The retailer also announced plans to cut about 2,500 jobs, or 1.4
percent of its U.S. workforce, but said it expects to add positions
for its growing online business, leaving overall staffing levels
unchanged at around 175,000. Its shares rose 5 percent after the
Macy's said comparable sales, which include online sales and sales
at stores open at least a year, rose 3.6 percent in November and
December, roughly the same pace as in the third quarter, when it
easily outperformed rivals from Kohl's Corp <KSS.N> and J.C. Penney
Co Inc <JCP.N> to Target Corp <TGT.N> and Wal-Mart Stores Inc <WMT.N>
in terms of sales growth. Data firm ShopperTrak on Wednesday said
holiday season sales at stores rose 2.7 percent across the industry.
Macy's, which also operates the high-end Bloomingdale's chain,
forecast a profit of $4.40 to $4.50 per share for next fiscal year,
while analysts were only expecting $3.87, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S/. Macy's expects comparable sales to grow 2.5
percent to 3 percent next fiscal year, which starts in February.
The job cuts were part of a new cost-cutting plan that is expected
to save the retailer about $100 million annually. That would include
combining some store districts and some jobs at its central office.
Macy's expects to incur charges of between $120 million and $135
million this quarter for the cost-cutting plan.
[to top of second column]
In addition to benefitting from brisk luxury sales that lifted
business at Bloomingdale's, Macy's has been able to gain an
advantage over rivals Penney and Kohl's by using hundreds of its
stores to help it fill online orders. It was also more aggressive in
wooing shoppers on a more modest budget during the holiday season,
helping it compete in the most discount-driven season since the
Going into the fall and holiday season, Macy's increased its
selection of lower-priced items and boosted advertising and in-store
signage during sales events to tout its least-expensive merchandise.
Macy's, which caters to a middle-class clientele, offers a broad
range merchandise, from $10 cotton T-shirts to Louis Vuitton
(Reporting by Phil Wahba; additional
reporting by Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore; editing by Lisa
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.