Member Exclusive   //   January 25, 2024

Research Briefing: Macy’s rejects takeover bid as it builds its e-commerce business

In this edition of the weekly research briefing, we examine how Macy’s e-commerce capabilities stack up as the company announces store closures and rejects a nearly $6 billion takeover offer, as seen in data from Modern Retail+ Research.

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How Macy’s e-commerce capabilities stack up 

Breaking News: Legacy department store Macy’s rejected a $5.8 billion takeover offer on Sunday. Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette said the proposal, in which investment firm Arkhouse Management and global asset manager Brigade Capital Management offered to buy remaining Macy’s shares at a 32% premium, was “not actionable and that it fails to provide compelling value to Macy’s shareholders.” Macy’s had a less than stellar 2023 with revenue down -6.96% year-over-year in the 12 months ending Oct. 28, 2023. And, just last week, Macy’s announced it was laying off about 3.5% of its workforce and closing five stores. 

Questions: As Macy’s shutters brick-and-mortar stores, how does it stack up as an online retailer? What types of tech is Macy’s investing in and are those investments paying off? 

Answers From Research:

Macy’s was a top performer in the Modern Retail Index e-commerce experience dimension last year. Macy’s led the dimension – both overall and within the big-box cohort – through its continued investments in digital offerings. Along with having official accounts on newer social platforms, including TikTok, the retailer also launched a third-party marketplace on its website

Macy’s also increased its year-over-year ranking — moving up from second place to first place — by investing more heavily in AR features for its website and app, which boosted its virtual product experience score. Macy’s investments followed industry trends, as Modern Retail+ Research found that marketers increased AR adoption by 15% between 2017 and 2022. Macy’s also featured onsite live stream shopping, helping the retailer stay ahead of the nascent but growing trend

Keep an eye out for the first installment of the next Modern Retail Index, which will publish in February, to see how Macy’s performs in the updated ranking.

Want to learn more: The Modern Retail Index examines how top retailers’ digital business models measure up.


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