10 of the Top Retail Stocks of 2019 So Far

Retail has been one of the most beaten-down sectors of the stock market recently, and it comes as no surprise to any investor actively following earnings reports. Of the 74 retail companies examined by agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P), 35 of them missed analyst estimates for comparable sales last quarter. Apparel retailers in particular are spiraling, with their earnings down 24% for the first quarter of the year. That’s the worst since the recession, specifically Q1 2008 when apparel retail earnings dropped a whopping 40%.

But many companies have managed to outperform the broader sector thanks to a healthy niche business and consistently strong consumer interest. It’s important for investors to know which stocks are outperforming, as they can help them get a better understanding of the types of companies that market participants embrace during bouts of volatility.

Here are 10 of the best-performing retail stocks on the market right now…

No. 10: Lithia Motors Inc. (LAD)

Shares of the third-largest automotive retailer in the U.S. have been on a steady tear in 2019, going from $82.10 on Dec. 31 to $116.60 on Friday for a total 42% gain. The stock has been trading at 14-month highs for most of June now and reached that peak on June 4 when shares settled at $119.12.

No. 9: Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. (BBW)

Shares of Build-A-Bear – a specialty retailer that lets people custom-make their own plush stuffed animals – have surged 49.1% from the Dec. 31 close of $3.95 to $5.89 at the close of Friday, June 7. That was the best settlement since April 8 when BBY ended the session at $6.10. Shares hit their 2019 peak a few days earlier on April 5 after they settled at $6.24.

No. 8: Hibbett Sports Inc. (HIBB)

Hibbett Sports – the Alabama-headquartered sporting goods retailer with upwards of 1,000 locations nationwide – has seen its stock vault 50.3% in 2019 from $14.30 to $21.50 per share. HIBB posted its biggest daily gain on May 24 when shares popped 20.9% to $23.96, which was the best close since last August.

No. 7: Sonic Automotive Inc. (SAH)

Sonic Automotive is one of Lithia’s closest competitors, albeit not as large as Lithia. The firm lags behind Lithia as the country’s fifth-largest auto retailer, and SAH stock has ripped 57.3% higher from $13.76 to $21.64. The best close of 2019 came on June 5 when shares settled at a near 10-month high of $22.24.

No. 6: Tempur Sealy International Inc. (TPX)

The mattress manufacturer and retailer has experienced a stunning 61.8% rally in 2019, going from $41.40 on Dec. 31 to an even $67 per share. TPX recently peaked at a more than two-year high of $68.40 on June 4.

No. 5: The Lovesac Company (LOVE)

Shares of Lovesac – another seller of furniture, including everything from couches to beanbag chairs – are up 66.3% in 2019 from $22.94 to $38.16. On May 8, LOVE stock closed at $44.96 per share, the best settlement ever for the company.

No. 4: Boot Barn Holdings Inc. (BOOT)

Arguably the most niche company on this list, Boot Barn is a lifestyle retail chain that primarily sells work-wear and western-themed clothes. BOOT stock has soared 70% to $28.92 from the Dec. 31 close of $17.03. The year-to-date peak arrived on April 16 when shares ended the day at $31.66.

No. 3: Wayfair Inc. (W)

Shares of the home goods and furnishings seller have gained 71.3%, rising from the Dec. 31 close of $90.08 to $154.28 on Friday. The stock hit its peak on March 12 when it ended the day at $171.57.

No. 2: Carvana Co. (CVNA)

Carvana – a used car retailer with a burgeoning online platform – has seen shares roar 93.2% higher this year from $32.71 to $63.20. CVNA’s highest close of 2019 so far is $75.23 on May 9. 

No. 1: Pier 1 Imports Inc. (PIR)

The top performer on the list is Pier 1 Imports, a retailer that sells nearly every kind of furniture product imaginable and operates about 973 U.S. locations. Shares of PIR have skyrocketed 103.2% from $0.31 to $0.63 in 2019, hitting a peak of $1.42 on March 4.