Macy’s, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2021 Results

“In our first quarter we outperformed sales expectations across all three of our brands: Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury. We built on our momentum from the fourth quarter and our sales trend continued to improve throughout the first quarter,” said Jeff Gennette, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s, Inc. “These results were driven by the positive effects of the government stimulus program and expanding vaccine rollout, coupled with the accelerated execution of our Polaris strategy, including investments in our digital platforms. Macy’s remains a fashion and style source for customers as a digitally led omnichannel retailer.”

“As consumers seek to re-engage with each other, we are seeing promising signs that our core customers are shopping again, and we continue to attract new customers, who increasingly begin their shopping experience with us online,” continued Gennette. “Customers are shopping categories that have been strong throughout the pandemic, including home, fine jewelry and watches, fragrance and luxury items. And we’re encouraged by the improvement we’re seeing in special occasion categories as customers begin to travel and return to a pre-pandemic lifestyle. We also have emerging opportunities in new categories and brands, including toys, health & wellness, pet and home décor.”

“As we look to the rest of the year, we are hyper-focused on meeting consumers’ demand for speed, convenience and a seamless omnichannel shopping experience. We also continue to evolve our merchandising strategy, and we remain a partner of choice for top brands with more collaborative and profitable vendor relationships,” continued Gennette. “With a healthier economy and the reopening of communities as the backdrop to the execution of our Polaris strategy, we are well positioned to deliver sustainable, profitable growth in 2021 and the years beyond.”

First Quarter Highlights
Comparable sales up 62.5% on an owned basis and up 63.9% on an owned plus licensed basis versus 2020. Comparable sales down 10.5% on an owned basis and down 10.0% on an owned plus licensed basis versus 2019. Trend improvement compared to a 17.1% owned plus licensed comparable sales decline in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Digital sales grew 34% over first quarter 2020 and grew 32% over first quarter 2019. Digital penetration was 37% of net sales, a 6-percentage point decline from first quarter 2020 when stores closed, but a 13-percentage point improvement over first quarter 2019.
The company brought 4.6 million new customers into the Macy’s brand, a 23% increase compared to first quarter 2019. 47% of new customers came through the digital channel in first quarter 2021.
Gross margin for the quarter was 38.6%, up from 17.1% in first quarter 2020 and up 40 basis points from first quarter 2019. Improvement due to increased merchandise margin was largely driven by inventory productivity and the execution of the Polaris strategy.
The first quarter 2020 included an approximately $300 million inventory write-down from markdowns on fashion merchandise due to the store closures during first quarter 2020.
Delivery expense declined approximately 20 basis points from the first quarter of 2020 and increased 230 basis points from first quarter 2019, partially due to the higher penetration of digital sales.
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