WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Macy's, Inc. (M) said Thursday that its same-store sales on an owned plus licensed basis rose by 2.7% in the months of November and December 2014 combined, compared with the same period last year.
On an owned basis, same-store sales rose by 2.1% in the combined November/December period.
'We feel very good about our performance in the November/December period as we reversed trend from a soft third quarter and set the stage for continued progress going forward,' said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy's, Inc. chairman and chief executive officer.
The company maintained its full-year 2014 earnings guidance of $4.25 to $4.35 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters currently expect the company to earn $4.36 per share for the full year 2014.
The latest guidance excludes estimated charges of $100 million to $110 million related to today's announcement of merchandising and marketing restructuring, store and field adjustments, store closings and asset impairment charges, as well as about $17 million of interest expense related to the make-whole premium for the previously announced early retirement of debt.
Separately, the company announced a series of initiatives including a restructuring of merchandising and marketing functions at the company's namesake and Bloomingdale's stores.
The company said it will be increasing its workforce in some functions and locations while decreasing in others so all of the company's resources can be deployed for maximum results. In total, the Macy's, Inc. workforce is expected to remain at a level of about 175,000 associates.
According to the company, both Macy's and Bloomingdale's are restructuring their respective central merchandising and marketing functions so each brand can develop and present its assortments seamlessly across channels and provide a single omnichannel view in all product categories.
Going forward, one unified merchandising and marketing organization - a hybrid of store and online buying - will support the entire Macy's business to encourage both store and digital growth. The same is true at Bloomingdale's.
The changes in merchandising and marketing are expected to affect about 115 associates in Macy's and Bloomingdale's central offices in New York City, as well as about 150 associates in local markets across the United States, the company said.
Macy's and Bloomingdale's are also adjusting certain aspects of store and field operations and refocusing the staffing in each store location to facilitate growth, increase productivity and improve efficiency.
Selling service and support is being modified to match business opportunity in each department. An average of two to three associates will be affected in each of Macy's and Bloomingdale's about 830 stores for a total of about 2,200 affected associates nationwide.
Also, two existing Macy's stores districts are being merged into nearby districts - thus reducing the ongoing number of stores districts to 58 from the current 60.
The company said it will reinvest savings from merchandising, marketing, store and field initiatives so it can continue to invest for growth as it focuses its resources and molds its business model around emerging customer preferences.
The company estimates the moves announced today will generate savings of about $140 million annually, beginning in 2015.
In conjunction with the implementation of the merchandising and marketing restructuring and store and field adjustments, as well as store closings and asset impairment charges, the company will book an estimated $100 million to $110 million of charges in the fourth quarter of 2014.
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