Nordstrom reported that its net sales decreased 3.5% for the first quarter. The company said its top-line results were impacted by three areas— loyalty, digital marketing and merchandise— which contributed to declines across its full-price and off-price businesses, in both stores and online.
Overall net sales decreased to $3.349 billion compared to $3.469 billion in sales in the previous first quarter. In full-price stores, net sales decreased 5.1% compared with the same period in fiscal 2018. Off-price net sales decreased 0.6%. Total company digital sales grew 7% and represented 31% of the business.
First quarter net earnings were $37 million compared with $87 million during the same period in fiscal 2018. Earnings per diluted share for the first quarter ended May 4, 2019, were $0.23 compared to earnings per diluted share of $0.52 in the previous first quarter.
“While we expected softer trends from the fourth quarter to continue into the first quarter, we experienced a further deceleration. We had executional misses with our customers, and we’re committed to better serving them. This is well within our control to turn around,” said Erik Nordstrom, co-president, Nordstrom. “The strength of our inventory and expense execution helped mitigate a meaningful portion of our sales miss. We ended the quarter with inventories in solid shape, and our financial position remains strong. We’re actively taking steps to drive our top-line, and we’re focused on delivering on our financial goals.”
The company said it began taking steps to drive improvement, which include: resolving executional issues associated with the launch of its enhanced loyalty program; further investing in its digital marketing; and re-balancing its merchandise assortment to better align with customer expectations.
Nordstrom will also expand its presence in New York City, its largest market for online sales. The company noted that it is on track to open its flagship store on October 24 and two Nordstrom Local neighborhood hubs this fall.