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Nordstrom mixed in Q1

BY Marianne Wilson

Nordstrom beat the Street on earnings in its first quarter amid strong sales in its off-price division.

Nordstrom said it earned $63 million in the first quarter, compared with $46 million, in the year-ago period. The company earned an adjusted $0.43 a share, beating the $0.27 that analysts were expecting.

Total company net sales increased 2.7% to $3.3 billion. Same-store sales fell 0.8%, worse than expected. Online sales accounted for 24% of total net sales.

By division, sales for the Nordstrom brand, including U.S. and Canadian full-line stores and Nordstrom.com, fell 1.7%, and same-store sales decreased 2.8%.

For the Nordstrom Rack brand, which consists of Nordstrom Rack stores and Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook, net sales rose 8.7%, and comparable sales increased 2.3%.

Across U.S. full-line stores and Nordstrom.com, the top-performing merchandise categories were men's and women's apparel. The West was the top-ranking U.S. region.

Nordstrom said it continued to make progress in executing its customer strategy while maintaining execution around inventory and expenses. Its total customer count increased compared with the first quarter last year.

In May 2016, the retailer expanded its Nordstrom Rewards loyalty program to enable all customers to earn benefits regardless of how they choose to pay. The effort has paid off. Nordstrom said it now has more than 8.6 million active Rewards customers in the U.S. and Canada, up from approximately 5 million a year ago. Sales from Nordstrom Rewards customers represented 47% of first quarter sales, compared with 39% a year ago.

The company reiterated its annual outlook for earnings per diluted share of $2.75 to $3.00, net sales increase of 3%- to 4% and approximately flat comparable sales.

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Aldi makes leadership claim on low prices

BY CSA STAFF

Watch out Walmart — discount grocer Aldi is beating you in one crucial area.

Aldi’s prices are 21% lower than its lowest-priced rivals, including Walmart, CEO Jason Hart told Reuters. And he plans to maintain that gap going forward.

The fast-growing Aldi, which recently entered California, operates some 1,600 stores in the United States, with 400 new locations planned by the end of 2018.

While Aldi only accounts for only about 1.5% of the U.S. grocery market, it is growing at 15% a year, according to the report. Walmart currently controls about 22% of the market, but its U.S. sales are estimated to grow about 2% this year.

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Sporting goods giant shakes up leadership team

BY Marianne Wilson

Dick’s Sporting Goods has made several changes in its executive team, including naming a former Target executive as its chief merchant.

The company said that André Hawaux is retiring as executive VP, COO. He will remain with Dick’s through the second quarter of 2017. Dick’s did not name a replacement for Hawaux.

"André has been an instrumental member of our executive leadership team and has played a key role in executing our strategic plan," said Edward Stack, chairman and CEO, Dick’s Sporting Goods. "I am thankful to him for his dedicated service and for his continued partnership to facilitate a smooth transition."

Lauren Hobart has been appointed president of Dick’s Sporting Goods, effective immediately. Hobart, who joined Dick’s in 2011, most recently served as executive VP, chief customer & digital officer. She will continue to lead the company's customer and digital efforts, and will assume responsibility for the stores. Prior to Dick’s, Hobart spent 14 years at PepsiCo in various strategic planning and marketing roles.

"In her six years with the company, she has proven to be an invaluable and inspirational leader," Stack said. "Lauren is credited with elevating the Dick's brand, leading the development of Dick's Team Sports HQ and building the Calia by Carrie Underwood brand. She also was instrumental in the creation of The Dick's Sporting Goods Foundation. Lauren's extensive leadership experience will be essential to the continued growth and success of the company.”

In other appointments, Keri Jones will join the company on May 22, 2017 as executive VP, chief merchant. The 30-year retail veteran will be responsible for the strategy and execution of the company's merchandising, product development and merchandise planning, allocation and replenishment organizations. Prior to joining Dick’s, Jones held a variety of leadership positions at Target Corp., serving most recently as executive VP of global supply chain.

Don Germano, who led the company's stores organization from 2010 through 2013, will re-join Dick’s on May 30, 2017 as senior VP, operations. Most recently, he served as president of the Follett Higher Education Group. Prior to his time at Dick’s, he held a number of leadership positions at Sears Holdings, Kmart and Nabisco.

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