Macy’s (M) Q4 2023 earnings

The Macy’s logo is seen at its store in Herald Square in New York City on Jan. 19, 2024.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

Macy’s on Tuesday said sales fell nearly 2% in the holiday quarter, as the 166-year-old department store operator unveiled its strategy to get back to growth. 

Here’s what Macy’s reported for the fourth quarter compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $2.45 adjusted vs. $1.96 expected
  • Revenue: $8.12 billion vs. $8.15 billion expected

Macy’s — which includes its namesake banner, Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury — said it expects sales to remain stagnant. It projected net sales of between $22.2 billion and $22.9 billion for this fiscal year, down from $23.09 billion in 2023. It anticipates comparable sales, which take out the impact of store openings and closures, will range from a decline of about 1.5% to a gain of 1.5% compared with the year-ago period on an owned-plus-licensed basis and including third-party marketplace sales.

Yet the company’s new CEO, Tony Spring, laid out a brighter outlook for the following fiscal year and how Macy’s plans to get there. Spring is the former CEO of Macy’s higher-end department store Bloomingdale’s. He took the helm Feb. 4, weeks after Macy’s announced layoffs and as it faced pressure from activist investors.

In an interview with CNBC, he said the company is taking a clear-eyed look at its business — particularly its struggling namesake stores.

“Yes, there are headwinds, certainly on discretionary categories and the middle-income consumer, but we take responsibility for what we control,” he said. “Let’s put better products into our stores. Let’s make sure it’s merchandised appropriately at a decent value. And then we have more opportunity for conversion and more [market] share.”

Macy’s shares closed more than 3% higher Tuesday.

Macy’s strategy ahead

As part of the retailer’s push to woo shoppers and restore investor confidence, Macy’s said it will make big changes to its store footprint. Macy’s plans to close about 150 unproductive locations and will step up investments in the approximately 350 namesake locations that will remain open.

It plans to focus more on selling luxury goods by opening about 15 new Bloomingdale’s stores and at least 30 new Bluemercury stores over the next three years. It will also remodel roughly 30 existing stores of the beauty chain during that time. 

Macy’s had already announced five store closures and more than 2,300 layoffs in January. It said in October that it would open as many as 30 smaller versions of its namesake stores in strip malls over the next two years.

In a news release Tuesday, Macy’s said it will also take a hard look at how to operate more efficiently — such as scrutinizing the network of warehouses used for its e-commerce business.

In the fiscal year that starts in early 2025, Macy’s said, it expects low-single-digit comparable sales growth on an annual…

Read More: Macy’s (M) Q4 2023 earnings

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