The State of Department Stores: How Macy’s, Nordstrom & JCPenney Are Performing Right Now

The struggles continue.

While much of retail’s surviving class were expected to demonstrate during the 2018 holiday season that they had found their groove, early results for the period showed that many industry players continue to fall somewhere between hit and miss.

Macy’s, Nordstrom and JCPenney were among the firms to experience notable misses during the all-important two-month stretch — and all three firms will report their quarterly results this week, providing a fuller picture of the health of their respective businesses.

For Macy’s — due to report fourth-quarter results before the market open tomorrow — analysts expect to see reduced profits of $2.53 per share, compared with $2.82 in the same year-ago period.

The department store chain, which recently closed about 100 underperforming stores and placed a bigger emphasis on digital with concepts like its Facebook partnership, is also expected to see Q4 sales dip 2.5 percent to $8.45 billion.

Investors are likely hoping tomorrow’s results won’t bring a disappointing end to a year during which the retailer had appeared to gain its footing, posting solid digital sales gains and making strides to reposition itself in the current climate.

Nordstrom meanwhile, will report its first round of earnings since the unexpected passing of co-president Blake Nordstrom — who often took the lead on company conference calls — after the market close on Thursday. (Blake Nordstrom died last month after a short battle with lymphoma. He was 58.)

The company, which also indicated in January that its holiday sales were below expectations, is forecast to see its Q4 profits improve 18 percent year over year to $1.42 per share. The firm, which also told investors last month to expect full-year earnings at the lower end of its $3.27 to $3.37 range, is expected to post flat sales at $4.61 billion.

Beleaguered department store chain JCPenney — which struggled for much of the past year as it grappled with waning relevance, C-suite turnover and a share price that has tumbled below $2.00 — is likely to produce more disappointing results, according to analysts.

Market watchers project the firm, due to report results before the market open Thursday, will see profits tumble more than 80 percent to 11 cents per share. Revenues are also forecast to decline roughly 6 percent to $3.79 billion.

The firm in October named former Joann Stores CEO Jill Soltau to its top leadership post. The news had sent shares climbing after the firm went several months without a chief executive following Marvin Ellison’s June departure.

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