Nordstrom sales plunge nearly 40% on pandemic-led store closures By Reuters

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© Reuters. The company logo for Nordstrom Inc, is displayed on a screen at the NYSE in New York

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(Reuters) – Upscale department store chain Nordstrom Inc (N:) on Thursday reported a nearly 40% slump in quarterly sales, as lockdowns to contain the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to shut stores.

Retailers are reeling from the impact of the coronavirus crisis, with Nordstrom rivals J.C. Penney (N:), J.Crew and Neiman Marcus all having recently filed for bankruptcy due to mounting losses as the pandemic limited most businesses to their apps and websites.

Nordstrom said digital sales rose 5% to $1.1 billion in the first quarter ended May 2. However, total net sales dropped to $2.03 billion from $3.35 billion.

Net loss came in at $521 million, or $3.33 per share, in the first quarter ended May 2, compared with a profit of $37 million, or 23 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company said store closures and restructuring led to a $173 million charge, which was slightly offset by credits from the government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Earlier this month, Nordstrom said it was closing 16 of its 116 full-line stores in the United States to save cash.

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