Sandy Losses Overshadow Black Friday as Macy's November Sales Slump


Macy’s (NYSE:M) reported a decline in November sales on Thursday as losses from superstorm Sandy during the first half of the month were overshadowed by the department store’s largest-ever Black Friday weekend by volume.

Sales for the four weeks ended Nov. 24 edged 0.6% lower to $2.46 billion despite a 39.2% jump in online shopping and strong Black Friday traffic.

Same-store sales, a measure of revenue at stores open longer than a year, fell 0.7%, weaker than the 1.5% improvement analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll had been anticipating.

With power shut to many of its stores for several days and demand in regions affected by Sandy slumped earlier in the month, sales were off to a slow start in November. Looking toward the heart of the holiday season, though, Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said the company is “very enthusiastic” about its strategy.

“Despite the largest-volume Thanksgiving weekend in our company’s history, we were not able to overcome the weak start to the month, which included the disruption of Hurricane Sandy,” he said. “Yet we remain on track to deliver a very strong sales performance in the fourth quarter, consistent with our guidance.”

Macy’s stood by its fourth-quarter sales and earnings guidance first issued on Nov. 7, with same-store sales growth estimated to be up 4.2% and adjusted earnings in the range of $1.94 to $1.99.

The consensus is calling for slightly higher EPS of $2.01 on revenue of $9.39 billion.

Shares of Macy’s slumped 1.7% to $39.67 in recent trade.