Nordstrom staffed, stocked and ready to serve as store traffic increases – RetailWire

May 25, 2022

Happy days are back. Nordstrom brushed aside the gray cloud hovering over retail last week with a first quarter earnings report it shows that luxury shoppers are still shopping despite rising prices – and everyone is looking for a deal on the right merchandise.

The retailer said net sales rose 18.7% year-over-year, topping its pre-pandemic performance, as sales across its full line of stores jumped 23.5% and Nordstrom Rack sales of 10.3%. Digital sales were flat compared to 2021 as the chain reported more customers returning to its physical locations.

CEO Erik Nordstrom said yesterday about the company earnings call that a return to occasions such as social engagements, travel and a return to work helped boost sales, as did customers who “reassessed and refreshed their wardrobes.

Nordstrom said unique product selection and exceptional customer service were keys to the company’s success last quarter.

“We were staffed, well stocked and ready to serve customers as store traffic increased. And our dedicated employees delivered an experience that was clearly reflected in our store-level customer satisfaction scores,” he said. “Putting the customer first is in our DNA, and our teams continue to exemplify that spirit this quarter. We have always believed that service and sales go hand in hand.

Nordstrom said expanded omnichannel capabilities are another key to business performance.

“Customers clearly appreciate our interconnected model, with order intake accounting for 10% of Nordstrom.com’s demand this quarter, an increase of 200 basis points over the prior year. In the second quarter, we will continue to expand our go-to-market strategy by expanding next-day pick-up capabilities to more than 60 additional Rack stores in our top 20 markets,” said Nordstrom.

In-store pick-up customers “spend three and a half times more” than those who shop exclusively at Nordstrom stores, Nordstrom said. “Buying online and picking up in-store also remains our most profitable customer journey and one of our most satisfying customer experiences,” he added.

Nordstrom’s chief financial officer, Anne Bramman, explained how the company manages inflation.

We increased retail prices this quarter in response to inflationary pressures and higher MSRP prices from our suppliers. At Nordstrom Rack, through our strategic pricing actions, we have increased the prices of items with the lowest elasticities. Across both banners, we saw minimal unit impact from these pricing actions,” she said.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you expect Nordstrom’s full-line and Rack stores to continue to do well through the end of 2022, even if inflation persists? How do the company’s two banners compare to their competitors in department stores and off-price verticals?

Braintrust

“Nordstrom understands the importance of brick-and-mortar stores to drive e-commerce sales and profitability.”

“Nordstrom continues to honor its customers by paying attention to their needs. This has brought them success for a long time and will continue to support this current inflation.”

“I’m sure there will be naysayers who will say ‘yeah, but…’ But this is amazing news at the right time.”

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