I like to buy stocks whose products I am familiar with. Its an easy way to gauge the staying power of the company. Also, if a stock has a local presence, I like to visit the store. Here are some of my visits over the past year:
Target (TGT:NYSE) – the aisles in this places always seem empty. They have too many stores.
Shake Shack (SHAK:NYSE) – I got a meal there for $$63 that I could have gotten at Wendy’s for $15. Apparently, I’m not the only one that feels that way. Stock has underperformed.
Wendy’s (WEN:NASDAQ) – food is consistent in quality but the service was rude and impersonal. I’ll never go back there.
Chioptle (CMG:NYSE) – food was nothing special and a little pricey, but the line was out the door. Chipotle has a premium feel to it that they refuse to compromise on. That’s a good thing.
The Children’s Place (PLCE:NASDAQ) – store was empty when I observed it last Fall. They just announced that they are closing stores.
Cracker Barrel (CBRL:NASDAQ) – their country store accounts for 20% of revenue so no surprise that you enter through there. They were out of many items on the menu. A food place running out of food? Hmmm…..
DOMINO’S PIZZA (DPZ:NYSE)
On of the more popular (and profitable) stocks recently has been Domino’s Pizza (DPZ: NYSE). Some of the thinking behind the stock rise has been that Domino’s has become part of the stay at home economy along with Netflix (NFLX:NASDAQ) and Apple (AAPL:NASDAQ): rather than going out to eat, people stay at home, watch Netflix (NFLX: NASDAQ) and order Domino’s for delivery. Pizza is pizza. It’s pretty hard to screw up. It must be in the experience, I surmised, so I decided to, umm, experience it!
DPZ is up over 41 percent over the last twelve months, which is nearly twice the performance of the S&P 500 over that time. That’s a pretty hefty gain for a pizza chain, especially with the amount of competition out there in that space.
The online ordering system was easy to use. The menu selection was wider than I had expected. They offer pizzas, wings, salads, oven baked sandwiches, breadsticks, pastas and desserts. Not too shabby. There is a rewards program. There are local pizza chains that offer a similar online ordering experience, so nothing special there.
The cost was reasonable – two pizzas, breadsticks and a salad for $34.41. I have to qualify this review by saying that I drove to the store as opposed to getting it delivered and that, hopefully, made the difference, because my carry out visit left much to be desired. The cashier was impersonal and didn’t offer a “Thank You” or “Have a Good Night”. The order was ready when I got there but when I got to the car, I realized that they forgot the salad. It happens, I know, but when you have a four year old and a two year old with you, a trip back into the store is rather unappealing. They got the salad I ordered but they didn’t offer a “Sorry” for the inconvenience. It was almost as if I was inconveniencing them. I’ve had that feeling before and I kind of hate it.
As I mentioned, a delivery of the complete order may have changed my opinion altogether. A premium stock price should be backed by a premium experience. I won’t be going back so you can imagine my thoughts on the stock.
DISCLOSURE: I do not personally own any of the stocks mentioned in this article and have not added to them for clients in the past 60 days. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment or financial advice.