Apple Inc. (AAPL), Macy’s, Inc. (M) & Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM): Buy Where Consumers are Spending

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Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) has two things going for it. First, it caters to higher-end customers, a group that has fared better through the slow recovery. Second, its new focus on customer service has clearly helped to keep it ahead of its retail peers. Even in bad times, people spend money and Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) has differentiated itself as a place where people like to spend.

The shares have moved smartly higher on the department store’s solid results. However, “magic selling” is likely to keep the top line going for at least a couple of more years. Momentum investors should like this retailer.


While people can stop buying tech toys and wear their clothes a little longer, they can’t stop buying food. However, margins in the grocery aisle have been squeezed by mass retailers entering the space. Although it’s best to avoid most grocery stores, Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) stands out for its consistent growth despite the headwinds.

Like Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M), Whole Foods caters to wealthier customers and focuses as much time on its product selection as it does on the shopping experience. The company sells in demand healthy and organic products, which is similar to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s in-demand tech gear. So, despite intense competition, the company has grown sales every year for a decade.

Part of that has come from new store openings, but that’s only part of the equation. Customers choose to shop at Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) over its competitors. That’s why sales went up through the recession despite the company’s generally higher cost fare. The shares have headed higher since the recession and are now around all-time highs.

Growth minded investors, however, should still like what they see here. The company only has around 330 stores and looks to have years of expansion ahead. That should keep the top line growing nicely even if a spending pullback drags same stores sales lower for a short period of time.

Go where the buyers go

Even in tough times, consumers keep buying some things. Investors watching consumers with a little trepidation should switch gears and start looking for companies that customers want to buy from. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s gadgets, Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M)“magic,” and Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM)’ healthy fare are all in demand and should keep these companies ahead of the pack for years to come.

Reuben Brewer has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM). The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Whole Foods Market.

The article Buy Where Consumers are Spending originally appeared on

Reuben is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network — entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

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