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Macy's Sees Holiday Sales Tumble 7.9 Percent

By Insert Byline
Thursday, 10 Jan 2008 | 8:43 AM ET

Macy's reported a 7.9 percent fall in December sales at stores open at least one full fiscal year, worse than the company and analysts expected, hurt by a calendar shift and cautious consumer spending.

The parent of Macy's and Bloomingdale's also said it expects January same-store sales to fall 4 percent to 6 percent.

For December analysts expected a 6.6 percent same-store sales drop, according to Reuters Estimates. Macy's had said December same-store sales could fall 4 percent to 7 percent.

Macy's had reported a 13.4 percent rise in same-store sales for November as a calendar change shifted some holiday sales into that month.

The retailer had launched a host of promotions to drive Christmas season traffic. In a statement, it said "macroeconomic trends led customers to spend cautiously for the holiday."

Combined same-store sales for November and December fell 1.1 percent, and the retailer said it was on track to meet its fourth-quarter same-store sales forecast of down 2 percent to up 1 percent.

Total sales were $4.6 billion for the five weeks ended Jan. 5, down 7.4 percent from the year-ago period, Macy's said.

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