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Since many brands sell department stores, I’m catching up on some earnings news from Macy’s, Nordstrom and Dillard’s that shows some interesting trends in that channel.
Macy’s fourth quarter turned out better than expected, with same-store sales down 0.8%. Full year same-stores sales dropped 5.3%.
Q4 total sales fell 1% to $7.8 billion. Full year sales declined 5.6% to $23.5 billion.
Net income was $466 million vs. a $4.7 billion loss in the same period last year. Full year net income was $350 million vs. a loss of $4.8 billion in 2008. Those figures include several charges for restructuring and other unusual items.
Bloomingdale’s had a good fourth quarter, demonstrating the luxury customer is showing signs of life.
Strong categories at Macy’s included shoes, men’s and women’s moderate apparel, men’s collection and home, including mattresses, luggage, housewares and textiles.
Common denominators in product that did well included cold weather, private and exclusive brands and affordable, trend right merchandise, the company said.
Average Unit Retail was flat at Macy’s and up at Bloomingdale’s.
Bloomingdale’s is launching outlet stores to compete with Nordstrom Rack and Sak’s Off 5th stores. Four are planned, and the company will expand the concept once it gets it right.
Sales in California have stabilized.
Macy’s is very high on its “My Macy’s” program, which localizes assortments based on regional differences.
In 2010, the company expects same store sales to rise 1% to 2%.
Nordstrom reported a strong fourth quarter.
Q4 same store sales rose 6.9%. Full year same store sales fell 4.2%.
Q4 total sales rose 10.3% to $2.5 billion. Full year sales declined 0.2% to $8.2 billion.
Q4 net income rose 152% to $172 million. Full year net income rose 10% to $441 million.
The company said sales trends improved every quarter of 2009 and were positive each month of the fourth quarter.
Most categories reported positive comps. Women’s better apparel, women’s shoes and jewelry were particularly strong.
The men’s business was challenging in 2009, but showed improvement in the last few months of the year.
The Midwest, South and Northwest were the top performing regions. California continues to struggle and the company increased its bad debt reserves for its credit card business largely due to the weakness there.
The company continues to expand its Rack business, with 16 new Racks in Q4.
Three full-priced Nordstrom’s will open in 2010. The new Fashion Island Nordstrom in Newport Beach will open in April.
Nordstrom expects same store sales to rise 2% to 4% in fiscal 2010.
Dillard’s reported a better than expected fourth quarter profit.
Total Q4 sales decreased 10% to $1.8 billion vs. the same period last year. Full year sales fell 10.2% to $6.1 billion.
Q4 merchandise same store sales fell 8%. Full year same store sales dropped 10%.
Q4 net income was $79.5 million vs. a loss of $149.3 million the same period last year. Full year net income was $68.5 million vs. a loss of $241.1 million. Results include the impact of unusual charges.
The company plans to open two new stores in 2010. It closed six stores in fiscal 2009.