The country's department stores posted mixed results in the most recent quarter, as a series of hurricanes deterred shoppers and kept away international travelers. An unseasonably warm fall also took its toll, leaving retailers with a glut of winter boots and coats that analysts say could complicate an already fraught holiday shopping season.
Executives at Macy’s estimated that hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico cost the company $20m in sales in the most recent quarter, while unsold winter merchandise accounted for another $50m in lost revenue. Nordstrom estimated a $20m impact on sales, while Kohl’s executives said the weather accounted for about $15m in lost revenue.
More than 100 Kohl’s stores were closed for as much as a week because of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and executives said the company spent about $8m “to take care of associates” by paying them when stores were closed and making donations to the Red Cross.
“September was very weak,” Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, chief executive and president, said in a recent call with analysts. “Frankly, I attribute that completely and totally to the hurricane but also unusually warm weather. That part of the quarter really suffered as a result of both of those things.” But, he added, sales picked up in October, partly because of increased online orders and steady demand for active wear by Nike, Adidas and Under Armour.
Overall, same-store sales rose 0.1 percent at Kohl’s. They fell 0.9 percent at Nordstrom, and were down 4 percent at Macy’s, marking the 11th straight quarter of declines for the Cincinnati-based department store chain.
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