Macy’s expands its toy selection with Toys R Us. Plus, online sales at Macy’s decrease 6% compared with Q2 2020, but increase 45% compared with Q2 2019, before the online pandemic boom.

Online sales fell 6%  year over year in Macy’s fiscal second quarter 2021 ended July 31, the retail chain reported last week. This quarter compares to the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, when many Macy’s stores closed and consumers wary of shopping indoors flocked online to buy. When compared with a more typical Q2 2019, online sales increased 45%, Macy’s says.

Macy’s benchmarked its performance against its fiscal Q2 2019 because the pandemic skewed its 2020 results. As a result of store closures and consumers shifting purchases away from some of Macy’s core product categories, such as apparel and accessories, total sales at Macy’s decreased 29.4% year over year in 2020. Its online sales, however, were a bright spot in 2020, growing 20.9% year over year, but this is slower than the collective Top 1000 growth rate of 44.5% year over year.  Macy’s is No. 13 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000.

In Q2 2021, Macy’s store sales rose to higher-than-pre-pandemic levels. Its comparable store sales increased 62.2% compared with Q2 2020 and increased 5.9% compared with Q2 2019.

“Our results in the quarter were strong across Macy’s Inc. as many people returned to in-person shopping while continuing to shop online,” CEO Jeff Gennette said in an earnings call with investors, according to a SeekingAlpha transcript.

Digital sales in fiscal Q2 2021 represented 32% of Macy’s total sales. By brand, online sales account for 31% of total sales at Macy’s, 32% at department store Bloomingdale’s, and 20% at cosmetic brand Bluemercury.

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Macys.com’s conversion rate increased 10% year over year to reach 4.0%, and mobile devices accounted for 61% of its Q2 online sales.

“In the second quarter, we attracted nearly 5 million new customers to Macy’s, which is a 30% improvement versus 2019,” Gennette added.

Categories related to gifting and events were all strong during the quarter, including dressy apparel, fine jewelry, fragrances and back-to-school, Gennette said without revealing specifics.

“We had a strong gifting business for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and graduation with customers making up for lost time and missed milestones with gifts of fine jewelry, fragrances and accessories,” Gennette said.

Omnichannel shoppers spend more at Macy’s

Increasingly, Macy’s shoppers are omnichannel shoppers, Gennette said. For example, consumers may visit stores to browse and then buy products later online, or shoppers may do the opposite—research online first and then visit a store to buy.

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Macy’s says omnichannel shoppers purchase across categories two to three times more than single-channel customers, spend 2.5 to 3.5 times more than single-channel customers and shop more frequently—three times more than single-channel customers.

“They are our most productive and most valuable customers, and we are working to ensure that their experience with us is outstanding,” said Gennette about omnichannel shoppers.

Omnichannel shopping is often conducted through services like buy online, pick up in store and curbside pickup. Stores fulfilled 24% of Macy’s online orders in Q2 2021. Macy’s says it is working to increase that percentage, in part to lower its shipping expenses. Gennette also said Macy’s is working on reducing its split shipments, which is when it splits an ecommerce order with multiple items into several shipments, instead of shipping the full order in one package.

Macy’s expands toys selection with Toys R Us

Also last week, Macy’s announced that it is dedicating section of its website to Toys R Us products at the URL Macys.com/ToysRUs. Macy’s is also planning place Toys R Us stores within 400 of its stores (more than 70% of its chain) starting in 2022. The store-within-a-store will be interactive and allow consumers to play with the toys.

The move is an effort by Macy’s to expand its toy selection and allow the retail chain to better target the 40-and-younger consumer and the millennium mom, Gennette said.

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“Our market share in toys is quite small, so it was an opportunity for us to look at, hey, what’s the entry category for Toys R Us kids that are now millennial parents,” Gennette said. “It’s an opportunity for us, as part of our under 40 strategies, to go after this category with a lot more vigor, and [recognize] that those footsteps or those eyeballs will translate into other purchasing.

 Macy’s now has a dedicated page on its ecommerce site to Toys R Us products.

Macy’s now has a dedicated page on its ecommerce site to Toys R Us products.

While the store integration will occur next year, Macy’s is currently selling Toys R Us products on its site, which should help the retailer during the Q4 holidays, says Jonathan Jagard, head of insights, Americas, at ecommerce technology vendor Edge by Ascential.

“This partnership will provide Macy’s with a wider variety and selection of toys for their holiday shoppers, which will make their store a more ‘sticky’ place when it matters,” Jagard says.

Additionally, if a shopper navigates ToysRUs.com and goes to make a purchase, she will be redirected to Macys.com to complete her order.

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ToysRUs.com redirects shoppers to Macys.com when they want to make a purchase.

ToysRUs.com redirects shoppers to Macys.com when they want to make a purchase.

Toys R Us had a similar affiliate-type model set up in 2020 with Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1 in the Top 1000) and the year before with Target (No. 6). Unlike Amazon or Target, which may differentiate themselves with price, Macy’s shoppers may care more about a curated selection, Jagard says.

“Macy’s will offer Toys R Us a shopper that is more aligned to the Toys R Us brand and business of years past, a shopper who cares more about the shopping selection process than digital efficiency or pricing,” he says.

For its fiscal Q2 2021, Macy’s reported:

  • Net sales increased to $5.65 billion, up 54.8% from $3.65 billion in its fiscal Q2 2020.
  • Net income of $345.0 million compared with a net loss of $431.0 million.

For its fiscal first half on 2021, the 26 weeks ended July 31, 2021, Macy’s reported:

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  • Net sales of $10.35 billion, up 57.3% from $6.58 billion in its fiscal first half of 2020, ended Aug. 20, 2020.
  • Net income of $448.0 million compared with a net loss of $4.01 billion.

Percentage changes may not align exactly with dollar figures due to rounding.

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