Macy’s Warns of up to $1 Billion Quarterly Loss Due to Lockdowns

By Reuters

Macy’s Inc said on May 21 it could rack up operating losses of up to $1.11 billion in the first quarter, as the department store operator was forced to shut stores due to lockdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the CCP virus.

The health crisis has forced brick-and-mortar retailers to tap credit lines, lay off employees, and suspend dividends and buybacks in a bid to stay afloat amid store closures.

Just this month, several retailers, including J Crew, J.C.Penney, and luxury store chain Neiman Marcus Group filed for bankruptcy after failing to cope with market uncertainties and mounting debt.

J. Crew store
A closed sign is seen in the entrance of the J. Crew store at Country Club Plaza as the CCP virus Pandemic causes a climate of anxiety and changing routines in America in Kansas City, Mo., on April 2, 2020. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Macy’s, which shut all of its 775 stores on March 18 to curb the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, hired investment bank Lazard Ltd to explore options for bolstering its finances, Reuters reported last month.

Despite online sales bringing some respite to retailers, Macy’s Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette said that could not offset the losses relating to store closures. Offering services, including curbside pickup, where allowed, had helped the retailer keep business alive, Gennett said.

Macy's department store
Macy’s department store in Arlington, Va., on April 29, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)

Macy’s, the largest U.S. department store operator by sales, said it expects to post an operating loss of between $905 million and $1.11 billion. It also forecast first-quarter sales in the range of $3 billion to $3.03 billion, down from $5.50 billion a year earlier.

The loss excludes potential estimated pretax non-cash goodwill and asset impairment charges for the quarter.

Macy’s had earlier this month said it would report its first-quarter earnings on July 1 as significant business disruptions due to the pandemic had led to delays in preparing its financial statement.

Shares of the company were trading flat at $5.07 in premarket trading.

By Aishwarya Venugopal and Melissa Fares 

NTD staff contributed to this report.