With “Black Friday” and the kickoff to the holiday selling season only days away, some of the major U.S. retailers are feeling anything but jolly. Last week Wal-Mart, Macy’s, and JC Penney all expressed concerns about fourth-quarter sales, citing housing, gas prices, and credit woes that will dent 2007 holiday sales and stifle discretionary spending in 2008.
For Macy’s, which will hold its 80th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade this week, the news isn’t all bad. Although the retailer has lowered its forecast for the fourth quarter and full year, it did experience a strong third quarter, with a profit of $33 million. Women’s fashion has been a challenge for Macy’s, according to CFO Karen Hoguet, who attributes that to “ho-hum fashions and warm weather keeping shoppers away.” However, she added, “Bucking the trend are Macy's online sales and the new Martha Stewart housewares and home goods. Martha Stewart is selling so well, her goods appear to be lifting sales in furniture and Macy's other home furnishings business.” So it’s not all rain on the Macy’s parade after all.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!