Archive for the ‘Macy’s’ Category

Macy’s Will Cut About 2,300 Employees

February 7, 2008

CINCINNATI (AP — Feb. 6) – Department store operator Macy’s Inc. said Wednesday it will cut about 2,300 management jobs as it consolidates three regional divisions and decentralizes buying in a bid to reduce costs and boost sales.

The Cincinnati-based retailer said it will immediately begin consolidating its Minneapolis-based Macy’s North headquarters into its New York-based Macy’s East, its St. Louis-based Macy’s Midwest organization into its Atlanta-based Macy’s South and its Seattle-based Macy’s Northwest headquarters into its San Francisco-based Macy’s West.

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Nobody Wants to Say “Recession,” Especially the Fed

January 10, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
January 10, 2008
Updated 1700 Eastern Time USA

Home sales are in crisis, unemployment benefit applications are at an all time high, and retail sales in December were the worst in 5 years.  Recession? 

The Federal Reserve says no. 

The Wall Street traders we spoke to said, “Yes.  Absolutely.  To say the U.S. is not in a recession is to deny the trouble — the problem — and not face the urgency of our difficult times.  The question is not ‘Are we in a recession?’  The question is ‘When will it end?'”

Home furnishings manufacturer and retailer Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. plans to close 12 retail stores and two service centers, cutting operating costs amid a slowdown in the housing market.

Retail sales in December wore the worst in five years.

Although WalMart and Costco booked small gains in December sales (between 2 and 4%); their earnings reports were seen by analysts that shoppers were turning to more cost effective products like bulk food supplies.

Concerns about higher gasoline prices and food costs as well as declines in the credit and housing markets have reduced shoppers’ mall trips and made them tighten their purse strings, analysts said.
A lack of must-have fashion items over the holiday sales season also hurt the appetite for apparel buying, they said.Retailers, while trying to keep inventory lean at the start of the season, have been pressured to give more discounts to clear unsold merchandise, pressuring profit margins, investors said.

All the “higher-end” retail stores reported sharp drops in December sales: some over 10%.

Macy’s sales declined 7.9%, worse than a 6.5% drop expected by analysts and missing the company’s own forecast of a drop of 4% to 7%. The department store retailer forecast fourth-quarter profit to be at the low end of its forecast range of down 2% to up 1%. It sees January sales to decline by 4% to 6%.

Hiring stagnated in December, pushing the unemployment rate up to 5 percent, a two-year high.

Financial analysts are loathe to use the word “recession.”

One TV financial expert told Peace and Freedom, “If I say on TV that the U.S. is in a recession, every corporate man that expected to hire three people today might only hire one. Using the word recession typically means consumer and business spending will decline some simply because of the psychological impact of that awful word ‘recession.’”

Interet rates will likely be cut to improve buying and boost the economy.

Fed ready to cut interest rates again

By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer 
January 10, 2008
1300 Eastern USA

WASHINGTON – (AP)  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pledged Thursday to slash interest rates yet again to prevent housing and credit problems from plunging the country into a recession.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addresses a housing and ...
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addresses a housing and economic forum, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008 in Washington. Even though he said the Fed would lower interest rates, he refused to admit that the US was in a recession.  Wall Street traders said he did not understand the problem or the urgency.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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U.S. Economy: Dark News

The Economy is Slowing, Losing Altitude

U.S. Economy: Storm WarningMaking Cents of Our Economy

Retailers look for post-holiday bump

December 26, 2007
By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK – The nation’s retailers slashed prices further Wednesday in hopes that a post-Christmas shopping rush will salvage holiday sales that, so far, have fallen below even modest expectations. In particular, they are waiting for legions of shoppers armed with gift cards to snap up bargains and buy fresh new merchandise that just hit store shelves.

Merchants in past years have received a late bounce during big clearance markdowns, and they find themselves again in the position of hoping that bargain-hunting consumers will come through in the end. Gift card sales are not recorded until shoppers redeem them.

Investors, however, grew pessimistic about this holiday season as well as the financial well being of consumers in a challenging economic environment. Shares of most retailers fell Wednesday, led by Macy’s Inc. which sank as much as 5 percent in afternoon trading.

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