Better inventory control and localization of inventory at some stores helped Macy's Inc. narrow its third-quarter loss more than expected, though the department store's guidance for the holiday season still failed to meet analysts' expectations.
During the recession, department stores have posted the biggest sales declines of just about all retail categories because of their extensive exposure to discretionary purchases. Macy's, which made aggressive acquisitions, has shifted its strategy to show more locally targeted products in its stores rather than a uniform look across the U.S.
Chairman and Chief Executive Terry Lundgren said in a statement with the earnings release that the company is confident in the locally focused structure heading into the holiday season. Of the 10 districts that performed best by same-store sales last quarter, seven were among those that first adopted the "My Macy's" local-focus program, he said. The company had an "excellent quarter" given the difficult climate, as business progressively improved each month, Lungren said.
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