By Walter Loeb
In a quarter where the majority of department store retailers are finding it difficult to grow the top line, Nordstrom really stands apart from the pack.
Second quarter 2015 total sales increased a strong 9.2% with comparable store sales up and industry leading 4.9%. Fully diluted net earnings per share rose 14.7% to $1.09 from $0.95. I believe that Nordstrom’s customer service philosophy has guided their strategic initiatives with great results. I have followed Nordstrom for decades, and management has always put itself in the customer’s shoes when making decisions. Starting as a shoe store, the notion of kneeling before the customer to make a sale is the cornerstone of Nordstrom’s corporate culture.
The second quarter’s stellar results were helped by the 20% increase at Nordstrom.com as well as the entry into Canada. The Anniversary Sale, a long standing event customers mark on their calendars, contributed to the increase led by gains in cosmetics and women’s apparel. The full line stores increased 1.1% with comparable store sales rising 0.8%. The off-price business, up 16%, turned in a strong performance in the quarter. Nordstrom Rack increased 13% with comparable store sales up 1.7%. Nordstrom Rack.com and Haute Look increased 50%. The Trunk Club, with 6 stores currently, was also highlighted as having a positive impact.
Nordstrom is doing all the right things to address the way today’s consumer likes to shop. For example, the company is doing a lot to serve the customer who shops using a mobile device. The new “text to buy” program is very successful. Customers’ text to the store and either pick up the merchandise at the store or have it delivered. Other programs are being developed to serve this growing area.
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