TheStreet reporter Brian Sozzi is visiting a dozen key retailers on Thanksgiving and Black Friday to assess their performance during one of the biggest shopping events of the year.
ISLIP, N.Y. (TheStreet) -- If you're searching for signs the U.S. economy is stronger than last year, look no further than the pricier items shoppers were buying at Macy's (M) on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.
Boots, handbags and luxury watches from brands like Michael Kors (KORS) , Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs are top sellers, according to Macy's chairman, president and CEO Terry Lundgren.
"We have had just huge lines around the women's shoe department. Boots in particular have been the strongest category," he said in a phone interview with TheStreet. "Handbags, which have been strong all year, continue to perform well," adding that "all of the brand name watches are doing well."
At three Macy's stores in the New York area -- visited Thanksgiving Day after 6:00 p.m. and Black Friday before 8:00 a.m. -- crowds hovered around the pricier departments, confirming Lundgren's comments. Cold weather apparel from V.F.'s (VFC) North Face brand was a standout seller, less so the case for Coach (COH) handbags and accessories.
Early success is good news for the holiday quarter, a period that accounts for about 33% of Macy's annual revenue. Sales of women's accessories, intimate apparel, shoes and cosmetics represent the largest portion of Macy's business.