• Cecile Corral

Macy’s sales, comps hobble in Q3

Backstage “a good initiative” poised for “aggressive growth”

Macy'sCincinnati – Macy’s is revving the engine on Backstage in 2018 to help offset sluggish sales and comps from its core department store business.

During its earnings call today, Macy’s ceo Jeff Gennette noted that the off-price concept – which launched in fall 2015 with six locations -- is approaching the company’s sales goal.

“With Backstage, we’re on track,” he said. “Now we’re getting a cumulative of an about seven-point lift in the 45 full-line stores that have Backstage within them. Our ultimate goal is to get 10 [points]. We are going through all the planning now to have a more aggressive rollout in 2018 and beyond.”

He later elaborated on the company’s strategy to expand and refine Backstage. The plan calls for: adding the concept in larger Macy’s store locations; implementing new marketing efforts; applying strengths in the company’s Bloomingdale’s Outlet concept to Backstage; and others.

“Backstage continues to grow as we get smarter about it,” he said. “We are looking at all the areas where we are having success and building on those things…and we’re seeing nice, positive results from that. We have been good students on this. You can expect more from us on Backstage. It has been a good initiative for us.”

Macy’s sales for the 13-week quarter, ended Oct. 28, fell 6.1% to

$5.28 billion from $5.62 billion last year, reflecting in part the closure of stores previously announced by the company. Comparable sales were down 4.0% on an owned basis, and declined 3.6% on an owned-plus licensed basis.

Home had a mixed performance for the company, cfo Karen Hoguet noted.

“Sales were softer in the home related businesses at Macy’s in the quarter, although the sales in these categories did improve significantly in October,” she said. “Sales at Bloomingdale’s were stronger than Macy’s, particularly in the home category.”

Net income more than doubled to $34 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, from $15 million, or $0.05 per diluted share.

“A highlight of the third quarter was the launch of the new Star Rewards loyalty program - our best customers are responding positively,” Gennette said. “We also saw continued double-digit growth in digital and are encouraged by the potential of Backstage in Macy’s stores.”

Cecile CorralCecile Corral | Senior Product Editor, Home Textiles Today

Cecile B. Corral has been a product editor with Home Textiles Today since late 2000. She covers the area and accent rug, kitchen textiles, table linens, beach towels, decorative bath and decorative pillow categories, as well as some retail subjects.

Research Store

Featured Video

Subscribe to
Home Textiles Today eDaily
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.


HTT November 2017 cover

See the November 2017 issue of Home Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at Complex Colors, Complex Times--Trend forecasters and interior designers weigh in on 2018 palettes and motifs.  Other articles include: Data: Exclusive HTT soft window research; Innovation: Material Changes conference preview; Country report: India invests in the future and Fabrics: Showtime preview.  See details!