By Michelle Graff
New York--Same-store sales increased by only 1 percent in the fourth quarter for Macy’s Inc. despite a strong holiday season performance, the retailer reported Tuesday.

Total sales hit $9.2 billion in the period ended Feb. 1, a 2 percent decrease from total sales of $9.35 billion reported in the year-earlier period.

The overall performance of the period was tepid when compared with the 4 percent increase in same-store and total sales that Macy’s reported for the November-December period. 

“While we had expected a sales decline in January because of the calendar shift, the month was down further than we had expected and we are very disappointed with sales performance in January. In part, poor January sales were due to the unusually harsh winter weather across much of the country,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy’s Inc.

He added that 244 Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores were closed at some point in January because of weather, and that business remained sluggish until Valentine’s Day.

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The full-year outcome was better for the company, however. For fiscal 2013, comps were up 2 percent, while total sales were up 1 percent to $27.93 billion. 

“Macy’s Inc. had a strong year in 2013, and we are proud of the continued improvement in our ability to serve evolving customer needs at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s,” Lundgren said. “This was our fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth in earnings per share and our fourth consecutive year of comparable sales growth. In fact, our total sales have grown by more than $4.4 billion in the past four years.”

During the year, Macy’s opened six stores and closed seven.

For fiscal 2014, the retailer expects comps to be up in the range of 2.5 percent to 3 percent. 

New Macy’s stores are slated to open in Sarasota, Fla., Las Vegas, and Bronx, N.Y. this year, and a new Bloomingdale’s is set to open in Palo Alto, Calif., to replace an older store in the same shopping center. 

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