U.S. retailers claim that the poor profits recorded in the most recent quarter are largely due to bad weather. The hurricanes that battered the U.S. in recent months deterred shoppers from visiting brick-and-mortar stores and kept international travelers at home, industry analysts say.
What’s more, the high temperatures this fall are largely to blame for a decrease in winter apparel which could further fuel the problems generated by a poor holiday shopping season.
Macy’s, whose profits remained flat for a third year in a row, reported that the storms that made a landfall in Florida, Puerto Rico, and Texas earlier this year reduced sales by $20 million in the latest quarter, while the warmer-than-usual fall took a deep bite into winter season revenues which were estimated at $50 million.
Nordstrom and Kohl’s too reported weak sales and linked the million-dollar losses in sales to bad weather. Nordstrom lost $20 million while Kohl’s sales shrank by $15 million.
Hurricane Harvey, Maria, and Irma forced Kohl’s to shut down 100 of its locations, which cost the company $8 million in compensation to its associates. The department store also made a hefty donation to the Red Cross in the wake of the disasters.
September Was Very Weak for Kohl’s
Kohl’s head Kevin Mansell noted that September was a very weak month for sales.
“Frankly, I attribute that completely and totally to the hurricane but also unusually warm weather,”
Mansell told analysts Thursday.
The good news for Kohl’s is that the losses were partially offset the next month thanks to a surge in online sales. Customers were especially interested in Adidas, Nike, and Under Armour brands.
Nordstrom reported same-store sales slipped 0.9 percent, Macy’s 4 percent, and Kohl’s 0.1 percent in the most recent quarter. It is the 11th consecutive month that Macy’s reports declining sales.
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