NEW YORK -- As R.H. Macy & Co. tries to sell its $3.6 billion term sheet, the pitch may sound sweeter following the bankrupt chain's latest report.

Macy's said adjusted comparable-store sales grew by 14.4 percent in the five weeks ended April 2 compared with last year.

At the same time, Federated Department Stores, which is seeking to merge with a Macy's, posted comparable-store sales gains of only 3.1 percent in March.

"It's interesting to note that the company that is trying to muscle in on Macy's put up 3 percent comparable-store sales gains while Macy's was closer to its peer group with a healthier 14 percent," said one analyst.

Macy's same-store sales for the five weeks ended April 2 were $515.2 million, compared with $450.5 million for the comparable period last year.

Total revenues for March rose 6.7 percent, to $538.8 million from $504.9 million.

"The strong improvement reflects both the success of [our] new merchandising programs and the fact that Easter came a week earlier than last year and therefore was included in the March results," Macy's said in a statement.

"A better barometer of Macy's sales growth," the retail giant said, "will be [our] results for March and April combined."

Macy's said if sales in April finish in line with its internal sales plan, the adjusted comparable-store sales gain for March-April would be about 6 percent. Edward F. Johnson, an analyst with Johnson Redbook Service, said the strong store-for-store sales gain in March was one indication that Macy's is turning it around. However, referring to Macy's unknown margins, he added, "But I don't know if they are 'giving things away there."'

Johnson also noted that Federated is working hard on margins and costs right now and not on increasing sales, so while comparable-store gains lagged behind Macy's, Federated might be more profitable.

To continue reading this article...

To Read the Full Article

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus