Macy’s stocks its shelves and swings to third quarter profit

Macy’s swung to a profit in the third quarter and sales surged 36% as shoppers begin to buy dresses, luggage and other goods that fell to the bottom of the shopping list last year when the pandemic struck

NEW YORK — Macy’s swung to a profit in the third quarter and sales surged 36% as shoppers begin to buy dresses, luggage and other goods that fell to the bottom of the shopping list last year when the pandemic struck.

Macy’s joins a slew of other retailers posting strong sales as they overcome surging costs and snarled supply chains ahead of the holiday shopping season.

The department earned $239 million, or 76 cents per share, for the three-month period ended Oct. 30. Adjusted earnings was $1.23 per share, easily topping Wall Street per-share projections of 31 cents, according to a survey by FactSet.

The company lost $91 million last year during the same period.

Sales reached $5.44 billion for the quarter, also topping analyst expectations.

Sales at stores opened at least a year rose 35.6%, including licensed businesses like cosmetics.

Online sales increased 19% compared with the year ago period, and rose 49% compared with the same quarter in 2019.

The company booked strong sales of home, fragrances, jewelry, watches and sleepwear. It said that sales categories like dresses, men’s tailored clothing and luggage continue to recover.

Retailers like Macy’s are are paying higher wages and expanding benefits for its workers amid a tight labor market. Earlier this month, the department store said that it would a pay minimum of $15 per hour for new and current workers by May. It’s also partnering with an online education company to offer debt-free programs for workers, investing approximately $35 million over the next four years.

Macy’s was able to increase inventory 19.4% compared with last year’s third quarter, navigating shortages and slowed supplies as the U.S. economy emerges from a downturn caused by the pandemic.

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