What’s the matter with Macy’s?

Almost every retailer reporting its 1st quarter profits has shown a decline from 2008…some not so bad, some severe. In almost every case (JCPenney, Nordstrom, Dillard to name a few) the earnings have beaten expectations regardless of the weak comparisons to last year. Here’s the bottom line: Almost every one of these companies delivered a profit in the 1st quarter.

There is one notable exception, the biggest department store retailer in the country: Macy’s. The company reported a substantial loss for the quarter, whether you count their typical “one-time charges for restructuring” or not. (They have made this an art form over the years.) Their CEO announced today that the recent division consolidation will bring $400 million in savings…in 2010. Clearly Macy’s has not been nearly as nimble as its competitors in managing its costs and inventories “down” to reduced demand.

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