Macy's cuts same-store sales forecast, shares drop

Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:51am EDT
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By Devika Krishna Kumar

(Reuters) - Macy's Inc cut its full-year same-store sales forecast, after second-quarter sales failed to make up for weakness in the first quarter when harsh winter weather kept shoppers away.

Macy's earnings for the quarter ended Aug. 2 also missed the average analyst estimate as the company discounted heavily to win business, squeezing gross margins.

The company said on Wednesday that margins would be flat to slightly down for the rest of the year.

Shares of the company, which also owns the high-end Bloomingdale's chain, fell as much as 6 percent.

"...Many customers still are not feeling comfortable about spending more in an uncertain economic environment," Chief Executive Terry Lundgren said in a statement.

U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in July, data showed on Wednesday, pointing to some loss of momentum in the economy. The sales were the weakest since January.

Shares of Macy's rivals Kohl's Corp and Nordstorm Inc were down 1.8 percent and 1.2 percent respectively.

Macy's said it expects same-store sales to increase 1.5 percent to 2 percent for the full year. It had earlier forecast an increase of 2.5 percent to 3 percent.   Continued...

Shoppers ride the escalator at Macy's Herald Square in New York in this November 28, 2013 file photo.  REUTERS/Eric Thayer