Retail Stock Market Caps Disintegrating

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Got a few bucks? If you wanted to buy most of the American retailing industry, it wouldn’t take a whole lot of money, at least compared to the price tag just a month or so ago.

Even as the entire stock market is down by more than a third since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and most company’s market cap – the total value of all shares at the current price – are severely reduced, the retail segment has been especially hard hit.

While some retailers such as Walmart, Target, supermarkets like Kroger, dollar stores and drug chains are holding their own and occasionally even hitting new 52-week highs, most retailing stocks have lost an enormous amount of their value. Many are down by at least 50% and some even more, resulting in market caps that are astonishing given the size of some of these companies – and the fact that a number of them were at least marginally profitable before the pandemic hit the aisles.

The result has been retailers with all or most of their physical stores closed. A previous posted showed more than 150 individual retailing companies, representing tens of thousands of locations, completely closed. And while many of these are continuing to operate their online businesses, the sales generated are a fraction of what they would be if stores were open. Some companies have shut their e-com operations as well, meaning they have absolutely no revenue at all.

Here is a representative sampling of major retailing company’s market caps based on their closing price on Thursday, April 2, in millions. Most are Stupid cheap:


Big Lots:                     $548

Abercrombie & Fitch:$500

Bed Bath & Beyond: $452

Ethan Allen:               $231

Michaels:                    $228

Haverty Furniture:    $208

Overstock:                  $187

Game Stop:               $184

Hibbett Sports:          $170

The Container Store:$105

JC Penney:               $95

At Home:                   $94

Tailored Brands:       $67

GNC:                          $37

Tuesday Morning:    $20

Big 5 Sporting:          $15

Ascena Retail:          $10

Stage Stores:             $8



    1. Not sure if this is a rhetorical question but assuming it’s not, are you asking about businesses that remain open, but maybe shouldn’t? Or something else?


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