The saying early bird catches the worm goes well with the retailer Macy's Inc. ( M ), which for the first time opened its doors at the stroke of midnight on Black Friday to attract customers.
The record Black Friday weekend sales provided an impetus to the retailers' November comp sales who tried every means to woo customers and gain market share amid fierce competition and a sluggish economy. Early hours store openings, huge discounts, promotional activities and free shipping on online purchases were enough to lure customers on Black Friday that turned out to be a bonanza for both brick-and-mortar as well as e-commerce retailers.
Macy's, the leading department store retailer in the U.S. saw its comparable-store sales rising 4.8% for the four-week period ended November 27, 2011 that fared better than what analysts expected. The growth compared with comparable-store sales increases of 2.2% in October 2011 and 6.1% in November 2010. Year-to-date comps climbed 5.2%.
Cincinnati, Ohio-based Macy's said that its total sales for November grew 5.3% to $2,465 million compared with $2,341 million in the same month last year. Year-to-date, sales rose 5.6% to $20,146 million from $19,075 million reported in the prior-year period.
Online sales, which include sales from macys.com and bloomingdales.com, continued to show growth momentum in November, soaring 49.6%. The company seeks to expand both Macy's and Bloomingdale's brands online. Year-to-date, online sales were up 40.9%.
Macy's reiterated comps to increase between 4% and 4.5% in the fourth quarter, and hinted that should the November sales trend continue, the company could surpass its own guidance range.
Macy's department stores sell a wide range of merchandise. Its products include men's, women's, and children's apparel and accessories, cosmetics, home furnishings and other consumer goods.
Macy's, which competes with J. C. Penney Company Inc. ( JCP ), currently operates approximately 850 department stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.
In an attempt to increase sales, profitability and cash flows, the company has been taking steps such as integration of operations, consolidation of divisions, customer-centric localization initiatives, as well as developing e-commerce business and online order fulfillment centers. Moreover, Macy's continues to focus on price optimization, inventory management and merchandise planning to drive traffic.
Currently, we have a long-term 'Outperform' rating on the stock. Moreover, Macy's holds a Zacks #1 Rank that translates into a short-term 'Strong Buy' rating, and correlates with our long term view.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.