Thursday 21 May 2020 2:30 pm

Historic department store Macy's set for $1bn first quarter loss

Historic US department store Macy’s warned today that it could see first quarter losses of over $1bn (£820m) due to the coronavirus lockdowns.

Retail outlets around the world have been battered by the stringent restrictions, which has seen many shops shut their doors for over a month on governmental instruction.

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In a release, Macy’s said that it could suffer a loss between $905m and $1.1bn for the first period of the financial year.

On 18 March, the operator shut all 775 of its stores across the country in order to curb the spread of the virus.

Already this month, retailers such as J Crew, J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus Group have filed for bankruptcy due to the pandemic.

Last month Reuters reported that Macy’s had hired investment bank Lazard to explore bolstering its finances.

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By comparison to the dire forecast, in the same period last year the department store saw income of $203m.

First quarter sales for 2020 are forecast at $3bn, compared to $5.5bn last year.

Chief executive Jeff Genette said in a statement: “We expect business to recover gradually”.

Macy’s stores are just now beginning to reopen in states such as Georgia and South Carolina. 

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As of this week, the chain said, 190 of its stores are open again, with a further 80 to open for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend on 25 May.

Shares in the company were flat in the pre-open.