Macy's Sales Fall as Apparel Demand, Tourist Spend Stay Weak

Department store operator Macy's reported its fifth straight drop in quarterly sales, missing analysts' estimates, as customers cut back on buying apparel and a strong dollar discouraged tourists from spending heavily.

Shares of Macy's, which started in 1858 as a small store in Manhattan, fell almost 8 percent in premarket trading on Wednesday.

Macy's said comparable sales at its stores open for at least a year, including sales at third-party sections within its stores, fell 5.6 percent in the first quarter. Analysts on average had expected a decline of 3.2 percent, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.

The company, whose profits have been shrinking for more than a year, said it would intensify cost-cutting measures, including monetizing unproductive real estate.

Macy's, which is under investor pressure to monetize its real estate, said it was evaluating proposals from potential partners for joint ventures or other deals for its flagship and mall-based stores.

Net income attributable to Macy's fell 40 percent to $116 million, or 37 cents per share, in the quarter ended April 30.

Excluding items, Macy's earned 40 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 36 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's net sales fell 7.4 percent to $5.77 billion, missing the average estimate of $5.93 billion.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)