Department Store Earnings Preview: What To Expect From Macy’s, Nordstrom, JC Penney & Kohl’s

Department-store retail has not been for the faint of heart lately.

While most retailers had felt some pressure in the fourth quarter of 2015 — due to unseasonable weather, sluggish holiday traffic and online competition — department stores, in particular, seemed to underperform throughout much of the past year.

Shifting consumer habits — more Americans are opting to shop online for their footwear-and-apparel needs — appear to have taken the biggest bite out of department-store profits in recent months.

As four big names — Macy’s Inc., Nordstrom Inc., J.C. Penney Co. and Kohl’s Corp. — prepare to release their Q1 earnings for 2016, here is what analysts expect.


Market watchers predict the Cincinnati-based chain, which already announced its plans to shutter up to 40 stores and potentially lay off thousands in an effort to recuperate and shift resources online, is expected to see declines in both revenues and profit.

Analysts expect the company’s diluted earnings per share to slide 35 percent, to 36 cents per share, and its revenues to decrease 4.3 percent, to $5.96 billion.


Analysts expect the Seattle-based firm’s profit to take a 30 percent dip this quarter, to 46 cents per diluted share, while its sales are expected to see a 2.2 percent rise, to $2.29 billion.

Taking a similar route as its counterpart Macy’s, Nordstrom announced last month that it would slash between 350 to 400 jobs as it attempts to respond to shifting consumer habits.

JC Penney

It seems market watchers are growing more bullish on JC Penney, which has ramped up its revenue-boosting efforts with promotions, including “Penney Days,” during which some items in the store retail for just one cent.

Forecasts predict that the firm will narrow its first-quarter losses, from 57 cents per diluted share (loss) last year to 37 cents per share (loss) this year. Revenues are expected to climb 2.4 percent, to $2.93 billion.


Over the past year, Kohl’s has placed a heightened focus on omnichannel, but shareholders are still waiting to see the firm’s new initiatives pay off in a major way. For Q1, Wall Street predicts that the company’s diluted EPS will slide nearly 40 percent, to 38 cents, while its revenues will advance a modest 0.4 percent, to $4.14 billion.

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