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Nordstrom Sales Decline in Q3 Due to Inventory Excess and Softening Demand

Nordstrom’s sales and profits dipped in the third quarter as the company worked through inventory excesses and a decline in consumer demand.

The department store retailer reported total revenues of $3.5 billion in Q3, down 2.9% from the same time last year. Net loss was $20 million, or $0.13 loss per diluted share. Adjusted earnings per share were $0.20.

CEO Erik Nordstrom said the company took measures to right-size inventory and expenses when consumer demand softened in late June. A timing shift for the company’s Anniversary Sale also negatively impacted sales, as only one day of the sale fell within Q3 this year, compared to a week during Q3 of last year.

Shares of Nordstrom were down nearly 5% in after hours trading on Tuesday.

Despite the weak quarter, Nordstrom reiterated its outlook for the full year of 2022 after previously lowering its guidance in August as customer traffic and demand decelerated. Nordstrom expects full year revenue growth of between 5% and  7% and adjusted EPS in the range of $2.30 to $2.603.

“We are right-sizing our inventory levels and mix, and are on track to end 2022 in a healthy and current position,” said Pete Nordstrom, president and chief brand officer of Nordstrom, Inc in a statement. “Customers continue to respond to newness and fashion in our offering, and we are focused on remaining agile to respond to their changing needs.”

By category, the retailer noted growth in core categories such as men’s and women’s apparel, shoes and designer, as more people travel to in-person events and offices for work.

By banner, Nordstrom sales dropped 3.4% and Nordstrom Rack sales dropped 16.4%. Digital sales accounted for 34% of sales in Q3.

In September, Nordstrom Inc. instituted a “limited-duration shareholder rights plan,” otherwise known as a poison pill strategy, which is set to last through Sept. 19, 2023. The goal of the plan is to help avoid a takeover from one shareholder or group of shareholders “through open-market accumulation or other means without payment of an adequate control premium,” the release said.

Nordstrom said it did not adopt the plan in response to a takeover bid or effort to control the company. However, the move comes shortly after the Mexican retailer El Puerto de Liverpool acquired a 9.9% stake in the department store chain.

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