Macy's Leads Push To Reopen Stores As Coronavirus Restrictions Loosen

With skyrocketed joblessness and quarantine orders still in place in many states, a plethora of retail outlets are suffering due to the coronavirus crisis, as customers attempt to save money amid economic uncertainty. But some, like Macy’s are already planning their reemergence after the coronavirus.

With all of the ongoing fear that the coronavirus pandemic has generated, Macy’s Chief Executive Jeff Gennette has expressed concerns that the major retailer’s sales will be more “modest” after the pandemic is deescalates.

“We are going to emerge out of this as a smaller company,” Gennette said Thursday afternoon during a virtual fireside chat with Gordon Haskett analyst Chuck Grom. “We don’t really know what the ramp back looks like.”

The company’s management team gave analysts an overview of its designs to reopen stores, which have been shuttered since March 18, when many companies were ordered to close due to quarantine orders and health issues.

With some states now considering a path to reopening the economy, Macy’s plans reopen 68 locations Monday, in states including South Carolina and Georgia, where the states are easing local lockdown restrictions, and plans to have all of its locations reopened over the next couple of months, assuming there is a decline in Covid-19 infection rates.

Despite the plans to reopen, the company is tempering expectations that purchasing will resume at normal rates right away. Macy’s projects that its reopened stores will generate roughly 15 to 20 percent of their typical business at first and “slowly build” from there, Gennette said during a presentation. He acknowledged that it was still unclear as to whether shoppers would feel comfortable returning.

“We’ll see how they respond, and based on that, we’ll be a lot smarter,” he said. “So I’m going to know a lot more by Tuesday of next week.”

Macy’s shares were recently off about 7%, following the conversation with Gordon Haskett’s Grom. The stock has fallen more than 66% this year and has a market value of about $1.8 billion.

Investors looking at investing in stocks in the retail sector including Macy’s using ETFs could consider consumer discretionary and retail funds like the Deep Value ETF (DVP), the Invesco S&P SmallCap Consumer Discretionary (PSCD), or the ALPS Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (SDOG).

For more market trends, visit  ETF Trends.