Macy’s and Kohl’s spell gloom and doom for retail

January 5, 2017 GMT

Disappointing holiday season sales at Macy’s Inc and Kohl’s Corp underscored the uphill task department stores face in winning back shoppers, who are increasingly turning to online retailers and spending less on apparel.

Macy’s shares were down 9.6 percent in premarket trading on Thursday and Kohl’s 15.2 percent after both reported lower-than-expected sales for November and December and cut their full-year profit forecasts.

Macy’s says it is eliminating more than 10,000 jobs and plans to move forward with 68 store closures following the disappointing season.

Shares of other department store operators, including J.C. Penney Co Inc, also fell as the dismal showing came as a shock to investors, given heightened expectations of a bump in holiday spending this year.