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Retail Industry Updates

Despite Sobering First-Quarter Numbers, Macy’s CEO Remains Upbeat

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Macy’s Jeff Gennette: “We do not anticipate another full shutdown, but we are staying flexible.”

The difference between Macy’s first quarter sales in 2020 and 2019 is $2.487 billion. That’s $2.487 in the hole. That’s a 45% dip.

Macy’s reported $3.017 billion in sales for first quarter of 2020 compared to $5.504 billion in sales in the same quarter for 2019.

The numbers are sobering, but that’s what the coronavirus can do to a business that was already struggling.

But Macy’s Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette remains upbeat. He said the department store is doing what it needs to do to turn things around.

Nearly all of the high-end fashion retailer’s stores have now reopened, including stores in the major metropolitan regions. That includes all but six of the 556 Macy’s and 34 Bloomingdale’s stores the company operates. Stores continued to perform ahead of expectations through May and June, and the company said its digital business sales remained strong across geographies. The company continues to expect a gradual sales recovery.

“While our stores are reopened, we expect that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to impact the country for the remainder of the year,” Gennette said in a statement.

Retail experts have said that retailers need to remain flexible and address customer needs at a higher level during the pandemic, which Gennette said Macy’s is doing.

“We do not anticipate another full shutdown, but we are staying flexible and are prepared to address increases in cases on a regional level,” Gennette said. “We are meeting our customers how and where they are shopping, and have enhanced our fulfillment options and health precautions to ensure a safe and welcoming shopping experience.

“While we continue to see challenges ahead, we’ve taken the necessary actions to stabilize our business and give us financial flexibility,” he continued. “We are confident we have the right strategy and plans in place to navigate the shifting retail landscape.”

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