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Macy’s forecasts upbeat 2021 sales By Reuters

© Reuters. One of the 68 Macy’s Inc stores the company plans to close is shown at the Mission Valley Center mall in San Diego, California

(Reuters) – Macy’s Inc (NYSE:) forecast 2021 sales largely above Wall Street estimates on Tuesday as it bet on vaccine rollouts allowing customers to return to its department stores after pandemic curbs.

The upbeat outlook from the U.S. retailer follows better-than-expected sales in the holiday quarter as stimulus checks and strong online demand eased the blow from the health crisis.

The company expects sales between $19.75 billion and $20.75 billion for the full year, compared with analysts’ estimates of $20.13 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Retailers are tipped to benefit from another wave of stimulus-driven consumer spending in the coming months as the U.S. Congress considers the Biden administration’s support plan that includes sending a $1,400 check to households.

Same-store sales on an owned basis fell 17% in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 30, compared with Wall Street estimates of a 16.60% fall, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Online sales jumped 21% in the fourth quarter, driven by efforts to reduce delivery times and the use of stores to fulfill orders made on its website and app.

Net sales fell to $6.78 billion from $8.34 billion in the fourth quarter, but beat estimates of $6.50 billion.

Excluding one-time items, the company reported profit of 80 cents per share.

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