Macy’s blames/credits the weather for its sales performance
Turnabout is fair play, they say. Macy’s, which largely blamed a decrease in sales during the first quarter on the awful weather that gripped much of the country, noted that warmer temperatures beginning in April have led to improved performance for the chain ever since.
The department store chain reported a nine percent increase in profits despite an overall sales decline of 1.7 percent year-over-year for the first quarter. Comparable store sales in locations open for at least a year were down 1.6 percent.
On an earnings call with analysts, Macy’s CFO Karen Hoguet was confident that sales at both Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s would be stronger during the second quarter.
"Some weather driven businesses such as shoes and apparel were weak overall in the quarter, but perform much better in the south than in the north, giving us confidence for the second quarter, now that the weather is finally warmed up," said Ms. Hoguet.
As in the past, Macy’s continues to focus on its M.O.M. (My Macy’s Omnichannel and Magic Selling) strategies. Among the customer groups getting increased attention are Millennials. Ms. Hoguet said the company is making good progress with this customer base.
"When you think about that millennial customer, we tend to focus on the apparel sides of it. But there is a lot going on in shoes, handbags, cosmetics and also home," said Ms. Hoguet. "One of the strengths in our furniture business has been smaller scale furniture which is really appealing to the millennial customer. And we’ve now got strength in kid’s furniture. So there is just a lot going on for that millennial customer throughout the entire store, not just the apparel areas."
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How much of a factor is the weather when it comes to the sales performance of department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s? What is your take on Macy’s first quarter when profits continued to rise even though the company posted a decline in sales?