Nordstrom profits plunge 64%

Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) joined its department store brethren with a poor quarterly sales report as profits plunged 64 percent, driven by lower sales and higher markdowns.

Total revenue for the quarter was up 1 percent from the same period last year, but same-store sales dropped 7.7 percent at Nordstrom department stores. Nordstrom Rack fared slightly better, as sales dropped just 0.8 percent.

"As the pace of change in retail continues to accelerate, we remain committed to serving customers by taking steps that will continue to meet their expectations while driving profitable growth," Blake Nordstrom, co-president, said in a statement.

Nordstrom hasn't had this bad of a financial report since 2009, during the peak of the recession, noted The Seattle Times.

Nordstrom has been scaling back its investment in digital technology, consolidating internal departments and focusing more on stores. Management said it will now refine its online assortment with a greater focus on key brands and categories.

The best performing category during the first quarter was Beauty.

For more:
- see this Seattle Times story
- see this Nordstrom financial release
- see this conference call transcript on Seeking Alpha

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