Macy’s Reports 4% Decline in Fourth Quarter Sales

Macy’s, the nation’s largest department store chain, reported sales in the fourth quarter of 2016 of $8.515 billion, down 4.0% from 2015.

Sales for all of 2016 totaled $25.778 billion, down 4.8 percent from last year.

“While 2016 was not the year we expected, we made significant progress on key initiatives that are starting to bear fruit. These include continued improvement in our digital platforms, the rollout of our new approach to fine jewelry and women’s shoes, an increase in exclusive merchandise and the refinement of our clearance and off-price strategy. We also took a big step forward in rightsizing our physical footprint and restructuring our entire organization. The combination of these initiatives will help us gain market share, return to growth and drive enhanced value for our shareholders over time,” said Terry Lundgren, Macy’s chairman and chief executive officer.

“We will be investing for the future in 2017. Looking at the continued challenges in the retail environment and changing consumer shopping behaviors, we know we must evolve our strategy and execute faster,” Lundgren said. “Key to this is enhancing the customer experience in our stores where we are developing and testing concepts that feature new merchandise and entertainment options alongside enhanced technology to make shopping simpler. Additional initiatives that we believe will improve sales trends in 2017 include continued omnichannel improvements, an updated marketing strategy and a simplified pricing structure.”

In fiscal 2016, Macy’s opened 27 stores and closed 66 stores. The chain said it plans to close an additional  34 stores over the next few years for a total of 100 stores. New stores opened in fiscal 2016 included one Macy’s store in Kapolei, HI, 24 Bluemercury freestanding stores, one Macy’s Backstage freestanding store in San Antonio, TX, and one Bloomingdale’s Outlet in Orange, CA.

Macy’s, Inc. also announced that CEO Terry Lundgren will officially step down on March 23, 2017. Jeff Gennette, president of Macy’s, Inc., will assume the CEO role and Lundgren will continue as executive chairman of the company.