Macy's shows there's still life in department stores

It appears that talk of the death of the department store was premature.

Macy's, the venerable 163-year old department store chain, topped sales forecasts on Thursday- sending the stock soaring.

Revenues at stores opened at least 12 months, a key measure of industry health, surged more than 35 percent from a year ago.

Online sales were healthy too. Digital sales surged 49 percent over pre-health-crisis levels.

Macy's is benefitting from an early start to the holiday shopping season, as well as a move to expedite shipments and order products earlier in the year… that has put it on track to avoid taking an inventory hit due to the global supply crunch – at the most important time of the year.

Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette told Reuters: "I have the right inventory to do what I need to do in the holiday timeframe..." adding, his company will use its full muscle to ensure that it has enough inventory for our customers.

Department stores like Macy's have seen a comeback as Americans return to in-store shopping to splurge on perfume, dresses and formal wear.

Kohl's, another retailer that had struggled in recent years, boosted its full-year targets as well.

Shares of Macy's surged 22 percent and touched a three-year high in Thursday trading as the company said it might spin-off its e-commerce unit.

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