A so-so season for big retailers?

Nordstrom signals a soft holiday season ahead as frugal shoppers move online.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 18, 2013 12:24PM

Sales at chains such as Nordstrom (JWN) have been soft as frugal shoppers increasingly avoid mall-based retailers in favor of shopping online.

 

The timing of Nordstrom’s annual Anniversary Sale, which was held earlier in the year, also hurt the chain’s profit in the latest quarter. Net income fell 6.2% to $137 (one hundred thirty seven) million dollars, or 69 cents per share, on revenue that rose 2.8% to $2.88 (two point eight eight) billion dollars. At least the results beat analysts’ forecasts for profit of 66 cents on $2.87 (two point eight seven) billion dollars in revenue.

 

However, Nordstrom offered a muted outlook.

 

(Post continues after video.)

 

It expects full-year profit of $3.65-$3.70 (three dollars and sixty five cents to three dollars and seventy cents) per share, a 5 cent increase on the lower end. It sees same-store sales rising 2.5% (two and a half percent), versus its earlier forecast of 2% to 3% growth.

 

For retailers overall, the holidays are looking like a mixed bag. Wal-Mart (WMT), which has suffered three straight quarterly declines in same-store sales, recently warned Wall Street that its season wouldn’t be festive.

 

Other retailers such as L Brands (LTD), parent of Victoria’s Secret, and Gap (GPS) are doing better. October sales at L Brands surpassed the Street’s views, and Gap recently forecast better-than-expected quarterly results.

 

Given that uneven performance, retailers this season, quote, “would be lucky to match last year’s growth,” said Scott Hoyt of Moody’s Economy.com in a recent interview.

49Comments
Nov 18, 2013 1:52PM
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So sorry retailers but, open on Thanksgiving?  Black Friday ads in our faces for weeks already?  Sales everywhere already?  What do you expect?  You're trying to get us to do our Holiday shopping before we've finished our Halloween costumes and a whole bunch of us are just not doing this anymore.  AFTER Thanksgiving I'll shop - BUT it will not be on Black Friday and I'm not falling for the 'big sale' hype anymore.  First and second week of December and then I'm done.
Nov 18, 2013 1:59PM
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I'm sick of the "screw Thanksgiving" attitude by retailers and everyone who participates in this consumer culture. 

Nov 18, 2013 2:09PM
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I used to really dig getting up early friday morning, shopping without the kids and going out to breakfast with my loving wife.  This 6pm on thanksgiving is pure crap.  I refuse to chase my friends and family away just to save a few bucks.    I only wish more people wouldn't participate on thanksgiving and really give these pukes a so-so season, but we all know the lemmings will be flocking hours before the sale even begins
Nov 18, 2013 1:47PM
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Retailers should expect so-so holiday shopping because they don't pay their employees a liveable wage, and a majority of the jobs in America are retail.
Nov 18, 2013 2:06PM
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That should mean the retail prices will be better for the costumer this year right? However who has a bunch of cash to spend for gifts this year? I know don't
Nov 18, 2013 2:15PM
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I keep hearing about this "WAR" on Christmas? What the heck are they talking about? I started seeing Christmas lights and gifts and advertising before Labor day for gods sake! Perhaps they want it rolled out the day after the 4th of July? Maybe memorial day? Hell lets just have it all year long! I even hear about Christmas in July.  Give it a rest, Christmas has been reduced to a day when people buy things they can't afford and people don't want!  Sara Palin said the other day that she loves how commercial Christmas has become, because it helps spread the "joy". She really said that!! It was on the today show, while promoting her war on christmas  book! If you don't believe me then google it. The interview was with matt Lauer

I will personally BOYCOTT all retailers that are open on thanksgiving this year! GREEDY BASTARDS!

Nov 18, 2013 2:21PM
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GREED GREED and more GREED...Heck with the meaning just more GREED
Nov 18, 2013 2:19PM
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They keep pushing the holiday season up on us---enough is enough already.  I don't want to celebrate Christmas until after Thanksgiving.   Use up all your hype and sales and I am sick of the season before it even starts.  Simpler gifts look better and better to me all the time. Pretty soon between the commercialism and the media we will be seeing this around the 4th of July right on through Dec. 25------
So, what are they going to give us in Dec. to be excited to shop for?   
Sorry, but first there aren't enough jobs out there. 
Second, the natural disasters and weather has taken a toll all over the USA. 
Third, things do last and due to rising costs in healthcare, mortgages, utilities and cable companies that only leaves so much extra to spend---and oh yes, we have to pay off debt and save for retirement........Happy Holidays.
I will shop after December 1 -locally and internet, and hopefully made in the USA.
God Bless-
Nov 18, 2013 2:23PM
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Nobody gives a crap about the holidays, the stupid sales, the tight fisted companies whose employees can't afford to buy the very crap they make.  The moment companies started putting stock holders ahead of community and stores started staying open on Sundays, the whole American dream thing was doomed.

