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Will the recession come for Nordstrom?

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP declined 0.9% in Q2, following a 1.6% fall in Q1. That’s widely considered an indicator of a recession. This news comes after a week of disappointing Q2 results, which, in turn, spurred a wave of workforce cuts.

While Nordstrom hasn’t seen its customers cutting back, it could be only a matter of time before the recession comes for the department store.

Let’s take a look at the retailer as it teeters on the fine line between Q1 success and its looming Q2 results.

47%: The percentage of US adults spending less on apparel due to rising prices, per a May CivicScience survey. However, Nordstrom isn’t seeing customers trade down for lower prices; it’s having trouble moving discounted clearance merchandise as consumers focus on new products, said CEO Erik Nordstrom. FWIW, luxury retailer ​LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton posted strong earnings this week, citing high demand for swank goods.

70%: The percentage of Nordstrom customers interested in styling services. The retailer said shoppers who work with a stylist spend seven times more.

$680 million: Nordstrom’s 2021 click-and-collect sales. Customers that use this service spend 3.5 times more than consumers who don’t. We predict total US click-and-collect sales will increase 19.4% this year, up nearly 10 percentage points from last year’s 9.7% growth.

3.7%: The percentage visits to indoor malls fell, month over month, in June, per Visits to open-air shopping centers also fell 2.4%. Nordstrom is among a handful of department stores opening smaller, local locations to capitalize on consumers staying closer to home.

$3.47 billion: Nordstrom’s revenues for Q1 2022, up 18.7% year over year (YoY). Nordstrom banner net sales rose 23.5%, and net sales for Nordstrom Rack increased 10.3% YoY. The top categories were men's and women's apparel, shoes, and designer brands.

Why we care: Nordstrom had a strong first half. Can it ride that success through the back half of the year or will inflation and a recession take its toll?


This was originally featured in in the Retail By the Numbers newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.