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Macy's, Fossil Had an Absolutely Brutal First Quarter

Blame the unfriendly weather, the rise of online shopping and thrifty U.S. consumers for a dreadful start to the year for mall retailers.

Shares of department store Macy's (M - Get Report) plunged 8% in pre-market trading Wednesday after it slashed its full-year outlook after a challenging start to the year. Macy's reported first-quarter sales fell 7.4% year over year to $5.77 billion, missing forecasts for $5.94 billion.

Same-store sales declined for the fifth straight quarter, falling 5.6% compared to estimates for a 3.8% decline. Earnings, adjusted for one-time items, came in at 40 cents a share, beating forecasts for 36 cents a share as the bottom line benefited from $130 million in share repurchases made by Macy's during the quarter. Shares outstanding fell 9.5% year over year as a result of the share repurchases, which had the effect of boosting per share earnings.

Similar to recent quarters, Macy's echoed that it continues to see tepid consumer spending on apparel and other merchandise. "We are seeing continued weakness in consumer spending levels for apparel and related categories, in particular, our sales trend relative to...