Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Macy’s starts retail earnings parade

November 11, 2009

Check out Macy’s disappointing fourth-quarter forecast. USA/

Apparently, the Thanksgiving Day Parade may be the highlight of the quarter.

The department store chain operator forecast fourth-quarter profit below analysts estimates and its shares fell Wednesday morning.

The retailer also expects same-store sales to drop 1 percent to 2 percent in the quarter.  While that is less of a decline than the full year, it is also off a pretty easy comparison.  Same-store sales fell 7 percent in the year-earlier fourth quarter, when the country was waist deep in a recession and credit crunch.

Macy’s, which grew through acquisitions into a national brand, has shifted its focus to offering local items in specific markets in order to try to boost sales.

So far, that might have staunched the bleeding.  But most department stores are still out of favor as consumers stay at shops like Wal-Mart in order to save money.

But hey, Wal-Mart doesn’t have the cool balloons in Manhattan in November, does it?

Also in the basket:

Wal-Mart to offer $100 gift card on BlackBerry purchases

Flowers Foods Q3 sales miss estimates, cuts FY view

Best Buy’s international CEO to retire

Luxury brands step up expansion in China (WWD, subscription required)

(Reuters photo)

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