Nordstrom (JWN) shares drop as retailer says holiday sales tumbled 22%

A person walks into the Nordstrom store open for business as New York City moves into Phase 2 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic on June 29, 2020 in New York, New York.

Rob Kim | Getty Images

Nordstrom on Wednesday reported a sales decline of 22% for the nine-week period ended Jan. 2, as the department store chain struggled to get shoppers to come into its stores for apparel, footwear and holiday gifts.

Its shares fell more than 2% in after-hours trading.

Nordstrom said its digital sales during the holiday period grew 23% from 2019 levels, and represented 54% of total sales, compared with 34% a year ago. And more than 30% of customers’ online orders were fulfilled by its stores, the company added.

The double-digit sales decline was in-line with expectations it had set for the fourth quarter, Nordstrom said.

“We’re encouraged by the increasing momentum throughout and following the holiday season,” CEO Erik Nordstrom said in a statement.

The company continues to expect a profitable fourth quarter, but it said it still faces pressures due to heightened shipping surcharges at its growing e-commerce business.

Nordstrom is set to hold a virtual investor event on Feb. 4, and will report its fourth-quarter results on March 2.

On Tuesday, the apparel retailer Urban Outfitters reported disappointing holiday sales due to declines in store traffic because of the Covid pandemic. While big-box retailer Target on Wednesday said same-store sales climbed more than 17% over the holidays, boosted by gains online. Off-mall retailers, like Target, Best Buy and Walmart, have largely been performing better than mall-based companies.

Nordstrom shares are down about 10% over the past 12 months. The company has a market value of nearly $6 billion.

Read the full press release from Nordstrom.

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