Activist investor Jana Partners took an undisclosed stake in Macy’s and encourages the department store chain to separate its e-commerce business from its physical operations.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Jana Partners sent a letter to Macy’s board urging them to part ways with their fast growing, almost $ 8.5 billion annual online activity. In a presentation earlier this month, Jana Partners said that a standalone Macy’s e-commerce site could be worth as much as $ 14 billion. Macy’s total current market value is approximately $ 6.9 billion.
Like many brick-and-mortar retailers, Macy’s online sales increased as brick-and-mortar store operations were battered last year when the pandemic caused temporary store closures.
Sources said WSJ Macy’s online spin-off has already attracted interest from investment firms. Macy’s also owns a luxury retailer Bloomingdale’s.
Macy’s ecommerce split reportedly mirrors rival’s actions Saks Fifth Avenue, which in March 2021 revealed its intention to part ways with its e-commerce business. Saks’ online business is valued at $ 6 billion, with an IPO scheduled for the first half of 2022.
Saks said customers would not recognize any changes with the brand, as they can still use Saks credit cards online and in stores, and collect their purchases online at Saks stores.