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Nordstrom (JWN) Struggles in Holiday Season, Sales Decline 22%

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Shares of Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN - Free Report) fell almost 3% during the after-market trading session on Jan 13, following its dismal holiday sales performance. Sales declined 22% year over year for the nine-week period ended Jan 2, 2021.

We note that sales for the November-December period declined in-line with the company’s projection for a decrease in the low-twenties percentage range for the final quarter. However, management highlighted that the sales trend improved roughly 500 basis points on a sequential basis relative to third-quarter fiscal 2020, after adjusting for the shift of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale from the second quarter to the third quarter.

Markedly, the company’s e-commerce business performed well, with digital sales increasing 23% year over year and accounting for 54% of total sales. This compares favorably with the year-ago period, wherein digital sales represented 34% of total sales. The uptick can be attributable to its enhanced omnichannel capabilities, including order pickup and store fulfillment services. Keeping in these lines, Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores fulfilled more than 30% of online orders.

Nordstrom informed that about 11% of orders were picked up in-store, which increased to more than 20% in the week before Christmas. For, almost 9% of orders were picked up in-store. Apart from these, the expansion in gifting options resulted in the category representing 67% of total sales. This reflects an increase of 600 bps year over year.

Consequently, management continues to expect positive earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and operating cash flow for the fourth quarter. However, the EBIT margin is likely to decline roughly 500 bps year over year due to reduced sales volume. Also, planned shipping surcharges and premium pay related to the holiday season hurt the EBIT margin.

We note that shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have soared 133.3% in the past six months, outperforming the industry’s growth of 119.2%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

3 More Retailers’ Holiday Sales Reports

We note that L Brands (LB - Free Report) posted strong holiday sales results that exceeded management’s initial expectations. Strength in the Bath & Body Works segment and improved Victoria’s Secret performance aided the upbeat outcome. Comparable sales for the nine-week period ended Jan 2, 2021, increased 5%.

GameStop (GME - Free Report) informed that its comparable store sales for the nine-week period ended Jan 2, 2021, increased 4.8%. Notably, e-commerce sales soared 309% and represented about 34% of total company sales.

Again, Zumiez (ZUMZ - Free Report) reported a comparable sales increase of 1.7% for the 10-week period ended Jan 9, 2021. Meanwhile, total sales dipped 0.7% during the holiday period.

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