Macy’s says its third-quarter sales fell, and it lowered its outlook for the full year. But the retailer says it is hopeful about the fourth quarter, barreling into the holiday season with new marketing strategies — and the technology to support them.
Same-store sales for the Cincinnati-based retailer fell 0.7%; excluding its licensed products, sales dropped 1.4%. Total sales for the quarter slipped to $6.19 billion, down 1.3% from $6.28 billion in the third quarter of 2013.
Conceding that sales for the period are a disappointment, “we remain optimistic for the fourth quarter based on several factors,” says chairman and CEO Terry J. Lundgren, in its earning release, including its mix of both style and value in holiday merchandise, and “new store, omnichannel and marketing strategies in place that we believe will drive incremental business.” Its Buy Online Pickup in Store option is now available in all Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores, same-day delivery tests are running in eight key markets, and it has upgraded its mobile apps.
Women’s Wear Daily reports that Macy’s’ new app helps users find the looks they want by snapping a photo of outfits and uploading them, to find the same or similar products in stock. WWD says Macy’s is the first major U.S. retailer using this technology.
It has also opened specialty holiday arcades in six of its locations.
Separately, the company says it is bringing back its “Believe” holiday campaign for the seventh season, and in a big way — so big, in fact, that it wants to set a new record for “Longest Wish List to Santa” for the Guinness World Records. (It's hoping to get 1 million letters.) As always, shoppers can mail letters to Santa in special mailboxes in stores, or create them digitally, and via mobile device. For every letter sent, Macy’s donates $1 to the Make-A-Wish campaign, and has raised $8.7 million since the campaign first began.
Additional support for the Believe effort includes a nationally televised animated special, activity guides for teachers, and a school musical program. And on Dec. 12, it will celebrate “National Believe Day,” also in partnership with Make-A-Wish, which focuses on granting wishes to kids with life-threatening medical problems.