Macy’s to grow beauty business with $210m Bluemercury acquisition

US retailer Macy’s is to acquire Bluemercury, an American chain of luxury beauty product stores and spas, for $210m.

Downtown Cincinnati Macy's

The cash transaction is expected to be completed in Macy’s fiscal first quarter, ending 2 May 2015.

Washington, DC-based Bluemercury operates about 60 stores in 18 states alongside an online business. The company’s products include brands such as skincare line M-61. The firm will continue to be led by founders Marla and Barry Beck, and its team of roughly 500 associates will stay in their current roles operating the standalone speciality business.

“Our plan is to operate and significantly expand Bluemercury stores as a standalone business with an enhanced omnichannel component for a seamless customer experience across stores, online and mobile,” said Macy’s chairman and chief executive Terry J. Lundgren in a statement.

Plans to add selected Bluemercury products and boutiques to Macy’s stores across the nation, will follow, he added.

Bluemercury co-founder and chief operating officer Barry Beck added that Macy’s resources will help bring the speciality store format to both urban and suburban markets across the US.

The news of the acquisition follows a flurry of recent senior promotions at Macy’s as the company deepens its focus on profitable sales growth. The restructre has seen Jeff Gennette, previously chief merchandising officer, become as president, and Peter Sachse take up the role of chief for innovation and business development after serving as chief stores officer.

On Tuesday (3 February), Macy’s reported preliminary earnings per share for the full-year 2014 that are above previous guidance. The company is expecting 2014 earnings between $4.35 and $4.37 per diluted share, higher than the previous guidance of $4.25-$4.35 per diluted share.

Comparable sales in both owned and licensed stores rose 1.4 per cent in 2014, while sales for the fourth quarter of the year rose 2.5 per cent. The retailer is expected to report fourth quarter sales and earnings on 24 Feb.

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