Several hedge funds have asked Macy’s (NYSE: M) to sell more of its major stores and lease them back in a fashion that has benefited several other major retailers in recent months.
Macy’s and its financial advisers are listening to shareholders’ ideas on the matter but haven’t made any decisions yet. So far the company appears to be more interested in reducing its margins in its real estate portfolio as its management is concerned that a sale-leaseback strategy would burden it with expenses that would hinder its profitability and weaken its overall finances.
One of the properties hedge fund managers have highlighted for potential sale is Macy’s flagship Herald Square location in New York, but sources told Reuters that move is unlikely because of the location’s value as a tourist attraction and the role it plays in Macy’s identity and brand.
Macy’s owns 447 of its 823 stores along with several offices that have a total book value of $7.8 billion.
During the company’s first quarter earnings call, CFO Karen Hoguet said the company’s real estate strategy may have been carried out “over simplistically” up to this point and said a review of its holdings along with possible strategies is underway.
Macy’s operates 885 stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Dubai, Guam and Puerto Rico under the Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Boomingdale’s Outlet and Bluemercury brands