by Stephen Garner

Macy’s Inc said on Monday it raised a total of $4.5 billion, including $3.15 billion in new borrowings against its real estate assets, as the department store chain tries to navigate through the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are pleased with the strong demand from new investors in our notes issuance, which allowed us to tighten pricing and increase the size of the offering,” said Jeff Gennette, chairman and CEO of Macy’s Inc. “The high quality of our real estate portfolio positioned us well to execute this offering. Additionally, the continued commitment from our bank group allowed us to more than double the size of our existing revolving credit facility.”

Gennette said the funding gives the retailer sufficient flexibility and liquidity to steer the business for the foreseeable future. “Combined with our ongoing Polaris initiatives, we are confident this liquidity will ensure Macy’s, Inc. remains a strong company to work for, invest in and partner with,” Gennette added.

The raised funding includes a previously announced $1.3 billion in bond offering. The funds from the offering and existing cash will be used to repay outstanding borrowings under an existing $1.5 billion unsecured credit agreement. The retailer said it has amended the $1.5 billion credit agreement to reduce the available credit commitment and modify the agreement’s covenants.

On Tuesday, the retailer released the news that it had performed better than expected throughout the month of May, as stores began to reopen and its digital e-commerce business remained strong. By June 1st, the retailer said it had 450 stores reopened, with the majority opened in their full format.

“Our reopened stores are performing better than anticipated. Importantly, we are receiving positive feedback on the curbside pickup experience and our efforts to create a safe and welcoming shopping environment,” Gennette said on Tuesday.

“We are seeing strong sell-through of seasonal merchandise, and anticipate that we will exit the second quarter in a clean inventory position,” he added. “The holiday season will be crucial, and the team is working now to get the right merchandise and assortment in place.”