Motley Fool  Sep 6  Comment 
Macy's stock has retreated in recent weeks despite a solid Q2 earnings report. Analysts keep piling on with negative outlooks. But Macy's long-term market position is stronger than it may seem.
Motley Fool  Aug 26  Comment 
The company appears to have turned a corner in its turnaround efforts.
Benzinga  Aug 23  Comment 
Deckers Outdoor Corporation (NYSE: DECK) is reaping the benefits of improved management at UGG brand, according to a new analyst report. The Analyst Susquehanna’s Sam Poser upgraded Deckers from Negative to Neutral and raised his price...
Motley Fool  Aug 23  Comment 
Macy's reported another quarter of solid results last week. One analyst wasn't impressed, noting that Macy's is still losing market share. But Macy's stock is priced for disaster, not just gradual market share losses.
Motley Fool  Aug 21  Comment 
Nordstrom, Macy’s, and JC Penney fly all over the board on earnings, and mall retail remains brutally hard.
NPR  Aug 21  Comment 
Author Beth Macy details opioids' odyssey from medicine to scourge, in her book about young heroin users, their long-suffering parents, doctors, drug company executives, cops, judges and drug dealers.
Motley Fool  Aug 21  Comment 
While Dillard's stock is a lot cheaper than it was a week ago, it still doesn't look like a bargain for investors.
Benzinga  Aug 20  Comment 
There’s been a lot of sympathy trading in the retail space this earnings season, as investors look for any signs of the unpredictable retail sector's trajectory in the Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) era. In the near-term, it seems as though the...
Motley Fool  Aug 20  Comment 
The department store chain delivered profit and revenue beats for the second quarter, plus higher guidance. But the stock sank as investors reassessed the retailer's longer-term performance.


Macy’s Inc. (NYSE:M) is a clothing retailer selling men's, women's and children's clothes and accessories through over 850 stores nationwide. Macy's Inc is divided into mid-tier Macy's and Bloomingdale's, an upper-tier store that sells more exclusive items.[1]

Private brands have been receiving increased attention from retailers due to the increased control they have over the production and distribution of their own line. Also, they tend to have a higher profit margin than third-party goods. This has impacted Macy's product mix as retailers move towards increasing private brand offerings. The credit crunch has also led to an increase in credit card balances and subsequently delinquent accounts. Macy's, as one of many retailers that extend a line of credit to their consumers, is thus susceptible to the risks inherent in a higher percentage of delinquent credit card balances. Therefore, Macy's exposure to increased credit card debt is mitigated through its partnership.

Business Overview

Macy's and upscale Bloomingdale's sell men's, women's and children's apparel and accessories, cosmetics and home furnishings. Aside from its brick-and-mortar stores Macy's also operates macys.com, bloomingdales.com and Bloomingdale's by Mail in addition to an online bridal registry.[2] Macy's mostly sells products from third-party manufacturers, however the company also produces a number of private brands, such as Alfani and Club Room.[2] [3]

News Updates

  • In the beginning of June, 4,000 union workers pressured Macy's that they would go on strike. Macy's and the union were able to reach a tentvhvhvhchhative contract agreement. The new contract includes wage increases by $3.05 over the next five years and lower health insurance plans.[4]

Business Growth

Fiscal Year 2010 Results (ended January 29th, 2011)

  • Net sales were $25.0 billion, which is an increase of 6.4% from fiscal 2009.
  • Net income increased 157% to $847 million.[5]

Business Segments


Macy's is one of the oldest dement stores in the United States and an iconic retailing brand. It operates 810 stores ,.\nationwide and offers a huge array of top brands in all retailing categories. Events like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, 4th of July Fireworks, holiday traditions, and celebrity appearances all contribute to the nationwide recognition of the Macy's name.[6]



Bloomingdales is a nationwide downscale department store with 40 stores across the U.S. Bloomingdales positions itself as an upscale contemporary division of Macy's Inc. carrying labels such as Louis Vuitton, Armani, and Burberry. It has personal shoppers, lounges, and top fitting rooms for the most discerning customers.


Online sales are conducted through macys.com and bloomingdales.com.

