Neiman Marcus, Nordstorm and Saks Prepare For Rough Times
The news isn't good for luxury department stores lately. Both Neiman Marcus and Saks have reported that same-store sales fell by double digits last month, numbers that are, as the Dallas Morning News Reports, reminiscent of the post-9/11 declines in 2001 and 2002. Neiman Marcus had a drop of 12.9 percent last month (Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores had a 15.8 percent drop but the Neiman Marcus Direct catalog and online business had a 5.3 percent increase). Saks saw same-store sales fall by 10.9 percent. Both companies also have said they don't expect things to get any better soon, they are predicting weaker sales for the rest of the year. Nordstrom is also suffering with a 9.6 percent decline in September same-store sales. The good news for consumers is that sales will start earlier than usual and discounts will be deeper during the upcoming holiday season. For these three stores especially, it is the return shopper that will sustain them. I predict that these loyal customers will most assiduously courted by the stores with free gifts, deep discounts and other enticements over the coming months so now might be a good time to sign-up for their email alert lists.