Nordstrom 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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