Macy’s Inc., the largest department-store chain, forecast annual earnings that fell short of analysts’ estimates after posting disappointing sales growth during the holiday season.
Earnings will be $4.70 to $4.80 a share this year, the Cincinnati-based company said in a statement on Tuesday. Analysts had estimated $4.84 on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Comparable-store sales increased 2 percent in the fourth quarter, trailing the company’s earlier forecast of as much as 3 percent growth.
Macy’s Chief Executive Officer Terry Lundgren is relying less on deep discounts, a strategy that helps profit margins but makes it harder to get customers in the door. He’s also working to broaden the chain’s customer base with new brands, including Bluemercury, a beauty chain that will open boutiques in some Macy’s stores.
Macy’s said earlier this month that it would pay $210 million in cash for Bluemercury and plans to expand the chain of luxury spas. Bluemercury, based in Washington, D.C., has 60 stores with 500 associates.