UK Retail Stocks
Shares in retailers are one of the easiest sectors to research.
All you have to do is wander up the high street and check out what's going on.
Of course the Christmas period is the one that really matters to all retailers. They do a fair percentage of their sales in the run-up to the big day.
Those who get it right will find their share prices rising come New Year and those who get it wrong will be thrashed.
I have one or two retailers on my possible buy list. Actually, one I just bought and one I'm thinking of buying.
Ted Baker was the buy - I bought at 457.5p and it's been heading up everyday since.
It seems to me retailers go in and out of fashion over the years - some have a "buzz" and some don't.
Ted really has got the buzz. Its shops look great, the products are excellent quality and it's slowly opening more stores here and abroad.
Above all the wife gives it the thumbs up! And I'm even wearing a Ted Baker shirt right now.
The other one I'm looking at is Boots. It was in the papers last week as it is thinking of selling vibrators. Well, that will certainly give the stores a "buzz"!
I went into the Kensington branch over the weekend and what a transformation: bright lighting, good service and an excellent new layout. I even overheard a couple saying: "This place has really changed for the better..."
So I'm thinking
well it's reporting this week and that won't be so good - but I reckon a good Christmas could be on the way, so I may buy in a few weeks time
M&S seems in a bit of a state - it used to get its food right but the food only stores don't seem to be getting their stock levels right and the gastropub range is too dear.
Also in a mess is WH Smith. They are going to put Costa Coffee in some of the branches. Big mistake I reckon - they should concentrate on their core products.
Matalan meanwhile is trying to flog Christmas cards for the dog or cat in your life. Honestly!
Brown and Jackson looks an interesting recovery play - I've been in and out a few times this year but the process of changing its stores seems a slow one - I may wait until early next year to buy some.
I've always found the names of some retailers bizarre. For example, Boots doesn't sell boots, Currys doesn't sell curry, and Walmart doesn't sell walls. Selfridges sells fridges though, so they've got something right.
Anyway if you're going to buy retail don't do it until you have checked out your high street!
Another good week for my portfolio, which is definitely buzzing at the moment. Hunting, Ted Baker, Havelock, Vanco and Burren are all doing very nicely.
I've had a good year so far... but I do wonder whether next year will be much good for stocks. I may be taking profits soon.