Has Macy’s become a different and better retailer? – RetailWire

February 23, 2022

Macy’s has had a strong 2021 and may silence, at least temporarily, those who say department stores are going the way of the dodo.

The retailer, which operates its eponymous chain, Bloomingdale’s and Blue Mercury, reported fourth quarter comparable store sales increased 27.8% from a year ago and 6.1% from the same period in 2019.

The company brought in new customers in the fourth quarter, with 7.2 million purchases of merchandise sold at Macy’s stores and on macys.com. Fifty-eight percent of those who purchased from Macy’s website. The retailer’s digital sales were up 12% from the fourth quarter of 2020 and 36% from 2019.

“We are now more digital-led and customer-centric in our planning and execution,” Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette told the company’s website yesterday. earnings call. “We also demonstrated the value of an integrated business, meeting customer expectations for a more seamless shopping experience across digital and in-store offerings.”

Macy’s announced on the call that it would not spin off its digital business in the face of investor pressure led by Jana partners. The activist investor delivered a letter to Macy’s board in October demanding that the company “de-omnify.”

Mr. Gennette told analysts that Macy’s digital platform is fully integrated with the rest of the company’s business. This was not the case in 2019, when digital operations was a “siloed organization”.

“We have a platform at scale, operating the number two website in our categories in the country with 39% digital penetration, an increase of nine percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2019,” a- he declared.

Since then, he added, Macy’s has closed stores in malls C and D to focus more on locations A and B and to open smaller non-retail locations in high-traffic areas. Gennette said Macy’s has actually slowed the closure of some stores in Malls C and D as it expands its stand-alone properties.

Macy’s has also simplified its promotional strategy.

“Pricing is simpler and clearer, giving our customers a better understanding of the value they are receiving,” Gennette said.

Macy’s technology efforts are focused on improving the customer experience.

“We’ve successfully built a new enterprise data and analytics organization that helps us embed data and analytics into everything we do,” he said. “We’ve already seen improvements in our customization and pricing efforts. In short, we’re a different Macy’s.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Macy’s a different and better retailer today than it was in 2019? Has it done enough to make itself relevant in the market?

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“The in-store experience can be daunting, but the online experience is a dream.”

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