Nordstrom just forecast another big win for the American consumer

Nordstrom just forecast another win for the American consumer.

In its fourth quarter earnings report on Thursday, Nordstrom noted that inventory levels during the fourth quarter exceeded 12% of sales while sales grew 5.2%.

(Overall, Nordstrom’s quarter was disappointing and its outlook was even worse, sending shares of the retailer down as much as 7% in after hours trading.)

The company added in its release that, “While the Company made the appropriate adjustments to end the year with overall inventory below plan, it has incorporated the impact of a continued promotional environment in its operating plans.”

Said another way: you’re about to see great deals at Nordstrom.

And this is not unique to Nordstrom at all.

Earlier this week we noted the rising inventory level at retailers in the US and argued that this is not a symptom of consumer decline but a sign that consumers are on course to benefit.

Basically this trend, while painful for retailers who are dealing with a drastic shift in consumer habits that is taking sales out of stores and onto the internet, is one big win for the US consumer.

Right now you can order four sizes online and return three at no cost from online retailers like Zappos.

Or, as this inventory data suggests, you can probably drive to the mall and shop at retailers offering 50% off everything in the store (or, you know, at least some kind of deal).

And all this while wages are rising and inflation is low.

Congrats, America.

Retail sales inventory

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