Macy's stock has worst day ever on holiday sales warning

13 Janvier, 2019, 01:26 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Macy's reported disappointing holiday sales

Department store retailers are getting hammered this morning on Wall Street after posting lackluster holiday sales numbers. Kohl's shares were down 5.4 percent in premarket trading after reporting anemic comparable sales growth of 1.2 percent during the final two months of 2018, from 6.9 percent a year earlier. The driver of comparable digital sales growth, which came in up 29%, was store-fulfilled digital sales.

With low unemployment, rising wages and consumer confidence high, there had been optimism about holiday sales receipts.

We delivered our second consecutive year of positive holiday comparable sales, driven largely by the traction of our strategic initiatives: Backstage, Vendor Direct, Store Pickup, Loyalty and Growth50.

"The holiday season began strong - particularly during Black Friday and the following Cyber Week, but weakened in the mid-December period and did not return to expected patterns until the week of Christmas", Macy's Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette said in a statement, noting that sales of seasonal sleepwear, women's sportswear and fashion jewelry were particularly weak during the holiday season.

Macy's stock posted its largest single-day percentage decline on record in trading Thursday after the struggling retailer warned of weak holiday sales and slashed its full-year forecast.

Analysts say factors like a shift to online spending and consumer preferences for so-called experiences like spas and restaurants have hurt impulse spending that likely put a dent in December's figures for Macy's and Kohl's.

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Online sellers are relentlessly growing their share of retail sales. Department store sales slipped 0.2 percent during the same period.

A recession could hit many department stores particularly hard, some industry watchers said.

And Marshal Cohen, chief industry adviser at NPD Group, estimates that as much as 40 percent of shoppers bought experiences as gifts this holiday season, up from 25 percent just a few years ago. Some believe, for instance, the company may not have done enough to make its merchandise and marketing compelling for customers as it tried to compete against online players like Amazon. It also operates SuperTarget stores with a line of food and general merchandise items and offers an assortment of general merchandise, including many items found in the company's stores and a complementary assortment, such as extended sizes and colors, sold only online. It previously told investors to expect up to 2.5 percent growth in comparable store sales including revenue from licensing partners.

The company still expects full-year adjusted earnings in a range of $5.30 to $5.50 per share. The maintained outlook may have disappointed investors.

The retailer on Thursday lowered its annual profit guidance to between $3.95 and $4 a share, down from between $4.10 and $4.30 provided on November 14.

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