Not even six months back on the public markets and already deep-discount retailer Dollar General
A rising tide ...
Of course, all the discounters seem to be doing well. Family Dollar
In fact, retail in general seems resplendent leading the economy out of the recession. From department stores to bookshops, game retailers to clothing stores, the entire sector is on the rise. March's sales numbers looked terrific with comps up 9.1% on average, but there's a lot of trouble on the horizon.
... means we might all drown
For example, last year's March numbers were so dismal it would have been near impossible not to post an increase in sales this time around. Worse, both Macy's
This is more about how little the consumer was willing to purchase last year out of fear that the wheels were coming off world economies than a testament to an economic recovery today. We've still got high unemployment, lower home values, rising numbers of foreclosures, and declining credit availability, all arguably putting the economy in even worse condition today than it was last year.
Saving is for losers
Some analysts even suggest that it's delinquent homeowners -- there's an estimated 7.4 million non-current loans in the U.S. -- who are the source of rising consumer spending. As the HousingWire blog puts it, "people are spending their mortgages."
All of which points to an ideal opportunity for the discount chains, and Wal-Mart
The battle's still being waged
It was an opportunistic return to the public markets for Dollar General's private equity owners, but despite a market that looks weighted toward Dollar General's niche, there are better investments to be had a better prices. The company is forecasting slowing comp growth for the year ahead, suggesting it's only won a battle so far. Dollar General could still lose the war.
Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Kohl's but does not have a financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.