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Shoppers walk past a Nordstrom window display at The Grove shopping centre on May 27, 2020, in Los Angeles.

The Associated Press

Nordstrom Inc reported a bigger-than-expected loss and a 53 per cent fall in sales on Tuesday, as its stores were shut for about half of the reported quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shares of the upscale department store chain were trading down nearly 7 per cent after the bell.

“We’re confident that we can improve sales trends in the second half of the year and beyond,” said Pete Nordstrom, president and chief brand officer of Nordstrom.

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“Our inventories are current and in-line, and we’re focused on amplifying relevant categories, brands and trends to meet customers’ changing preferences.”

Like many of its peers, Nordstrom suffered tremendously from a pandemic-induced monthslong closure of its stores across the United States, bringing foot traffic to a standstill. As shoppers stayed home to curb the spread of the virus, they opted to spend their dollars on comfortable clothing rather than upscale apparel and formal work attire.

J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus, Brooks Brothers and other retailers have filed for bankruptcy protection in the last several months.

Nordstrom’s bottom line also took a hit after the retailer moved its popular Anniversary Sale from the second to the third quarter. The move impacted its online sales, which fell 5 per cent.

The Seattle-based company posted net sales of $1.78 billion for the second quarter ended Aug. 1, compared with $3.78 billion, a year earlier.

Nordstrom reported a net loss of $255 million, or $1.62 per share, compared with a profit of $141 million, or 90 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting a loss of $1.48 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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Total revenue fell 52 per cent to $1.86 billion, missing Wall Street estimates of $2.38 billion.

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