Take a trip to the mall
While other department stores were warning about soft sales, Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) was managing what it described as an “outstanding” January, with comparable sales up by nearly 12%. The department store went on to report one of the best holiday quarters among major retailers.
Adjusted earnings rose by 20% in the quarter, while comp sales were up by almost 4%. Key to that sales growth was a big boost in online orders. Shopping at Macys.com and Bloomingdales.com jumped by 48% over the holidays, and 41% for the full year. And thanks to a smart strategy of retrofitting stores to act as online fulfillment centers too, profitability is on the rise. Macy’s EBITDA margin is no longer stuck in the single digits, but is now on par with competitors Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS) and Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN). Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) stock is running about even with the market so far this year.
Foolish bottom line
There’s no denying the tough retail environment facing consumer companies right now. But that’s been the case more or less for years. And just like in any sector, there will be winners and losers. The challenge for investors isn’t to write off all businesses that have a consumer focus, but to choose the strongest ones with the best prospects for future growth. Ford, Panera, and Macy’s all depend on consumers to fuel their results. And yet they have found a way to keep their customers coming back for more, even while times are tough.
The article 3 Resilient Consumer Businesses originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Demitrios Kalogeropoulos.
Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Ford, General (NYSE:GM) Motors, and Panera Bread. The Motley Fool owns shares of Darden Restaurants, Ford, and Panera Bread.
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