In the stock market in general, investors look to buy low and sell high, and some look to buy and sell higher. Others look to profit from the decline of equities, in what is known as “short selling,” where shares are borrowed (not owned) and the assumption is that the price will slump so that he or she can pocket the difference — and a profit.
So it is amid retailers, where glum figures have shown the lingering and pervasive impact of sales shifting from brick-and-mortar to online selling. December’s U.S. retail sales show that department stores are only 2.7 percent of all sales, dwarfed by 10.4 percent for non-store retailing outfits.
And against that backdrop, said Bloomberg, short interest in the SPDR S&P Retail exchange traded fund (ETF) is 273 percent of the float. That’s according to data at the end of last year and dovetails with tough full-year earnings forecast reductions from the likes of Macy’s and Kohl’s.
And as noted by some research, including that proffered by Bespoke, non-store retail sales have been on the rise for almost two years straight, with no real signs of slowing down.