Net sales dropped 4.4% to $2.51 billion for the quarter ended Feb. 2, and net earnings declined 8.6% to $212 million, or 92 cents a share. For the full year, sales increased 3% to $8.83 billion, and earnings rose 5.5% to $715 million, or $2.88 per share.
The declines were caused, in part, by a "trailing effect" from the previous quarter, according to President Blake Nordstrom's statements in a conference call.
"[That trailing effect] coupled with the softer environment impacted our bottom line," he added, noting that the first half of the year had been, "in terms of sales," successful. "As we look ahead to 2008 and beyond, we are focused on executing our long-term strategy of increasing market share with our core customers by offering great service and the best merchandise the market has to offer. We are in a position of strength financially, which allows us to take advantage of opportunities that may come our way, as well as weather any current challenges that we may face."
Increasing market share with core customers, boosting service and merchandise, eh? Seems that's exactly what Milton Pedraza, of The Luxury Institute told us was precisely the strategy the luxury market needed to combat the pending/current recession.
While the year-end increases do support Nordstrom's contention of his company's strong financial position, we have to think that moving ahead with the retailer's growth plan is unwise at this time. Nordstrom plans to open seven more stores this year—in Honolulu, Hawaii; Burlington, Mass.; Clinton Township, Mich.; Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Naples, Fla.—in addition to the 165,000 square foot store it opened Feb. 15 in Aventura, Fla.
No notes about changes to their marketing plan that we've seen yet, but those cartoonish inserts they've been running for a while now certainly haven't made us want to shop there.