Macy’s is heading into the fall with its inventories lean and its apparel up to date. The department store chain has so far avoided the worst of an inventory pileup that’s plaguing other retailers, The Wall Street Journal reports, largely because it acted early and aggressively on data signaling worrisome sales trends.
Macy’s inventory was up 7% at the end last quarter from a year ago, in contrast with a 48% jump at Kohl’s.
Apparel chains are preparing for the critical holiday season at the same time that consumers are pulling back some discretionary spending amid high inflation. But Macy’s has seen the shift coming since early this year, when credit-card data showed shifts in consumer spending. The retailer cut back on orders for comfy clothes and instead ordered more dresses and suits.
Macy’s strategy may provide lessons for other retailers in forecasting demand in an uncertain economic environment.
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