Macy's, Inc. (NYSE:M) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 21, 2019 • 08:00 am ET

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Macy's, Inc. (NYSE:M) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Q & A
Executive
Hal Lawton

On our destination businesses, while they did not grow in the quarter in aggregate, as our business trended below our expectations, they did outpace the rest of the business. And we did see outsized growth in parts of the business. Paula mentioned some of our strengths earlier in categories like mattresses and fragrances.

As it relates to our mobile initiatives, it very much remains our fastest growing channel. We continue to see very strong growth in downloads and users in the quarter, and we added a number of new features to improve the in-store experience, drive traffic and engagement onto our mobile website -- I mean under our mobile app, and also enable less friction in the e-commerce experience.

Finally, as it relates to our fifth initiative, Vendor Direct, it continues to be very strong and a meaningful driver of our digital business. We've exceeded, as Paula mentioned, our goal for new vendors and also SKUs on-boarded for the year. And in our minds, there's only upside for our Vendor Direct initiative as it adds sales and profits as well as increases customer satisfaction with very minimal capital and inventory investment.

Turning to ready-to-wear. If you look at our ready-to-wear business, while it did continue to underperform in Q3, we're very optimistic as we look ahead. As we mentioned on our previous earnings call, in the spring, we made adjustments to the structure and put new leadership in place. That team has been fast away working on fashion and trends and really rejuvenating our exclusive brands and working closely with our market brands and reestablishing our private brands.

While they will be [Phonetic] able to influence a small portion of our buy in Q3, there were a number of bright spots and green shoots that really give us confidence in this business as we move forward. A couple of examples that I'll call out was our Animal Prints and Emerald Green INC fashion drops that had sell-throughs well above average. I'll also call out our Becca Tilley x bar III collaboration that was a very big success with our customers.

And then turning to Q4. They've been able to have a bigger influence on Q4. Those assortments had just hit the stores in the last few weeks, but we're really excited about the early performance. An example of which very high sell-throughs is our INC holiday party assortment.

So that's just a brief update on our initiatives and our ready-to-wear. The last thing that I'll just reference as Jeff's commentary on malls. As Jeff said, we've been investing in malls where developers are investing, and that's specifically with our growth strategy. And we feel really good about that initiative, and those stores continue to outpace the breadth of our fleet.

As we talked about before, we had very much in-store segmentation strategy that starts with our flagships, predominantly Herald Square, our national flagship, 10 regional flagships, our Magnet doors and then our Neighborhood doors. We've been watching the trend across