Strong online growth helps Nordstrom top Q2 estimates
Nordstrom on Thursday reported positive results for its second quarter amid ongoing discussions of a possible buyout.
The upscale department store retailer reported that total net sales increased 3.5% to $3.79 billion in the quarter ended July 29, compared to a forecast for $3.75 billion. Total company same-store sales rose 1.7%, also better than expected.
In the Nordstrom brand, including U.S. and Canada full-line stores and Nordstrom.com, net sales when combined with Trunk Club, increased 2.4% and comparable sales increased 1.4%.
The top-performing merchandise categories were women's apparel and beauty, and the East was the top-ranking U.S. geographic region. The company noted that its Anniversary Sale, historically its largest event of the year, performed better than recent trends.
In the Nordstrom Rack brand, which consists of Nordstrom Rack stores and Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook, net sales increased 9.8% and comparable sales increased 3.1%.
Online sales grew 20% at Nordstrom.com, and 27% at Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook.
Net income fell to $110 million, or 65 cents per share, in the quarter, from $117 million, or 67 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Its results were just slightly ahead of estimates.
Nordstrom slightly raised its full-year earnings forecast to $2.85-$3 per share from $2.75 – $3 per share, and said it now expected net sales for the year to increase about 4% instead of 3% – 4%.
New Oregon law impacts employee scheduling in stores
Oregon has become the first state in the nation to pass legislation that puts an end to on-call scheduling by guaranteeing hourly employees advance notice of their work schedules.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed into law the Fair Work Week Act, which imposes predictive scheduling requirements on large employers in certain industries, including retail and food service. Most provisions of the law will take effect on July 1, 2018.
The Oregon legislation comes on the heels of similar measures that have been enacted in such major cities as New York, Seattle, and San Francisco.
The law applies to Oregon employers that employ 500 or more employees worldwide who provide services relating to “retail trade,” “hotels,” “motels,” or “food services." It requires these employers to give hourly workers at least seven days advance notice of their work shifts. In three years, the lead time is extended to 14 days.
Employers also have to pay additional compensation for any violation of the advance notice requirement (to be calculated based on the type of schedule change) and provide a minimum of 10 hours of rest between shifts, or pay the employee time and a half.
For more on the bill, click here.
Home decor chain sees big opportunity in Texas
At Home Group continues to expand its store network in the Lone Star state.
The fast-growing retailer announced the grand openings of three locations in the greater Houston area, including a newly redeveloped store in Katy, Texas, that opens on July 19. Construction is underway on stores in Pearland and Richmond, Texas, that are slated to open in the fall. The Katy location is one of seven At Home stores in the greater Houston area, and one of 26 in Texas.
"With the opening of these three locations in the greater Houston area, we are executing on the tremendous opportunity that we see in this market," said At Home chairman and CEO Lee Bird. "As a brand that was born in Texas, At Home is proud to continue this strategic expansion not only in Houston but across the state."
At Home is opening more than 25 stores year. The company, which went public in August 2016, has achieved a 20% top-line compound annual growth rate over the past four fiscal years.
The 135,000-sq.-ft. Katy store offers over 50,000 home décor items from furniture, mirrors, rugs, art and housewares to tabletop, patio and seasonal items, including more than 100 different artificial Christmas tree varieties.
"The site of our new Katy store is rich in history as one of the original locations for At Home's precursor Garden Ridge, and it is the first completely rebuilt At Home store," said At Home store drector Robert Cortino.
At Home is headquartered in Plano, Texas, and currently operates 135 stores in 33 states