Daily Management Review

Bigger-Than-Expected Loss Reported By Nordstrom Due To Pandemic Induced Store Closures


Bigger-Than-Expected Loss Reported By Nordstrom Due To Pandemic Induced Store Closures
The forced closure of its stores because of the novel coronavirus pandemic for about half the period of the latest completed quarter resulted in the apparel company reporting a bigger-than-expected loss for the quarter as people stayed back home and worked from home which meant that there was little need for consumers to purchase official and designer clothes.
Announcement of the performance of the company resulted in its shares dropping by about 5 per cent at the stock market.
The novel coronvirus pandemic induced months-long closure of its stores across the United States significantly hit Nordstrom just like many of its peers. The forced closures virtually brought foot traffic to a standstill for the company’s stores. Further consumers also refrained from making purchase of upscale apparel and formal work attire because most of them stayed back home because of lockdowns as well as work from home orders.
"We're confident that we can improve sales trends in the second half of the year and beyond," said Pete Nordstrom, president and chief brand officer of Nordstrom. "Our inventories are current and in-line, and we're focused on amplifying relevant categories, brands and trends to meet customers' changing preferences."
The purchasing behavior of consumers, about how and where they shop, has shifted drastically because of the pandemic with consumers choosing to make more purchase of sweatpants or "joggers," sports bras and basics instead of designer or formal apparel.
Another reason for the Nordstrom's bottom line being hit was the decision of the retailer to shift the time period of its popular Anniversary Sale to the third quarter from the second quarter. That had an impact on the online sale of the company which also reported a drop of 5 per cent.
"Digital sales were down, which is surprising," said Sucharita Kodali, retail analyst at Forrester Research. "They (Nordstrom) said the Anniversary Sale switch hurt them, but even then dot com sales were only up 20% while others were seeing 100%+ ecommerce growth."
In recent months, the market is witnessing record increases in online sales across most categories, including apparel for the so called 'essential,' lower-price retailers like Walmart and Target given the fact that millions of consumers in the US are till unemployed,
The retailer would join other retailers in "bringing in gift offerings before Thanksgiving", said executives of Nordstrom referring to the the all-important winter holiday season.
The company executives also told investors on a post-earnings conference call that Nordstrom will continue to refine its marketing strategy and further invest in categories that are the bet performing such as its home, active and wellness segments.
A net loss of $255 million, or $1.62 per share, compared with a profit of $141 million, or 90 cents per share, made by the company a year earlier in the same quarter was reported by the Seattle-based Nordstrom.
According to IBES data from Refinitiv, Analysts had expected a loss of $1.48 per share. Total revenue fell 52% to $1.86 billion, missing Wall Street estimates of $2.38 billion