U.S. retail stocks slumped once again on Friday morning amid a cascade of corporate earnings reports in the sector. The drop in names like Nordstrom, J.C. Penney, and Dick’s Sporting Goods follows a drubbing on Thursday as Macy’s reported a particularly sharp drop in comparable-store sales. The moves underscore the challenges facing brick-and-mortar retailers, which are closing stores as they contend with competition from e-commerce firms like Amazon.com, where consumers are increasingly spending their money.
A Commerce Department report on Friday showed a seasonally adjusted 0.4% jump in retail sales in April, and revisions higher to prior data, which eased concerns about a broader slump in consumer spending. But the data also showed a growing divide: sales among nonstore retailers, which includes online shopping, jumped 1.4%, while department-store sales had a more mild rise of 0.2%. Nonstore sales are up nearly 12% over the past 12 months, while department store sales were down 3.7%. FULL REPORT