Macy's delivers upbeat 2021 sales forecast

The past 12 months have been tough for many brick-and-mortar retailers, quickening a downward spiral that was already happening before the health crisis forced non-essential shops to temporarily close.

But Macy's is betting on better days ahead. The struggling department store chain on Tuesday gave a full-year sales outlook that was at the high end of Wall Street forecasts. It's banking on a return of spending during the back half of the year when vaccines should encourage shoppers to go outdoors and spend again. At the same time, it is continuing to bet that a large portion of the seismic shift to online spending is here to stay.

Macy's optimism came on the heels of better-than-expected results during the holiday quarter as stimulus checks and strong online shopping offset any drag from the health crisis.

And like all retailers, Macy's is expected to benefit from a White House stimulus package making its way through Congress, that could include a $1,400 check to households.

Investors who are betting Macy's will be one of the retailers to survive the Darwinian decline in the sector have pushed the stock up roughly 30 percent in the past three months.