Macy's Sales Continue to Slip

The largest department store in the US hopes the holiday shopping season will turn things around.
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Maria Bobila
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The largest department store in the US hopes the holiday shopping season will turn things around.
Macy's in New York City. Photo: ozgurdonmaz/iStock

Macy's in New York City. Photo: ozgurdonmaz/iStock

Things aren't looking great for Macy's. Falling short of analysts' estimates, sales in the third quarter of 2015 (ending Oct. 31) declined 5.2 percent, totaling at $5.87 billion. In the same period last year, Macy's brought in $6.2 billion. This is the third quarter in a row the company has seen a decline in sales. In the second quarter, which ended Aug.1, it pulled in $6.1 billion in sales — a 2.6 percent fall from $6.26 billion during the same time last year. In the first quarter, sales declined 0.7 percent.

"We are disappointed that the pace of sales did not improve in the third quarter, as we had expected," said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy's, Inc. He blamed the letdown on decreased spending by consumers in the US on apparel and accessories. A decline in shopping by tourists visiting the US has also had a big impact on stores in tourist centers, which Lundgren describes as "some of our company's largest-volume and most profitable locations." You can also factor in this season's particularly long-standing warm weather, which contributed to many department stores' sluggish sales and overstock of winter-ready inventory.

It's a bummer, but Macy's is ready to bounce back. Approaching the fourth quarter, the retailer will put its focus on holiday shopping season into overdrive. Lundgren also believes providing more personalized shopping experiences both online and in-store will prove beneficial, as will the recent openings of five Macy's Backstage locations in New York City, with a sixth outpost to come before the end of the year.