Macy's sales surge 36%

Macy's takes profit as shoppers begin to buy dresses, luggage, other items again

Macy's swung to a profit in the third quarter and sales surged 36% as shoppers begin to buy dresses, luggage and other goods that fell to the bottom of the shopping list last year when the pandemic struck. 

Macy's joins a slew of other retailers posting strong sales as they overcome surging costs and snarled supply chains ahead of the holiday shopping season. 

The department earned $239 million, or 76 cents per share, for the three-month period ended Oct. 30. Adjusted earnings was $1.23 per share, easily topping Wall Street per-share projections of 31 cents, according to a survey by FactSet. 

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Shoppers walk to the Macy's store in the Downtown Crossing district, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Boston. Macy’s Inc. reported fiscal third-quarter net income of $239 million Thursday, Nov. 18, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier (AP Photo/Charles Krupa / AP Newsroom)

The company lost $91 million last year during the same period. 

Sales reached $5.44 billion for the quarter, also topping analyst expectations. 

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M MACY'S, INC. 26.80 -0.91 -3.27%

Sales at stores opened at least a year rose 35.6%, including licensed businesses like cosmetics. 

Online sales increased 19% compared with the year ago period, and rose 49% compared with the same quarter in 2019. 

People walk past the large Macy's billboard on a building in front of the Macy's Herald Square store on Oct. 8, 2021, in New York City. (Gary Hershorn/Getty Images / Getty Images)

The company booked strong sales of home, fragrances, jewelry, watches and sleepwear. It said that sales categories like dresses, men's tailored clothing and luggage continue to recover. 

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Retailers like Macy's are are paying higher wages and expanding benefits for its workers amid a tight labor market. Earlier this month, the department store said that it would a pay minimum of $15 per hour for new and current workers by May. It's also partnering with an online education company to offer debt-free programs for workers, investing approximately $35 million over the next four years. 

Macy's was able to increase inventory 19.4% compared with last year's third quarter, navigating shortages and slowed supplies as the U.S. economy emerges from a downturn caused by the pandemic.