Macy’s posts strong sales growth, showing it can adapt to new era of online shopping

Traffic makes its way past the Macy's flagship store in New York on May 16.
(Mary Altaffer / AP)

Macy’s Inc. on Wednesday posted third-quarter same-store sales that beat Wall Street’s expectations, but it apparently has yet to prove to all investors that its rebound isn’t just a fleeting moment.

Same-store sales, a closely watched measure, rose 3.3% for owned and licensed stores, topping analyst expectations of 2.8%. It was the fourth straight quarter of growth.

Shares of Macy’s closed down $2.57, or 7.2%, to $33.22 for the day after rising more than 4% on the earnings report. Macy’s stock had gained 42% this year through Tuesday’s close.

Even so, Macy’s struggles adapting to online shopping are starting to look like a thing of the past. The latest data show double-digit e-commerce growth, and on its conference call, the company said it expects to reach $1 billion in mobile sales this year.


Macy’s is heading into the crucial holiday shopping season with momentum. The retailer expressed confidence the gains will continue, raising its full-year forecast for profit to as much as $4.30 a share, from a previous outlook of as much as $4.15.

“The business is continuing to firm up,” said Alex Arnold, managing director of the consumer sector at Odeon Capital Group. “I think they are well set up for the holiday.”

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said Macy’s weak results a year earlier made it easier for the company to post growth. Even so, the department store chain has shown “genuine progress,” such as bringing in new loyalty members, he said.


3:25 p.m.: This article was updated with Macy’s closing stock price.

This article was originally published at 8:55 a.m.