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Jewelry Sales Buoy Macy’s in Difficult Quarter

Feb 24, 2021 5:36 AM   By Rapaport News
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Jewelry was one of the best-performing categories at Macy’s during the fourth fiscal quarter, even as overall sales faltered at the department-store chain.

Group revenue dropped 19% year on year to $6.78 billion in the three months ending January 30, while comparable-store sales — at owned and licensed shops open for at least a year — fell 17%, the retailer reported Tuesday. However, taken together, sales for the fine-jewelry, fragrances and designer skin-care categories rose 14%. The growth in those categories partially offset declines in others, such as apparel, which plunged 33%.

“Performance was driven by the home, beauty, jewelry and watch categories,” said Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette.

The company accelerated its focus on those categories to reflect changing consumer demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We rapidly adjusted our merchandise mix, reflecting consumers’ increased embrace of categories like home, casual apparel, jewelry and fragrances,” Gennette noted in an earnings call transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

The retailer plans to concentrate on those main divisions at its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores moving forward as well.

“When you look at some of the luxury businesses that customers have been spending on, like fine jewelry and fragrances…those categories are strong,” Gennette added. “I would expect that those would continue. The average [sales] are better on those particular areas, so we’re definitely funding those.”

Sales for the full year dipped 29% to $17.35 billion, while Macy’s reported a net loss of $3.94 billion in 2020, compared with a profit of $564 million in 2019.

Image: A Macy’s store in New York City. (Macy’s)  
Tags: Bloomingdale’s, Covid-19 pandemic, jeff gennette, Jewelry, Jewelry sales, Macy’s, Rapaport News, Seeking Alpha
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