by Ian Cooper

With millions of students heading back to school in just weeks, it’s time to pick up bargain retail stocks, including Target (TGT), we said just weeks ago.

For one, consumers are expected to spend up to $41.5 billion for back to school gear, which should pass the $37.1 billion spent in 2021. Back to school college spending could hit $94 billion, about $20 billion more than last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

“Back-to-class shopping is one of the most important consumer shopping occasions of the year. Our research for 2023 shows American consumers are eager to jump start their back-to-school and college purchases early,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release on the survey. “Retailers have been preparing for months to ensure they are well stocked with essential items that families and students need for the school year.”

One of the top retailers that should still benefit is Target (TGT).

Around July-August 2020, the stock exploded from about $120 to $187. Then, starting in June 2021, TGT ran from about $219 to $255. In 2022, around the same time, TGT ran from about $135 to $180. This year, after the stock gapped lower, we expect to see a similar move.

Plus, as we wait for TGT to recover, we can collect its current yield of 3.4%. Even better, the company is slowly showing signs of life again. 

Or, keep an eye on Walmart (WMT).

With a yield of 1.45%, stock could see further upside. Not only could it benefit from the back to school rally, it could push higher as it gains traction with groceries, as noted by Piper Sandler. The firm also upgraded WMT to overweight from neutral with a price target of $210. WMT also has a strong history of running higher around July-August, as well.

The last time we mentioned WMT, it traded around $160 on July 26. After testing $162.78, it’s now back to $160.

There’s also Amazon (AMZN).

The 800 lb. gorilla in the retail space also sees good momentum around July-August, too. All because of the convenience of just ordering everything online, and not having to trek out to the stores and deal with all of the crazed parents picking out the coolest looking notebooks. The last time we mentioned AMZN, it traded around $127 on July 26. It’s now up to $140.57.