Business Insider reported yesterday (Nov. 30) that, in light of declining same-store sales for the third straight quarter, Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren offered the following two reasons: 1. unseasonably warm weather, and 2. consumers are shifting how they make their purchases (away from physical stores).
"Consumers are starting the journey with their phone, doing their research, then they come into the store to try on the clothes, or touch that handbag, or have makeup applied, all those things that are more tactile," Lundgren told CNBC's "On the Money."
Two reasons for slowed in-store sales: warm weather and multi-channel shopping behavior.
Reason number-one seems to make sense in the case of department stores: Consumers are less likely to have to buy warm fall and winter clothing and footwear for themselves and their families if it simply hasn't been cold enough to require them. I can't really argue against reason number-two either. Today's consumer has less of an urgency to buy something at a physical store (see: showrooming).
Even with these factors working against Macy's, Lundgren told CNBC that predictions of the death of department stores in general are "grossly exaggerated."
"If you saw the traffic when we opened the doors at 6 p.m., flowing into stores like Macy's Herald Square, you'd say people definitely want to shop on that night and in a store like Macy's," Lundgren told CNBC about Macy's store traffic on Thanksgiving (pictured above). "So we feel great about what's transpired here."