Macy’s tempers holiday sales view, warns of more inflation pain ahead

The inside of a Macy's department store is seen in Douglaston, New York

(Reuters) -Macy’s Inc said on Friday it expects fourth-quarter sales to come in at the lower end of its forecast, blaming a deeper-than-expected lull in shopping between the season’s major holidays.

Shares of the department store chain fell 4.2% in extended trading as it also warned that consumer spending would remain under pressure in 2023, especially in the first half. Rivals Nordstrom Inc and Kohl’s Corp’s shares also fell more than 2%.

Surging prices of food and gas drove down demand for non-essential products last year, forcing Macy’s and other retailers into steeper discounts and promotions to clear excess stocks of casual and athleisure apparel.

While that helped sales during major shopping occasions such as Black Friday and Christmas, Macy’s said the periods in between those days saw bigger-than-expected drop-offs in spending.

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Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette said the company had taken steps to better align its merchandise with the expected slowdown in demand.

Macy’s net sales are now expected to be at the low end to mid-point of its previously forecast range of $8.16 billion to $8.40 billion. The company maintained its adjusted earnings per share forecast of $1.47 to $1.67.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)