The “retail apocalypse” story has become so ubiquitous at this point that I’m reasonably sure “Joe the plumber” would short CMBX 6 BBB- if he could.
And although there are plenty of folks out there who will tell you that reports of brick and mortar’s imminent demise may be exaggerated, I’m willing to bet that Jeff Bezos is a man who, if he were being candid, would tell you different.
We’ve covered this story extensively and if you haven’t read enough about it or for some reason just want to be regaled with the whole narrative again, here are some previous pieces worth perusing:
- “10 Charts That Tell It All” For Retail
- The Retail “Big Short” Goes Mainstream As WSJ Touts The CMBX 6 Trade
- Here’s How To Play The Retail “Big Short” (Hint: It’s Not CMBX)
- Here’s Another Trade Idea For The Coming Retail Apocalypse
- “Amazingly,” This Trade Is Probably Going To Work However You Put It On
- Is This The Point Of No Return For Retail? One Bank Answers
Well, in the spirit of tying this story to Friday morning’s jobs miss, consider the following two charts from Deutsche Bank which depict the divergence of employment trends in retail versus the trend for the economy as a whole:
As you can see, the gap is now the widest since the crisis.
We continue to track retail employment versus overall employment levels with May payrolls continuing to show much weaker trends in retail. Overall, the economy added 138,000 jobs in May, lower than expected. But overall nonfarm payrolls were up 1.5%, which was better than the 1.4% increase in April. By contrast, retail trade payrolls remain much softer, growing just 0.1%, a deceleration from 0.2% and 0.3% the last two months and the most tepid growth since the recession. The gap between total payrolls and retail hiring increased to 140 bps from 110 bps last quarter. The trend in retail hiring has been decelerating for some time, including 5 straight months of slowing growth, likely due to accelerating store closures.