Its growth slowing, Macy's plans to close stores

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NEW YORK - Macy's (M) says it plans to close about 100 stores next year as the department store operator aims to become more nimble in a competitive market. That represents close to 14 percent of its store base.

The closures come as Macy's reported Thursday that second-quarter profits and sales fell. The results, however, beat Wall Street estimates as efforts to bring back customers are taking hold.

The nation's largest department store chain says that it earned $11 million, or 3 cents per share, in the quarter ended July 30. That compares with $217 million, or 64 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding charges that are related to store closings, the company earned 51 cents, which is above the 48 cent estimate from FactSet.

Revenue fell 3.9 percent to $5.87 billion. That topped the $5.77 billion estimate from FactSet.

Macy's said in June that longtime CEO Terry Lundgren will leave the job early next year and be replaced by the company's president, Jeff Gennette.

Lundgren, 64, has been chief executive of the Cincinnati-based department store operator for about 13 years.

Besides its namesake stores, Macy's also owns upscale department store Bloomingdales and makeup seller Bluemercury.

Macy's shares rose $4.77, or 14 percent, to $38.77 in morning trade.