"So many of our fellow retailers [have been] experiencing a retail funk."

That was the actual language used by The Container Store's (NYSE:TCS) CEO, Kip Tindell, to describe the difficulty American merchants have had this year. The company released its first-quarter results this week, showing that it, too, was a victim of the funk. Revenue and earnings both missed expectations, full-year guidance was lowered, and quarterly same-store sales were negative for the first time in more than four years.

Still, there is hope for investors. Rule Breakers analyst Simon Erickson and Stock Advisor analyst Sara Hov identify a few promising metrics that could make The Container Store a promising long-term buy after all.