New York, NY (PRWEB) April 17, 2013
The Commerce Department said retail sales declined unexpectedly by 0.4 percent last month - the biggest fall in nine months. Higher taxes and weak hiring likely made some consumers more cautious about spending, but Michael Zimmerman of Prentice Capital believes retailers integrating mobile devices into their online strategy have the strongest opportunity for growth by targeting wary consumers seeking ways to maintain lifestyle choices at lower cost.
Zimmerman's Prentice Capital recently filed SEC disclosures announcing increased investment holdings in retailers Coldwater Creek, Pacific Sunwear of California, Delias and Gaiam, all of whom have strong brands, forward thinking ecommerce implementation and mobile marketing strategies.
Zimmerman feels today's consumer is stretched thin, having ridden the crest of refinance and housing benefits over the past 12-24 months, they are feeling the crunch of higher prices, taxes and lowered confidence in the job market.
Companies like Amazon and Starbucks have actively sought ways to communicate more effectively with customers, creating mobile apps that provide useful features and immediate discounts to consumers. Starbucks allows customers to pay directly from their Smartphone in store, while Amazon gives consumers the ability to scan barcodes at bricks and mortar retailers, quickly displaying online discounts for the same and similar products.
Social media and online reviews have fueled this trend with an estimated 33% of Smartphone users checking reviews, coupons and discounts prior to making a purchase. As consumers evolve companies must follow suit, engaging their customer base with new and innovative methods. Social media and Smartphone data allows forward thinking companies to analyze customer behavior and quickly address needs and concerns, adapting as necessary.
With Smartphones and Tablets as powerful as recent desktop computers, consumers have stepped up their game, realizing they have the potential to change their shopping experience, with an estimated 52% believing they are better informed than in-store sales team. Retailers with innovative mobile apps report up to five times more customer interaction than those not implementing mobile strategies. By 2014 projections show an estimated 53.2 million users, up from 12.3 million, actively searching for and using mobile coupons.
Zimmerman’s view is that online will continue to take share, the emergence of tablets and bigger phones is accelerating the online vs. bricks and mortar struggle.
About Michael Zimmerman and Prentice Capital Management, LP
Since 2005 Michael Zimmerman and Prentice Capital have honed their investment approach focusing on the U.S. consumer and retail markets. Marrying deep fundamental research with catalyst investing, the company has achieved an outstanding history of public equity investments.
Zimmerman's strategy reveals he is looking for fundamentally undervalued companies that would find further value from elements of internal change. Zimmerman has explained that Prentice prides itself on doing deep fundamental research which augments their deep value approach. He focuses on marrying undervalued equity with a change, which could be defined as a change in management, strategy, capital structure among others.
Utilizing a fundamentally driven value oriented philosophy, coupled with the specialized proprietary research, Prentice has set the stage for continued growth both for Prentice Capital Management and the Prentice Capital Hedge Fund.