Yesterday, Nordstrom released its 2008 first quarter earnings, and perhaps the caution therein reveals the short-term future of retail. The Seattle-based retailer reported net earnings of $119 million or 54 cents per share for first quarter 2008, down from net earnings of $157 million or 60 cents per share for the same quarter last year.
Total sales for the first quarter decreased 3.8 percent to $1.88 billion, down from $1.95 billion in last year’s first quarter. First quarter 2008 same-store sales decreased 6.5 percent.
Even though Nordstrom opened four full-line stores during the first quarter — in Aventura, Fla.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Burlington, Mass.; and Clinton Township, Mich. — management says the company has taken a more cautious approach to planning the rest of this year.
Nordstrom will reduce operating expenses to mitigate the impact of lower sales expectations on earnings. And, Nordstrom is projecting decreased earnings for the fiscal year that ends Jan. 31, 2009. Revised expectations for the remainder of this year predict a 4 percent to 6 percent decrease in same-store sales.