The declines confirm a terrifying new reality for high-end retailers: Wealthy shoppers are reining in spending and, along with the rest of American consumers, refusing to pay full price for anything.
While sales are plunging in Nordstrom's full-price business, comparable sales for the company's off-price brands, including Nordstrom Rack — which sells steeply discounting clothes and accessories — grew 4.6%.
Morgan Stanley analysts said the "surprising" bifurcation between Nordstrom's low-end and high-end businesses should be a warning sign for all luxury retailers.
"We think retailers exposed to the high-end consumer are most at risk to a further sales step-down in 2016," the analysts wrote.
I wonder why the wealthy are becoming more thrifty? Is it because they have shifted buying clothes and such to cars and houses and more expensive things? Or is there just a spending malaise out there that no one is talking about?
I mean the country seems to be drifting toward a place where we will be led either by a orange con-man or the crooked wife of a sexual predator. Maybe rich people are keeping their powder dry because they don't know which way to turn going forward. Will higher taxes be around the corner or will it be economic isolationism?