Home Depot, Macy’s Expect Pandemic Trends to Continue, for Now


Home Depot Inc. and Macy’s Inc. said pandemic-fueled shopping trends have continued into 2021, driving demand for home improvements and home goods. Executives at both chains also said consumer spending could shift in the second half of the year depending on the course of the health crisis.

The two retailers have been on opposite sides of the Covid-19 pandemic. Home Depot’s revenue increased 20% in the company’s latest fiscal year as Americans spent more time—and money—fixing and renovating their homes. Annual sales at Macy’s tumbled nearly 30% as consumers bought less apparel for going outside, including to work.

“The strong and consistent demand environment we’ve seen over the past nine months has continued into February,” said Richard McPhail, Home Depot’s finance chief.

However, the company declined to give a forecast for the full year citing uncertainty about the coronavirus, the distribution of vaccines and fiscal policy. “We are limited in our ability to forecast demand for the year, particularly as it relates to the back half,” Mr. McPhail said Tuesday.

Macy’s Chief Executive Jeff Gennette said he expects the department-store chain’s apparel business to recover toward the second half of the year, as more people get vaccinated and start planning events like weddings and going back to workplaces.

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