Analysts also contend that Macy's, along with others in the retail sector, could stand to shed more weight from their bloated store counts. Although Macy's detailed plans for its previously announced 40 store closings, Perkins said they need to do more. It currently operates about 900 stores under its various Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Bluemercury nameplates.
The issue, Snyder said, is that it's not always easy to close stores, as lease restraints can sometimes make it more expensive to exit a location than operate at a loss. Still, Perkins said there are likely more store closures from Macy's and its peers to come. He pointed to Finish Line as an example, which said Thursday that it will close a quarter of its stores over the next four years.
Macy's woes come as an even bigger blow because they are happening as mid-tier competitor J.C. Penney continues to gain ground. Hours after Macy's announced its same-store sales fell 4.7 percent in November and December, Penney's countered with a 3.9 percent gain. But while Perkins said it's another positive development for the recovering retailer, he said management should be aiming for more robust gains.
Johnson added that even as Macy's continues to lose share, it's still outperforming Penney's. Whereas Wall Street expects Macy's revenues to come in at roughly $8.86 billion, Penney's sales are forecast to reach less than half that amount, at $3.99 billion, according to Thompson Reuters.
"I still hesitate to put too much emphasis on Penney's given how much business they lost and what they're building back," he said.
That said, Snyder — who has a $32 price target on Macy's — said he would still need to see its shares move lower to buy in.
"I don't think the pain is over," he said.