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Department Stores Continue Slide As Nordstrom Reports 22 Pct Holiday Drop

Showing the continued struggles of retail stores in the pandemic era, Nordstrom reported a 22 percent net sales decline for the nine-week holiday period that ended Jan. 2, according to a press release.

The combined sales from both November and December were in line with Nordstrom’s expectations for a decrease, the release stated.

The trends for sales went up compared to the third quarter, though. And the company noted in the release that digital sales increased 23 percent over the last year, representing 54 percent of the total. In 2019, by comparison, they only represented 34 percent.

Around 11 percent of orders from were picked up in the store, which saw a boost to over 20 percent during the week of Christmas, the release stated, and 9 percent of orders from were picked up in the store. The Nordstrom Rack store and online inventory had previously been integrated in October.

Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores fulfilled over 30 percent of online orders, the release stated. And, because of an increase in gifting selections, gifting items made up 67 percent of total sales.

“We’re encouraged by the increasing momentum throughout and following the holiday season as we continue to unlock new ways to better serve customers on their terms with greater convenience and connection,” said Nordstrom CEO Erik Nordstrom in the release. “By leveraging order pickup and store fulfillment capabilities across our two brands of Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack, we’re seeing benefits to our customers as well as to our business. We’re deeply appreciative of our team’s focus on providing customers with a strong holiday offering during these challenging times.”

Nordstrom has become the first retailer to earn most of its wealth from digital stores, as the aforementioned 54 percent statistic shows. PYMNTS reported in November that the honor might not end up accounting for much, though, due to the 350 physical stores the company needs to pay for. And it could be fleeting because the company moved its anniversary sale to the third quarter, which was when it began to make most of its money from digital sales.

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