U.S. Markets open in 7 hrs 8 mins

Trump's tweet had a 'negligible' impact on Nordstrom's sales

Krystina Gustafson
Scott Olson | Getty Images

Let's call it a draw.

Following Donald Trump's February tweet saying that Nordstrom (JWN) had treated his daughter, Ivanka, "so unfairly" when it dropped her eponymous clothing line, the number of Trump supporters and critics have had an equal impact on the retailer's business.

When asked on a call with analysts whether the high-end retailer had seen a change in its business trend surrounding the president's tweet, Co-President Peter Nordstrom called the impact "negligible," saying it was "not really discernible one way or the other."

Shares of Nordstrom rose more than 3 percent after the market closed, to $45.50.

The company was thrust into the political ring earlier this month after it decided to stop selling the Ivanka Trump line, citing weak sales. It had been under pressure from the Grab Your Wallet campaign, which has encouraged boycotts against companies selling Trump-branded merchandise.

But while Trump opponents cheered the move, with several celebrities sharing images of their Nordstrom hauls on social media, the president's supporters said they would stop shopping at Nordstrom.

The department store chain topped Wall Street's earnings expectations in the fiscal fourth quarter, helped by fewer promotions. Still, its revenue came up short, growing 2.4 percent to $4.32 billion. Analysts had been expecting the company to ring up sales of $4.35 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

While the chain's off-price division grew comparable sales 4.3 percent during the holiday quarter, its traditional stores continued to struggle. Comparable sales for its full-price stores and website declined 2.7 percent.

"Nordstrom ends is fiscal year as a company of two halves: the mainstream business, which is struggling to grow; and the off-price business which, overall, is motoring along nicely," Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, told investors.

In fiscal 2017, the period during which Trump's tweet occurred, Nordstrom expects sales to increase roughly 3 percent to 4 percent.