoppers, leading to softer traffic in malls.

Foot Locker (NYSE: FL)

While traffic was constrained, Tracy believes the combination of strong conversion and vendor price increases helped support comps at Foot Locker.

"We believe the company continues to benefit from a strong product pipeline (7 new releases during “The Week of Greatness”, based on our checks), and while some new launches were limited to House of Hoops and online, we believe basketball footwear continues to support favorable sell-through."

Finish Line (Nasdaq: FINL)

"Finish Line employed a broader promotional stance vs. last year," said Tracy.

"While basketball appeared to garner most consumer focus, we believe the 'halo effect' likely benefitted running (lightweight/minimalist) as well, albeit potentially at the expense of margins."

Dicks (NYSE: DKS)

Janney analysts believe Dick's continues to benefit from what they called "generally favorable athletic footwear and apparel trends". Seasonal items, like fleece and firearms, should also give Dick's a boost.

"In general, we believe Nike (NYSE: NKE) and Under Armour were the winners at DKS," said Tracy.

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