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Macy's Thanksgiving Wish: A Strong Holiday Shopping Season

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Macy's  (M) , like all retailers, is betting on a strong 2020 holiday shopping season, even as the pandemic keeps consumers from its brick-and-mortar stores - and from opening their wallets. 

It's a risky wager.

Macy’s posted an adjusted loss of $251 million, or 81 cents a share, less than half the $1.77-a-share loss analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting though worse than the adjusted earnings of $88 million, or 28 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

The New York-based retailer, which also owns the Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury department store brands, said sales at both brick-and-mortar registers and online totaled $3.6 billion, better than the $3.5 billion expected by analysts but down from $5.5 billion a year ago. 

"We are encouraged by our second quarter performance; however, we continue to approach the back half of the year conservatively,” CEO Jeff Gennette said in a statement, noting that the company’s immediate priority is “successfully executing Holiday 2020.”

Indeed, retailers are already gearing up for what is expected to be a holiday shopping season like no other, as consumers re-calibrate their spending priorities due to the pandemic and ensuing recession, and also re-calibrate how they go about buying goods in person vs. online.

Macy’s rival Kohl’s (KSS) - Get Report last month also posted a narrower-than-expected second-quarter loss as consumers delved back in to buying goods, particularly online, but also made plain that the upcoming holiday shopping season will be critical.

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