NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There are generally two constants in malls across the U.S. -- food courts and Macy's
(M - Get Report) and Sears
(SHLD - Get Report) as anchor tenants.
Although the iconic department stores still sell affordable clothing and accessories, Macy's investments in online infrastructure and the in-store shopping experience are widening its competitive lead relative to a Sears domestic business that is starving for more attention from its executives.
Macy's and Sears serve as anchor retailers in 55.5% of Simon Property's (SPG - Get Report) malls across the country, per company Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The tallies are only marginally lower at mall sites owned by Macerich (MAC) and General Growth Partners (GGP) , amounting to 40.7% and 51%, respectively. The presence of both stores in malls highlights the possible effect of competition between them.
In terms of investment, Macy's is showing a greater commitment to being a prominent player in the next generation of retailing, revolving around mobile and same-day delivery of merchandise as well as upgraded physical store shopping environments.
According to Bloomberg data, 1.16% of annual revenue at the Sears division in fiscal year 2014 was devoted to capital expenditures, up slightly from 1.01% in fiscal year 2013. Neither Bloomberg nor the company breaks out capital expenditures for Sears U.S. and Sears Canada.
Macy's allocated 2.17% of its fiscal year 2014 revenue to capital expenditures, a decline from 2.51% in fiscal year 2013. Over the past five years, Macy's capital expenditures as a percentage of revenue has averaged 1.93% compared to 1.06% for the Sears division.