Macy’s Holiday Comp Sales Up, More Store Closures Coming

Macy’s saw a slight increase in comparable store sales over the holiday shopping season, with the retailer also announcing that it will close 11 stores in the coming weeks.

The department store said comp sales on an owned basis were up 1.0% in November and December, with comparable store sales on an owned plus licensed basis up 1.1%. Company officials said improved holiday season sales were seen across Macy’s, Macy’s Backstage, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s The Outlet and Bluemercury.

On a category by category basis, home along with active apparel, shoes and fine jewelry were among the top performers, officials said.

Jeff Gennette, Macy’s CEO, pointed to the retailer’s fresher inventory, curated gift assortment along with a focus on customer experience as key factors that helped drive comparable store sales.

“We saw improved sales trends in our stores and continued to see double-digit growth on our digital platforms,” he said.

As Macy’s begins 2018, the company is also taking steps that company officials said are intended to continue improvements in organizational efficiency and to allocate resources to support its growth strategy. This includes staff adjustments and reductions in some stores and increases in others, further streamlining some non-store functions and the closures of 11 stores early this year.

With these closures, the company will have completed 81 of the approximately 100 planned store closures announced in August 2016. The company intends to close approximately 19 additional stores as leases or operating covenants expire or sale transactions are completed. Including the store closures announced on January 4, Macy’s has closed 124 stores since 2015.

The company expects annual expense savings of $300 million from these actions beginning in fiscal year 2018, which it intends to reinvest in the business.