Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policy)

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Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policy)
12 Months Ended
Jan. 28, 2012
Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Nature Of Operations
Macy’s, Inc. and subsidiaries (the “Company”) is a retail organization operating stores and Internet websites under two brands (Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s) that sell a wide range of merchandise, including apparel and accessories (men's, women's and children's), cosmetics, home furnishings and other consumer goods in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. As of January 28, 2012, the Company’s operations were conducted through Macy’s, macys.com, Bloomingdale’s, bloomingdales.com and Bloomingdale’s Outlet, which are aggregated into one reporting segment in accordance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 280, “Segment Reporting.” The metrics used by management to assess the performance of the Company’s operating divisions include sales trends, gross margin rates, expense rates, and rates of earnings before interest and taxes (“EBIT”) and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”). The Company’s operating divisions have historically had similar economic characteristics and are expected to have similar economic characteristics and long-term financial performance in future periods.
Fiscal Period
The Company’s fiscal year ends on the Saturday closest to January 31. Fiscal years 2011, 2010 and 2009 ended on January 28, 2012, January 29, 2011 and January 30, 2010, respectively. References to years in the Consolidated Financial Statements relate to fiscal years rather than calendar years.
Investments
The Consolidated Financial Statements include the accounts of the Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries. The Company from time to time invests in companies engaged in complementary businesses. Investments in companies in which the Company has the ability to exercise significant influence, but not control, are accounted for by the equity method. All marketable equity and debt securities held by the Company are accounted for under ASC Topic 320, “Investments – Debt and Equity Securities,” with unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale securities being included as a separate component of accumulated other comprehensive income, net of income tax effect. All other investments are carried at cost. All significant intercompany transactions have been eliminated.
Use Of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Such estimates and assumptions are subject to inherent uncertainties, which may result in actual amounts differing from reported amounts.
Reclassifications
Certain reclassifications were made to prior years’ amounts to conform with the classifications of such amounts for the most recent year.
Sales
Net sales include merchandise sales, leased department income and shipping and handling fees. In 2010, the Company began including sales of private brand goods directly to third party retailers and sales of excess inventory to third parties in net sales. These items were previously reported, net of the related cost of sales, in selling, general and administrative expenses (“SG&A”). This change in presentation had an immaterial impact on reported net sales, does not impact comparable store sales, net income (loss) or diluted earnings (loss) per share, and was not applied retroactively to annual periods prior to fiscal 2010. The Company licenses third parties to operate certain departments in its stores. The Company receives commissions from these licensed departments based on a percentage of net sales. Commissions are recognized as income at the time merchandise is sold to customers. Sales taxes collected from customers are not considered revenue and are included in accounts payable and accrued liabilities until remitted to the taxing authorities.
Cost of Sales
Cost of sales consists of the cost of merchandise, including inbound freight, and shipping and handling costs. Sales of merchandise are recorded at the time of delivery and reported net of merchandise returns. An estimated allowance for future sales returns is recorded and cost of sales is adjusted accordingly.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents include cash and liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less. Cash and cash equivalents includes amounts due in respect of credit card sales transactions that are settled early in the following period in the amount of $107 million at January 28, 2012 and $104 million at January 29, 2011.
Revenue Recognition, Loyalty Programs [Policy Text Block]
The Company maintains customer loyalty programs in which customers are awarded certificates based on their spending. Upon reaching certain levels of qualified spending, customers automatically receive certificates to apply toward future purchases. The Company recognizes the estimated net amount of the certificates that will be earned and redeemed as a reduction to net sales.
Inventories
Merchandise inventories are valued at lower of cost or market using the last-in, first-out (LIFO) retail inventory method. Under the retail inventory method, inventory is segregated into departments of merchandise having similar characteristics, and is stated at its current retail selling value. Inventory retail values are converted to a cost basis by applying specific average cost factors for each merchandise department. Cost factors represent the average cost-to-retail ratio for each merchandise department based on beginning inventory and the fiscal year purchase activity. The retail inventory method inherently requires management judgments and estimates, such as the amount and timing of permanent markdowns to clear unproductive or slow-moving inventory, which may impact the ending inventory valuation as well as gross margins.
Permanent markdowns designated for clearance activity are recorded when the utility of the inventory has diminished. Factors considered in the determination of permanent markdowns include current and anticipated demand, customer preferences, age of the merchandise and fashion trends. When a decision is made to permanently mark down merchandise, the resulting gross margin reduction is recognized in the period the markdown is recorded.
