US-based department store chain Macy’s has reported a 62.5% increase in comparable sales on an owned basis for the first quarter of the year, compared to the same period of last year.
The company reported a 10% drop in comparable owned-plus-licensed sales compared to the first quarter of 2019.
Its diluted earnings per share (EPS) was $0.32 for the quarter, while its adjusted diluted EPS was $0.39.
Macy’s attributed this growth to its Polaris strategy as well as the US Government’s stimulus package and nationwide Covid-19 vaccine rollout.
During the quarter, Macy’s digital sales grew 34% against the first quarter of last year, and 32% over the same period of 2019.
The retailer said that almost 22% of its digital sales were fulfilled in its stores in the quarter.
Macy’s gross margin for the quarter was 38.6%, up from 17.1% last year and up by 40 basis points from the same period of 2019.
The company attracted around 4.6 million new customers during the quarter.
Macy’s chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette said: “In our first quarter, we outperformed sales expectations across all three of our brands, namely Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.
“We built on our momentum from the fourth quarter and our sales trend continued to improve throughout the first quarter.
“These results were driven by the positive effects of the government stimulus program and expanding vaccine rollout, coupled with the accelerated execution of our Polaris strategy, including investments in our digital platforms.”
In response to the increasing trend of shoppers returning to stores, Macy’s has revised its adjusted diluted EPS for the year to between $1.71 and $2.12, an increase from between $0.40 and $0.90.
The retailer also raised its sales forecast to between $21.73bn and $22.23bn, compared to the initial forecast of $19.75bn to $20.75bn.
Macy’s has started investing in new categories, including toys, health and wellness, pets and home décor, with the aim of attracting new customers and bringing back existing customers.
Earlier this month, the retailer announced that the Klarna payment solution would be offered exclusively in-store and online across all its brands, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.