Nordstrom Inc. reported Tuesday that its comparable sales for the nine-week period ended Jan. 5 increased 1.3 percent, in another indication that holiday sales for several retailers failed to meet expectations.
Nordstrom said at its full-price department stores, comparable sales increased 0.3 percent relative to the third-quarter year-to-date increase of 1.9 percent, reflecting softer traffic in stores.
Other Nordstrom divisions performed better. The Rack off-price division saw comparable sales increase 3.9 percent, which the company said was consistent with year-to-date trends and expectations.
Digital sales increased 18 percent over the same period last year, representing 36 percent of sales.
Macy’s Inc. last week also had soft holiday sales results, reporting last week that comparable sales for November and December rose 1.1 percent, including licensed departments. Kohl’s Corp. comps for November and December rose 1.2 percent, and J.C. Penney Co. Inc. said its comparable store sales for the holiday season decreased 3.5 percent on a shifted basis reflecting 52 weeks in 2018 versus 53 in 2017. Target Corp., however, said its same-store sales for the two months surged 5.7 percent.
While Nordstrom’s year-to-date comparable sales of 2.1 percent were in-line with the company’s prior outlook of approximately 2 percent for fiscal 2018, full-price sales were below expectations.
Since higher markdowns were taken during the holiday to reposition inventory to a more appropriate level by the end of the year, earnings per diluted share are expected to come in around the low end of the $3.27 to $3.37 outlook. That includes the third-quarter estimated nonrecurring credit-related charge of 28 cents. Per-share earnings are seen at $3.55 to $3.65, excluding the charge.
Nordstrom will report its fourth-quarter and full-year results on Feb. 28. Nordstrom operates 121 full-line stores, 244 Rack stores; three Jeffrey boutiques; two clearance stores; six Trunk Club clubhouses; three Nordstrom Local service concepts; Nordstrom.com, Nordstromrack.com, HauteLook and TrunkClub.com.