Macy's Posts Almost $4 billion in Losses for Coronavirus, Doesn't Expect Another Shutdown

Macy's, which on June 25 mentioned that it will lay off about 3,900 employees in corporate and management positions in a bid to save cash, did not provide an updated outlook

Macy's Inc confirmed a huge $3.58 billion loss on Wednesday for the coronavirus or COVID-19-hit first quarter the store shutdowns resulted in the department store chain recording a $3 billion impairment charge.

The global health crisis has forced the brick-and-mortar retailers to tap the credit lines, laying off of the employees and suspending the dividends and buybacks in an attempt to stay afloat.

"While our stores are reopened, we expect that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to impact the country for the remainder of the year," Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette said in a statement, adding that the retailer did not expect another total shutdown of stores.

Macy's Confirms Huge Loss

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Macy's, which also owns Bloomingdale's, said net sales for the first quarter through May 2 nearly halved to $3.02 billion. The retailer's results come as some of its peers, including J Crew, J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus Group, have filed for bankruptcy after failing to cope with market uncertainties and mounting debt.

Macy's, which on June 25 said it would lay off about 3,900 employees in corporate and management positions in a bid to save cash, did not provide an updated outlook. Macy's has faced a huge slump in traffic at its stores, especially those in malls and urban areas harder hit by lockdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, Gennette said on Wednesday. He doesn't expect the "virtual disappearance of international tourism spending" to "recover any time soon."

In turn, Macy's has invested heavily in improving its digital business and personalized marketing, clearing out unsold inventory and offering services like curbside pickup. "Whether in staffing, fleet size, online initiatives, or real estate monetization, it (Macy's) is at last implementing the radical surgery that should have begun years ago," said Craig Johnson, president at retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners.

"Today's results should not be seen as any kind of surprise, but as a necessary reflection of reality — in short, a deep reset of the entire enterprise." Shares were down about three percent in premarket trading. On a per-share basis, it reported a net loss of $11.53 in the first quarter ended May 2 compared with a profit of 44 cents a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company lost $2.03 per share, meeting expectations, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. The company expects second-quarter comparable sales to improve roughly 6-7 percentage points, compared to the 35 percent decline in the first quarter, it said. As of May 2, Macy's had $1.52 billion in cash and cash equivalents and $18.58 billion in total liabilities and shareholders' equity.

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