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  • Writer's pictureJeff Matthews

Meet the “New-Normal,” Same as the “Old-Normal”

It wasn’t merely yesterday’s headlines by which a cross-section of America’s retailers announced the return to vibrancy of the not-long-ago-dead-and-buried consumer that we here at NotMakingThisUp found so striking.

Oh, sure, Kohl’s, Gap, Ross Stores, Aeropostale, Limited, Cato, Bon-Ton, TJX, Stage and Dillard’s each reported comp sales gains anywhere from double to quadruple the expectations of Wall Street’s Finest—a rather mind-boggling set of headlines even for the most jaded Wall Street observer.

More than that, we thought, was the surprise in the voices of the retailers themselves at the sudden return-to-normalcy.

Our favorite such example occurred yesterday during the Pier 1 Imports call.

While we here at NotMakingThisUp make no recommendations on individual stocks, the comments from a company once left for dead—or, more specifically, 11 cents a share just about one year ago—which just reported rip-snorting sales growth like its better-thought-of brethren, are worth calling out.

In particular, it was the CEO’s exuberant response to a run-of-the-mill question from one of Wall Street’s Finest late in the call that caught our ears:

Brad Thomas, KeyBanc Capital:And then just lastly, anything geographically that seems different…? Alex Smith, Pier 1 Imports CEO:YES! Some parts of the country have come back from the dead, which is TERRIFIC. [Exuberant management vocal inflexions recorded by NMTU] We’ve seen an uptick in business in Florida, which we’re pleased with. We’ve seen an uptick in business in California and the West Coast generally, which we’re very pleased with…. Meet the “New Normal,” same as the Old Normal…

Jeff Matthews I Am Not Making This Up

© 2010 NotMakingThisUp, LLC

The content contained in this blog represents only the opinions of Mr. Matthews, who also acts as an advisor: clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes investment advice, and should never be relied on in making an investment decision, ever. Also, this blog is not a solicitation of business: all inquiries will be ignored. The content herein is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

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