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Macy’s CEO Says Sales Increased With COVID-19 Vaccines and Stimulus Checks


  • Macy’s reached seven million new customers in its fourth quarter, CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC.
  • Macy’s saw more demand for luggage and swimsuits, he said. 
  • The retailer wants to increase its online sales to $10 billion over the next three years.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and stimulus checks have been positive developments for Macy’s, CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC on Tuesday. 

“When we all look at what happened with the stimulus package, you know that’s been an accelerant to our business,” Gennette said on CNBC’s Mad Money. “It’s a big difference from where we were in the fourth quarter and in 2020.”

Last week, the Treasury Department, IRS, and Bureau of Fiscal Service said it had sent out 127 million of the $1,400 stimulus checks meant to support the economy amid the pandemic downturn.

Macy’s has also been benefiting from the boom in online shopping during the pandemic.  Online sales rose 54% in February compared to a year earlier, Linda Kirkpatrick, president of North America at Mastercard, previously told CNBC.

Online sales for clothing now account for around three-fourths of all clothing purchases in the US, increasing 47% from a year ago, she said. 

Meantime, the number of Americans vaccinated for the coronavirus has been steadily rising. 

“That’s clearly the vaccine starting to take root, we’re still taking a conservative view to this year. We’re more conservative in the front half than the back half, but it’s positive momentum that we’re bringing into this quarter with us,” Gennette told CNBC.

Macy’s reached seven million new customers during its fourth-quarter ending January 30, including four million online buyers, according to Gennette. Online shoppers spent 8% more on products compared to a year ago, he added. 

Gennette said that some product categories gained more demand, including luggage as people start to travel again. He also said swimsuits are Macy’s “best trending” category now and that the prom dress business is getting “much better”. 

Macy’s online sales rose by 21% in 2020 from 2019 and is set to increase to $10 billion over the next three years, Gennette previously said in a earnings report

Macy’s said last month that around 25% of its digital sales in its fourth-quarter came from stores, including curbside pickup and same-day delivery. 

Brick-and-mortar stores were struggling before COVID-19 hit last year as shoppers were searching for a unique online retail experience. 

In January, Macy’s said that it would close 45 locations this year as part of a plan announced in 2020 to shutter 125 stores by 2023, Insider previously reported.

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