Roosevelt Field shopping mall in Garden City, New York, Long Island's largest shopping mall, was packed with shoppers on Black Friday. Lines were long at the cash register in every store as shoppers raced to take advantage of deep discounts on their favored merchandise.

But one store seemed to be busier than the rest: Macy's. If that turns out to be the case in Macy's stores around the country, the iconic retailer could steal the Holiday shopping Season from other retailers.

And the company's recent financial performance confirms this hypothesis. Last week, Macy's reported solid financial results that beat analyst estimates, finding its way back to the center of the consumer universe. Wall Street cheered the comeback, sending its shares sharply higher for the week, outperforming the shares of other retailers.

Macy's shares are higher over the last two years, up 115.82%, outperforming the shares of Target, down 9.10%, and Nordstrom, down 10.50%, and the overall market, up 10.70%.

Senior management cheered the company's strong performance.

"We are operating from a position of strong financial health – with appropriate levels of inventory, a strong balance sheet with ample liquidity, investment grade credit metrics and fixed interest rate debt in a rising interest rate environment," said Adrian Mitchell, the chief financial officer of Macy's, Inc., following the release of the company's third-quarter financial results. "We have the tools, data-driven processes, and talented teams to manage through this uncertain time and are committed to long-term, profitable growth."

Macy's strong showing on Main Street and Wall Street is a big difference from five years ago when the company was struggling to survive growing competition from the merger of online and offline sales. In addition, it comes at a time when food and energy inflation has squeezed family budgets, leaving minimal funds for discretionary items like apparel.

Competitors like Target have already felt the pain, citing a shortfall in the sales of discretionary items and the persistence of high inventory levels. They have taken a toll on the company's top and bottom-line performance, forcing management to issue disappointing guidance.

But not Macy's, which experienced a slight increase in inventories, issuing optimistic guidance.

What's Macy's secret? How does the iconic retailer win in this challenging environment? First, it pursued the right positioning strategy in the new retailing space.

Macy's has broadened its merchandise portfolio to include product offerings for all generations, including the younger generations, who are the buzz makers in social media.

That's thanks to the Polaris strategy launched a couple of years ago.

"Our Polaris strategy is working, said Jeff Gennette, chairman, and chief executive officer of Macy's, Inc. "In the third quarter, we achieved solid top-line results and a strong beat to our bottom-line guidance. Macy's brand position as a style and fashion source resonated with our customers, while luxury continued to outperform at Bloomingdale's and Bluemercury."

Second, it priced its merchandise right--not too expensive, not too cheap--which appeals to middle-class America in a tight budget environment.

And there's Star Money to reward loyal customers and keep the buzz for the brand alive.

"I was expecting Macy's to hit their earnings target, especially after the announcement of their three-year plan to position the company for expansion, and to sustain profitability called the Polaris strategy, implemented back in early 2020," said Wes Gottesman, Market Advisor at TradeZing. "The popular retailer is now seeing the positive effects of that strategy."

People walk through the Macy’s store in Midtown Manhattan in New York City on Feb. 26, 2021. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images