Nov 18, 2013 2:23PM
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The retailers forced us out of the stores when they cut back their employees claiming "due to the economy".  When you take away the customer service, why would I want to go to the mall to find no one to help and super long lines?  They have themselves to blame for this.  They are more concerned about their CEO and President's salaries and their almighty stockholders!  If they would simply get back to putting the customer first they would not be in this situation.
Nov 18, 2013 2:28PM
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Ever since I was a small child Christmas shopping was an "event". it was something we looked forward to as a family seeing the festive decorations, the christmas music, etc. Now there is nothing "Festive" about it. The stores start playing Christmas music a day or two after Halloween, all the stores have up their Christmas decorations in early Nov., WTF???? Sorry but I personally can not get in the Christmas spirit three weeks before Thanksgiving. The retailers have brought this onto themselves...and yes, I now do more than half my Christmas shoping online. Do retailers really think we want them open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales starting at 4:00am??? No thank you, nothing fun about that...but the retailers have brainwashed some thinking that is the only way they will get a deal. half the stuff they advertise at those low prices get sold out in three seconds anyhow. No thanks, I will poke around online and find the same price for the same item from an online non-brick and mortar retailer and not have to do it on Thanksgiving or 4:00am on Black Friday.

 

 

Nov 18, 2013 2:32PM
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For the past 4 years I've cut back on gift buying by about 70% and now I give that money to my favorite charities.  This whole Christmas consumerism that retail stores have come to depend on is tiresome to me.
Nov 18, 2013 2:29PM
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With all the job creators holding on to their profits so that THEY can have a merry Christmas, but where are the JOBS? How can you have shoppers, when so many of them are without a job? Do you really need it spelled out? And if Nordstroms is hurting, maybe they should look at their prices! How many people, honestly want to spend $140 on jeans or $90  on a sweater at Nordstroms? 0r $80 on a bottle of after shave/cologne? Stupid article....next?
Nov 18, 2013 2:32PM
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a message for all american corporate ceo's
you reap what you sow!
Nov 18, 2013 2:37PM
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It's really, in my humble opinion, a combination of several things.  First, there has been no economic recovery just a different means put in place of moving wealth out of the middle class. Secondly, take a good hard look at the jobs situation. No real jobs created just a bunch of entry level, part time, low wage jobs. Those aren't buying much of a holiday.  Third, I see a lot of people who are tired of having consumerism shoved down their throats. It's not even Thanksgiving yet and they're pushing Christmas like they are trying to jump start a Chevy!! The people in my circles are returning to a better based value system thank you very much. Fourth, people are starting, barely starting, to pay really close attention to what is and has been going on in DC and, again, in my circles, saying to themselves, "maybe a good time to be frugal".

That's what I see.
Nov 18, 2013 2:11PM
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guess you can spy on that, too, huh Nordstrom? and others? stop it. NO PHONES, stop marketing, leave people alone.
Nov 18, 2013 2:29PM
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I could care less about the retailers. The buy, buy, buy Christmas consumer thing has made me hate Christmas; if it never came again I couldn't be happier. (Except for the time off from work, that I want to keep)
Nov 18, 2013 2:42PM
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Who can afford to shop at Nordstroms???? Their stuff is very expensive!  Most people are trying to budget their money and buy what they can afford. Nordstroms isn't for budget minded shoppers; it is for people in the higher income bracket and that is a small minority!
Nov 18, 2013 2:27PM
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By on-line...it is scary out there!!
Nov 18, 2013 2:42PM
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We are very close to the point where the average American will not be able to afford most of what is sold here and made somewhere else. The unions are decimated, the tea party is pushing to reduce all government assistance, the corporations are buying elections like nothing seen since the days of the robber Barron. (late 1800's)

The American public needs to wake up before it is too late. For years we have watched the corporations and their stock holders find ingenious ways to reduce the income of the employee while raising the prices of the items those same same employees need to purchase to keep the corporation in business.

In recent years this has changed a bit though. It is my humble opinion that big corporations have made the decision that they will bleed this country dry, then move on to the next. They see the US as a dying market and are planning their exit.

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