Private Labels

Macy's portfolio of 15 private labels include Alfani, Charter Club, Hotel Collection and Club Room. These brands are only available at Macy's. [7]

Trends and Forces

Private Label Brands Benefits Both Consumers and Retailers

Private label brands are clothing lines whose design, production and distribution are controlled by the retailer itself. They are especially popular in department stores such as Macy's, J.C. Penney (JCP) and Saks (SKS). Private brands are an attractive choice for the retailer because they can produce exactly the pieces they want instead of looking for them among their suppliers. In addition, they have control over the quality and fabrication of garments under those lines so they are more able to control the costs of the goods. In addition, since they are produced and sold directly to the consumer, private brands are usually less expensive than brands from third-party companies. The lower price point makes private brands more attractive to low-income consumers as well as those hoping to curb their spending due to poor economic conditions. According to The Nielsen Co., private label sales have been increasing since the recession began and captured a high share of many departments of retail stores studied. In 2008, private label sales represented 16.3% of total retail sales in the U.S., up 5% from the previous year. [8] Private label sales represented 19% of Macy's 2009 sales, with the rest of sales coming from market brands. [9]

Credit Card Losses Mitigated Through Partnership With Citigroup

The 2007 Credit Crunch has made it increasingly difficult for people to secure financing through methods such as borrowing against their homes. Therefore, many consumers have resorted to credit cards to make purchases. As credit card balances rise, so do the proportion of delinquent balances. This is bad news for retailers that extend lines of credit to their consumers. Macy's, however, has an advantage in the sense that it shares profits and losses with Citibank, meaning it does not suffer the full blow from an unpaid credit balance. In addition, Macy's benefits from letting Citibank--which has more experience in handling credit--extend credit to Macy's customers. This allows Macy's to focus more energy on its retail business.

Increases in Commodity Prices Will Raise Clothing Retailer Prices

Cotton consumption exceeded cotton production for the fifth year in the row, making cotton prices increase by 80.5% from last year.[10] [11] Natural disasters also severely damaged crops in many large cotton producer countries, such as China, India, and Pakistan. This led to decreases in cotton exports from these countries and increases in cotton imports as these countries sought to supplement their supply of cotton. [12][13] With limited cotton supplies and rising prices, retailers will either have to absorb these higher material costs, restructure the composition of their clothing to have less cotton, or pass these higher costs to its consumers. Higher clothing prices or lower quality clothing could discourage consumer spending, resulting in decreased net sales. However, adult or teen clothing retailers may not be too adversely affected as their clothing (which is usually 30-40% cotton based) has more flexibility in their composition and thus, costs. In addition, raising commodity prices in other areas will also raise costs for retailers. While premium price and established brands may be able to pass their higher costs to their consumers, value based companies may not fare as well and may suffer from lower profit margins.[10]


Macy’s faces strong competition in the retail industry from other retailers in their geographic areas, including other traditional, moderate or luxury department stores, specialty stores, general merchandise stores, off-price and discount stores and other forms of shopping including the Internet, mail order catalogs and television. Retailers competing with Macy’s include:

In terms of price point, Macy's faces stiffest competition from J.C. Penney (JCP) and Sears Holdings (SHLD):

  • J.C. Penney sells goods at a slightly lower price point than Macy's does. J.C. Penney places considerable effort in developing its own brands, which though they have a higher profit margin than third-party brands, they do not have the same name recognition that would come from a national or international line. In addition, private brands are usually produced to appeal to the greatest number of customers, meaning their designs tend to be more conservative than third-party brands. These safer, more tried-and-true designs can present a problem when they do not excite or interest consumers enough to compel them to spend money. [15]
  • Sears Holdings is composed of Sears, Kmart and Land's End. Sears sells home appliances, garden and fitness equipment and electronics. Kmart sells similar goods, along with home furnishings and clothing. Land's End sells clothes and accessories, primarily online and through catalogs. As a discount store, Kmart's price point is lower than that of Macy's, attracting a lower-income consumer. Sears Holdings is more focused on appliances and electronics, whereas Macy's is more focused on apparel and accessories. The lower price point of Kmart stores also makes the chain more attractive to consumers looking to cut back on their spending considering the flagging American economy.

Luxury department stores such as Saks (SKS) operate at a higher price point, attracting a clientele with more disposable income. Discount stores operate at a much lower price point, attracting less affluent consumers. Macy's is distinct from warehouse stores in that it does not sell goods in bulk and operates at a higher price point.


  1. M 2008 Annual Report pg. 15  
  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. M 2009 Annual Report  
  4. The New York Times, "No Strike at Macy’s," 06/16/2011
  5. http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=84477&p=RssLanding&cat=news&id=1531128
  6. Macy's F1Q09 (Qtr End 5/2/09) Earnings Call Transcript.
  7. Macy's 2009 Annual Report p.25
  8. Private Label Manufacturers Ass.
  9. Macy's Factbook
  10. 10.0 10.1 http://seekingalpha.com/article/238731-more-evidence-of-inflation-retailers-report-escalating-commodity-prices
  11. Gap, Wal-Mart Clothing Costs Rise on ‘Terrifying’ Cotton Prices
  12. http://www.thegovmonitor.com/world_news/asia/recession-drought-hail-reduce-cotton-acreage-in-china-12256.html
  13. CNN Money - Cotton Shortage Could Inflate Clothing Prices
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 M 2008 Annual Report pg. 4  
  15. JC Penny Annual Report p. 24
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