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Bodies are stacking up in the retail sector.
Regular readers know what I’m talking about. As I explained on Friday, 14 retailers have already gone bankrupt this year. That’s the most retail bankruptcies ever at this time of the year.
This bankruptcy wave is showing no signs of rolling over, either.
Just before midnight last Monday, rue21, a teen apparel company, became the latest retailer to perish in what many people are calling the “retail apocalypse.”
But let’s be clear. It certainly won’t be the last.
After all, many of America’s most iconic retailers are now fighting for their lives.
Sears, for example, plans to close at least 150 stores this year. J.C. Penney plans to close 138. Macy’s plans to close 100, or 15%, of its stores.
The industry is on pace to close more than 8,000 stores this year. That would be the most store closings in one year ever.
We haven’t seen devastation like this since the 2008–2009 financial crisis…
But you have to understand something.
Today’s retail crisis is different. It’s not happening because the economy is in shambles. It’s happening because Americans aren’t spending money like they did in the good old days. They’re visiting malls less often and doing more shopping online.
You can see what I mean below. This chart shows how much online shopping accounts for total retail sales:
You can see that online shopping activity has increased nearly 10-fold since 2000. And Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, is a big reason why.
Just look at the chart below. It compares the market values of seven traditional retailers with Amazon’s. Notice anything?
All of the traditional retailers are smaller than they were a decade ago. Amazon’s market value, on the other hand, is 27 times what it was a decade ago.
Amazon is now arguably the world’s dominant company…
Every other retailer on the planet has to account for it. If they don’t, they’ll end up in the graveyard like so many other old-school retailers.
That’s why it’s critical that you only buy retailers that are “Amazon-proof.”
Today, I’m going to tell you about two such companies. As you’ll see, these retailers won’t just survive the retail apocalypse… They’ll thrive in the coming years.
I’m talking about dollar stores…
These companies sell stuff like paper towels, hand soap, and canned goods for bargain prices, often for a dollar or less. It’s a remarkable business when you think about it.
After all, people buy basic goods no matter what’s going on with the economy. Not only that, they pinch pennies when the times get tough. Because of this, a lot of folks end up shopping more at dollar stores when the economy is falling apart.
Just look at what happened to Dollar Tree.
In 2008, most retailers were hemorrhaging cash. Yet Dollar Tree was still humming along as if the economy were doing great.
That year, its sales jumped 17%. Its profits rose 13%.
Dollar Tree did it again the next year. Its sales jumped 7% in 2009. Its profits increased 22%.
Investors took notice. They loaded up on Dollar Tree.
In 2008, Dollar Tree’s stock surged 61% while the S&P 500 plunged 37%.
Since then, Dollar Tree has continued to crush the market. It’s up 470% since the start of 2009. That’s triple the S&P 500’s 154% return over the same period.
And this trend should only continue…
Remember, dollar stores sell basic goods dirt cheap…
Logistically, it’s not worth Amazon’s time to go after them. It makes a lot more sense for Amazon to target retailers that sell higher-priced goods. After all, a $100 pair of sunglasses obviously sells at a higher markup than a $1 roll of paper towels.
Plus, the high-end market is more fragmented. This makes it easier for Amazon to corner it.
The numbers back this up, too.
The chart below shows 22 retailers that plan to open stores this year. You can see that Dollar General and Dollar Tree plan to open a combined 1,650 stores this year. That’s more stores than the other 20 retailers put together.
This tells us a couple things:
- The dollar store industry is growing rapidly while most brick-and-mortar retailers are failing.
- Dollar General and Dollar Tree aren’t afraid of Amazon. If they were, they’d be taking conservative measures, not building hundreds of stores.
Keep this mind if you want to profit off the retail crisis…
As I’ve shown today, dollar stores are uniquely positioned to thrive during disaster.
Not only that, these businesses can make money no matter what’s going on with the economy. This makes them great stocks to own as we enter the trailing edge of the financial hurricane that Doug Casey’s been warning about.
In short, consider picking up shares of Dollar General (DG) and Dollar Tree (DLTR) if you haven’t already.
P.S. Casey Report editor E.B. Tucker has been telling his readers to buy companies that sell the “basics” for months. He actually recommended Dollar General last October. His readers are up 4% on this investment, and collecting steady dividends.
Of course, that’s just one of E.B.’s investment ideas that’s playing out today. To learn about his latest big idea, watch this brand-new presentation.