20 January 2021
The Weekly
United States

Nordstrom’s net sales declined about 22% for the nine-week holiday period ended Jan. 2. However, the company said the combined November and December sales results were in line with expectations for a decrease in the low-20% range for the fourth quarter. Despite the decline, positive earnings before interest and taxes and operating cash flow will be positive for the fourth quarter, where EBIT margin will decline by about 500 basis points relative to the year-ago period, primarily due to lower sales volume.

Digital sales for the holiday season grew 23% over last year and represented 54% of total sales, compared with 34% from the same period in 2019. Business at Nordstrom’s large urban flagships in New York and other cities would have been particularly slow due to the pandemic-related flight of people to the suburbs and other less dense areas. December sales at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack brandsreflected sequential improvement from November with momentum continuing into January. More than 30% of online orders were fulfilled from Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores. About 11% of nordstrom.com orders were picked up in store, which accelerated to more than 20% during the week preceding Christmas. About 9% of nordstromrack.com orders were picked up in store, which was enabled by the integration of Nordstrom Rack store and online inventory in October. Nordstrom expanded its assortment of gifts for the 2020 holiday season, gifting items comprised 67% of sales, an increase of 6% from the prior year.