Is Macy’s about to be sold?
An unspecified number of retail industry sources have been approached about a potential sale of Macy’s, according to the New York Post.
Among the potential suitors, the tabloid reports, are Hudson’s Bay Company, which owns its namesake chain, Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue. An unnamed real estate investment trust firm is also reported to be working with a private equity firm in considering a pursuit of the nation’s largest department store chain.
Macy’s is said to be sending out discrete feelers to potential buyers in reaction to strong-arming by activist investor Jeffrey Smith. Since acquiring a stake in Macy’s in 2015, Mr. Smith’s Starboard Value hedge fund has been pushing the retailer to unlock the value of its real estate holdings.
While Macy’s has taken steps to monetize its real estate — it owns roughly half its stores — the pace does not appear sufficient for Mr. Smith who is seeking more seats on the retailer’s board of directors.
Terry Lundgren, chairman and outgoing CEO of Macy’s, Inc., has been consistent in his remarks that management has a plan in place that will enable the company to rebound and grow its market share again. Mr. Lundgren, if the Post report is correct, would rather sell Macy’s “than deal with Starboard.”
Macy’s, which saw its same-store sales decrease 2.1 percent during the Christmas selling season, announced last month that it would close 68 stores and cut roughly 10,000 jobs.
Even after announcing plans to close stores, Mr. Lundgren has continued to assert that Macy’s plan will pay dividends for the company’s stakeholders.
“Our omnichannel strategies continue to evolve based on the changes in our customers’ shopping behaviors, including a focus on buy online, pickup in store and mobile-enabled shopping. In addition, we have invested in and enlarged our customer data and analytics team, which will help drive our new marketing strategies for 2017,” he said last month. “Whether it is improving corporate agility, enhancing our customer engagement strategies, or continuing to capitalize on the potential value of our real estate assets, we remain focused on the actions that will ultimately improve our financial results and provide the greatest return for our shareholders.”
- Macy’s sale rumored as long-time CEO steps down – New York Post
- Is Macy’s for sale? – Cincinnati Enquirer
- Macy’s may be put up for sale – USA Today
- Should Macy’s have never gone national? – RetailWire
- Will store closings and layoffs end Macy’s woes? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think Macy’s will be sold in the near future? What companies do you think would make the best suitors? What will any potential suitor need to know about Macy’s before acquiring the company?