Early Results From Macy’s, L Brands Indicate a Less Than Happy Holidays

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It’s a little more than a week into January, and already retailers are revealing results for the holiday shopping season that are mediocre at best.

Notably, department store banner Macy’s and retail group L Brands both reported declines in comparable store sales for November and December. Macy’s said its comparable store sales for the two months declined 0.7%, while L Brands reported a decline of 3% for the nine weeks ended Jan. 4.

L Brands, the parent of both Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, was hurt by its intimates banner, the comparable sales for which decreased 12%. Bath & Body Works, on the other hand, saw comparable sales increase by 9%, providing a silver lining.

As of afternoon trading, Macy’s shares declined 3.2% to $17.52 per, while L Brands saw its shares tick up just under a percent to $18.30 per.

Meanwhile, Bed Bath & Beyond withdrew its fourth-quarter guidance yesterday, indicating Christmas may have not been so merry for the home goods retailer, saying it expects sales and profits to remain under pressure.

The company withdrew the guidance in connection with releasing results for the third quarter ended Nov. 30. The retailer said comparable sales declined 8.3% during the period, while net sales decreased 9% to nearly $2.8 billion from about $3 billion for the same period a year prior.

Bed Bath & Beyond is currently undergoing a turnaround under newly appointed CEO Mark Tritton, who took the reins of the company in November. In December, Tritton shook up his C-suite, when the retailer announced the departure of five senior-level executives. As part of that shake-up, the roles of chief marketing officer and chief brand officer are being combined into one position.

Endangered retailer Pier 1 Imports also didn’t provide much cheer when it reported on Monday a comparable sales decline of 11.4% for its third quarter ended Nov. 30. In addition, net sales decreased 13.3% to nearly $360 million from about $410 million for the same period a year prior.

More worrying, the home furnishings retailer said it intends to reduce its store count by 450 locations after receiving consent to do so from its lenders under its revolving credit facility. Pier 1 Imports is utilizing the services of a third-party liquidator to assist with store closings, the company said.

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