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When Macy’s executives presented poor quarterly results to investors on Wednesday, they attributed the more than 7% drop in sales to a strong dollar that made overseas tourists visiting America slam their wallets shut.
The 40 cents per share in earnings the venerable department store announced was better than analysts were expecting, but this was its fifth consecutive quarter of declining sales.
CFO Karen Hoguet told investors that receipts from foreign credit cards had fallen, and blamed the strong U.S. greenback for the store’s woes. “Given that our stores are concentrated in major tourist markets, this is a big factor for us and we are no longer confident that it will improve any time soon,” she said, according to MarketWatch.
But, as analysts consulted by MarketWatch pointed out, the dollar has actually retreated a bit from its highs, and the number of overseas visitors flying into the U.S. is booming — proof that currency fluctuations aren’t enough to keep them from booking plane tickets and hotel rooms.
The slump is more likely a function of retailer’s ongoing struggle to adjust to a 21st century retail landscape dominated by online players like Amazon. The company is also battling a host of trends, including a tendency for shoppers, especially women, to spend their discretionary income on things like smartphones rather than clothes.