Physical inventories are generally taken within each merchandise department annually, and inventory records are adjusted accordingly, resulting in the recording of actual shrinkage. While it is not possible to quantify the impact from each cause of shrinkage, the Company has loss prevention programs and policies that are intended to minimize shrinkage. Physical inventories are taken at all store locations for substantially all merchandise categories approximately three weeks before the end of the fiscal year. Shrinkage is estimated as a percentage of sales at interim periods and for this approximate three-week period, based on historical shrinkage rates.
Cost of Sales, Vendor Allowances
The Company receives certain allowances from various vendors in support of the merchandise it purchases for resale. The Company receives certain allowances as reimbursement for markdowns taken and/or to support the gross margins earned in connection with the sales of merchandise. These allowances are generally credited to cost of sales at the time the merchandise is sold in accordance with ASC Subtopic 605-50, “Customer Payments and Incentives.” The Company also receives advertising allowances from approximately 1,000 of its merchandise vendors pursuant to cooperative advertising programs, with some vendors participating in multiple programs. These allowances represent reimbursements by vendors of costs incurred by the Company to promote the vendors’ merchandise and are netted against advertising and promotional costs when the related costs are incurred in accordance with ASC Subtopic 605-50. Advertising allowances in excess of costs incurred are recorded as a reduction of merchandise costs and, ultimately, through cost of sales when the merchandise is sold.
Advertising and Promotional Costs
Advertising and promotional costs, net of cooperative advertising allowances, amounted to $1,136 million for 2011, $1,072 million for 2010 and $1,087 million for 2009. Cooperative advertising allowances that offset advertising and promotional costs were approximately $371 million for 2011, $345 million for 2010 and $298 million for 2009. Department store non-direct response advertising and promotional costs are expensed either as incurred or the first time the advertising occurs. Direct response advertising and promotional costs are deferred and expensed over the period during which the sales are expected to occur, generally one to four months.
Property, Plant and Equipment
Depreciation of owned properties is provided primarily on a straight-line basis over the estimated asset lives, which range from fifteen to fifty years for buildings and building equipment and three to fifteen years for fixtures and equipment. Real estate taxes and interest on construction in progress and land under development are capitalized. Amounts capitalized are amortized over the estimated lives of the related depreciable assets. The Company receives contributions from developers and merchandise vendors to fund building improvement and the construction of vendor shops. Such contributions are netted against the capital expenditures.
Lease
Buildings on leased land and leasehold improvements are amortized over the shorter of their economic lives or the lease term, beginning on the date the asset is put into use. The Company receives contributions from landlords to fund buildings and leasehold improvements. Such contributions are recorded as deferred rent and amortized as reductions to lease expense over the lease term.
The Company recognizes operating lease minimum rentals on a straight-line basis over the lease term. Executory costs such as real estate taxes and maintenance, and contingent rentals such as those based on a percentage of sales are recognized as incurred.
The lease term, which includes all renewal periods that are considered to be reasonably assured, begins on the date the Company has access to the leased property.
Long-lived Assets
The carrying value of long-lived assets is periodically reviewed by the Company whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that a potential impairment has occurred. For long-lived assets held for use, a potential impairment has occurred if projected future undiscounted cash flows are less than the carrying value of the assets. The estimate of cash flows includes management’s assumptions of cash inflows and outflows directly resulting from the use of those assets in operations. When a potential impairment has occurred, an impairment write-down is recorded if the carrying value of the long-lived asset exceeds its fair value. The Company believes its estimated cash flows are sufficient to support the carrying value of its long-lived assets. If estimated cash flows significantly differ in the future, the Company may be required to record asset impairment write-downs.
If the Company commits to a plan to dispose of a long-lived asset before the end of its previously estimated useful life, estimated cash flows are revised accordingly, and the Company may be required to record an asset impairment write-down. Additionally, related liabilities arise such as severance, contractual obligations and other accruals associated with store closings from decisions to dispose of assets. The Company estimates these liabilities based on the facts and circumstances in existence for each restructuring decision. The amounts the Company will ultimately realize or disburse could differ from the amounts assumed in arriving at the asset impairment and restructuring charge recorded.
The Company classifies certain long-lived assets as held for disposal by sale and ceases depreciation when the particular criteria for such classification are met, including the probable sale within one year. For long-lived assets to be disposed of by sale, an impairment charge is recorded if the carrying amount of the asset exceeds its fair value less costs to sell. Such valuations include estimations of fair values and incremental direct costs to transact a sale.
Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
The carrying value of goodwill and other intangible assets with indefinite lives are reviewed at least annually for possible impairment in accordance with ASC Subtopic 350-20 “Goodwill.” Goodwill and other intangible assets with indefinite lives have been assigned to reporting units for purposes of impairment testing. The reporting units are the Company’s retail operating divisions. Goodwill and other intangible assets with indefinite lives are tested for impairment annually at the end of the fiscal month of May. The Company estimates fair value based on discounted cash flows. Historically, the goodwill impairment test involved a two-step process. The first step is a comparison of each reporting unit’s fair value to its carrying value. The reporting unit’s discounted cash flows require significant management judgment with respect to sales, gross margin and SG&A rates, capital expenditures and the selection and use of an appropriate discount rate. The projected sales, gross margin and SG&A expense rate assumptions and capital expenditures are based on the Company’s annual business plan or other forecasted results. Discount rates reflect market-based estimates of the risks associated with the projected cash flows directly resulting from the use of those assets in operations. The estimates of fair value of reporting units are based on the best information available as of the date of the assessment. If the carrying value of a reporting unit exceeds its estimated fair value in the first step, a second step is performed, in which the reporting unit’s goodwill is written down to its implied fair value. The second step requires the Company to allocate the fair value of the reporting unit derived in the first step to the fair value of the reporting unit’s net assets, with any fair value in excess of amounts allocated to such net assets representing the implied fair value of goodwill for that reporting unit. If the carrying value of an individual indefinite-lived intangible asset exceeds its fair value, such individual indefinite-lived intangible asset is written down by an amount equal to such excess. Commencing in 2012, the Company will be allowed to first assess qualitative factors to determine if it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying value and whether it is necessary to perform the two-step goodwill impairment process.
Internal Use Software
The Company capitalizes purchased and internally developed software and amortizes such costs to expense on a straight-line basis over two to five years. Capitalized software is included in other assets on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
Revenue Recognition, Gift Cards
Historically, the Company offered both expiring and non-expiring gift cards to its customers. At the time gift cards are sold, no revenue is recognized; rather, the Company records an accrued liability to customers. The liability is relieved and revenue is recognized equal to the amount redeemed at the time gift cards are redeemed for merchandise. The Company records income from unredeemed gift cards (breakage) as a reduction of SG&A expenses. For expiring gift cards, income is recorded at the end of two years (expiration date) when there is no longer a legal obligation. For non-expiring gift cards, income is recorded in proportion and over the time period gift cards are actually redeemed. At least three years of historical data, updated annually, is used to determine actual redemption patterns. Since February 2, 2008, the Company sells only non-expiring gift cards.
Workers Compensation and General Liability Claims
The Company, through its insurance subsidiary, is self-insured for workers compensation and general liability claims up to certain maximum liability amounts. Although the amounts accrued are actuarially determined based on analysis of historical trends of losses, settlements, litigation costs and other factors, the amounts the Company will ultimately disburse could differ from such accrued amounts.
Pension and other Employee Benefit Plans
The Company, through its actuaries, utilizes assumptions when estimating the liabilities for pension and other employee benefit plans. These assumptions, where applicable, include the discount rates used to determine the actuarial present value of projected benefit obligations, the rate of increase in future compensation levels, the long-term rate of return on assets and the growth in health care costs. The cost of these benefits is recognized in the Consolidated Financial Statements over an employee’s term of service with the Company, and the accrued benefits are reported in accounts payable and accrued liabilities and other liabilities on the Consolidated Balance Sheets, as appropriate.
Financing Cost
Financing costs are amortized using the effective interest method over the life of the related debt.
Derivatives
The Company records derivative transactions according to the provisions of ASC Topic 815 “Derivatives and Hedging,” which establishes accounting and reporting standards for derivative instruments and hedging activities and requires recognition of all derivatives as either assets or liabilities and measurement of those instruments at fair value. The Company makes limited use of derivative financial instruments. The Company does not use financial instruments for trading or other speculative purposes and is not a party to any leveraged financial instruments. On the date that the Company enters into a derivative contract, the Company designates the derivative instrument as either a fair value hedge, a cash flow hedge or as a free-standing derivative instrument, each of which would receive different accounting treatment. Prior to entering into a hedge transaction, the Company formally documents the relationship between hedging instruments and hedged items, as well as the risk management objective and strategy for undertaking various hedge transactions. Derivative instruments that the Company may use as part of its interest rate risk management strategy include interest rate swap and interest rate cap agreements and Treasury lock agreements. At January 28, 2012, the Company was not a party to any derivative financial instruments.
Stock Compensation
The Company records stock-based compensation expense according to the provisions of ASC Topic 718, “Compensation – Stock Compensation.” ASC Topic 718 requires all share-based payments to employees, including grants of employee stock options, to be recognized in the financial statements based on their fair values. Under the provisions of ASC Topic 718, the Company must determine the appropriate fair value model to be used for valuing share-based payments and the amortization method for compensation cost. See Note 12, “Stock Based Compensation,” for further information.