Revealed: My 3 best retail shares to buy on the ASX

I feel it is fair to say the retail industry is an incredibly tough industry to be in. You only need to look at the fall from grace of Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR) to see that.

In FY 2011 the owner and operator of countless department stores across Australia delivered net profit excluding one-time items of $162.6 million. Following four consecutive years of falling profits Myer is expected to continue the trend and report full year profit of between $66 million and $72 million when it reports its FY 2016 results next week.

In my opinion this demonstrates how Myer is struggling to remain relevant in a changing retail environment. Things could yet become even harder for the retail icon, with British department store Debenhams expected to open its first store in Australia next year.

So rather than risk an investment in Myer I would suggest investors take a closer look at the following three standout retail shares.

Burson Group Ltd (ASX: BAP)

This distributor and retailer of automotive parts and accessories has been one of the strongest performing retail shares this year. Its shares are 48% higher year to date and it’s not hard to see why. Burson recently reported full year results that revealed a staggering 123% rise in statutory net profit after tax to $43.6 million. Management is expecting strong profit growth in FY 2017 due to cost savings, new store openings, and a full year of trading from recent acquisitions.

Baby Bunting Group Ltd (ASX: BBN)

This baby products retailer is another strong performer, posting a gain of around 26% so far in 2016. Although it operates in a reasonably niche market, management believes it still has a large runway for growth ahead of it. It recently delivered pro forma net profit after tax of $10.6 million, which was an increase of 55.8% year on year.

Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV)

The owner and operator of popular retail brands including Peter Alexander, Smiggle, and Just Jeans is one of the highest quality retail companies on the ASX in my opinion. The strong international growth of its Smiggle brand has been extremely impressive. Global Smiggle sales grew 46.5% to $109 million in its half year results. It does have reasonably significant exposure to the UK market though, so I do have a few niggling concerns over whether the Brexit will have negatively impacted its full year results. We won’t have to wait long to find out though, its full year results are due out tomorrow.

Before making an investment in either of these shares I would highly recommend taking a quick look to see if you have these three wealth destroying ASX shares in your portfolio. Each could be harming your portfolio and might be best swapped out if you ask me.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Bapcor. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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