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Macy’s Inc. posted a second straight quarter of sales gains and raised its full-year earnings outlook, a sign the department store is succeeding in luring back shoppers with its off-price offerings. Total comparable sales, a key measure for the retail industry that’s used to gauge momentum, rose 4.2 percent in the fiscal first quarter, sharply outpacing analysts’ estimates. That sent the shares up the most in almost three months on Wednesday. Macy’s is trying to woo shoppers back into stores with its discount-focused Backstage concept while it reduces unnecessary inventory. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette is up against declining foot traffic in malls and increasing competition from online and traditional retailers. Full story

16 May