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Off-price Rack Sales Drop, Nordstrom Lowers Profit Forecast

Charlie Brooks

Jan 20, 2023 10:41


After poor Christmas sales and a 6% decline in after-hours trade on Thursday, Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE:JWN) lowered its yearly profit projection.

The company expected 5% to 7% annual sales growth. From Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022, Nordstrom Rack's net sales fell 7.6%.

Americans have cut discretionary spending due to decades-high inflation, and drastic inventory cuts have affected U.S. stores.

Macy's Inc. (NYSE:M) cut its holiday sales projection earlier this month, blaming a longer-than-expected retail drop between Black Friday and Christmas. Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) warned of quarter margin reduction.

The National Retail Federation reported decreased Christmas sales on Wednesday because shoppers bought in October when businesses offered higher discounts.

Nordstrom is underperforming.

It had to provide more markdowns than planned, and its Rack banner is currently grappling with inventory mismanagement and merchandising concerns exacerbated by supply-chain issues during the pandemic, when women's clothes and shoes were scarce.

William Blair analyst Dylan Carden said Rack had persistent merchandising mistakes.

Nordstrom expects fiscal 2022 adjusted EPS of $1.50 to $1.70, down from $2.30 to $2.60.

Lower inflation, larger inventory, and typical freight and labor costs should assist Nordstrom and other retailers this year, analysts said.

"Going into 2023, that gives me some comfort that even if the first half is kind of mediocre, maybe it'll start to look better," Morningstar analyst David Swartz said.