Thursday, 11 May 2017

Macy's sales slide stokes fears for US department stores

Shares in Macy's have plunged after the US department store owner said quarterly sales slid 7.5%.

Although some of the decline was due to stores being closed, like-for-like sales fell a worse than expected 4.6%.

Chief executive Jeff Gennette said the company, which also owns Bloomingdales, did not have its "head in the sand".

However, Macy's also expected sales this year to fall by up to 4%, causing investors to send its shares down 14% in afternoon trading in New York.

Fears about the health of the US retail sector spread to rival department store chains, with shares in Kohl's falling more than 5% and JC Penney slipping more than 8%.
Mr Gennette said: "These are unusual and challenging times for retail, especially for mall-based stores. We certainly know these changes that we're seeing are ... not cyclical."

Macy's has more than 700 stores, while Kohl's - which has more than 1,100 outlets - said quarterly like-for-like sales fell 2.7%.

US department stores have shed more than 32,000 jobs over the 12 months to April, according to US government estimates.

Macy's has strived to see off the rise of online retailing by adding discount areas to its stores, striking deals to stock exclusive fashion lines, and making it easier to try on shoes.

BBC     News.