Macy’s reopened stores doing better than expected; looks to holiday

Marianne Wilson
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Macy’s sounded a confident note in its preliminary sales and earnings results for the first quarter as COVID-19 restrictions loosen and customers start to return to its stores. 

As of June 1, the department store giant had reopened approximately 450 locations, with the majority reopened in their full format. The stores are performing better than anticipated, according to Macy’s chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette, who also said the retailer receiving positive feedback on its curbside pickup service and its efforts to create a safe shopping environment.

“Our strong digital business sales trend continued throughout May, and it is encouraging to see that as we reopen a store, the digital business in that geography continues to be strong,” Gennette said. “We are seeing strong sell-through of seasonal merchandise, and anticipate that we will exit the second quarter in a clean inventory position.”

Gennette noted that the holiday season will be crucial, “and the team is working now to get the right merchandise and assortment in place.”

On Monday, Macy’s announced that it had raised approximately $4.5 billion in new financing, giving it “sufficient liquidity” to address the needs of its business during the COVID-19 crisis.

Macy’s is forecasting a net loss of $652 million, or $2.10 per share, for the quarter ended May 2, compared with net earnings of $136 million, or $0.44  a share, in the prior year. Excluding one-time items, the company is reporting a preliminary loss of $2.03 per share. 

With its stores closed for most of the quarter due to the pandemic, Macy’s expects sales to fall 45% to $3.02 billion from $5.5 billion in the year-ago period.

“The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted our first quarter sales and earnings results, but I am proud of the way our team navigated this difficult period and maintained the business while our stores were closed,” said Gennette.