EconomyFinancialLiverpool raises its inventories to face a "resilient consumer"

Liverpool raises its inventories to face a "resilient consumer"

The Port of Liverpool sees unexpected dynamism on its sales floors amid enthusiasm from customers returning to stores.

“We are between 6% and 7% above the commercial plans and we feel very comfortable, for now, in terms of inventory,” said Graciano Guichard, general director of El Puerto de Liverpool, during the conference with analysts to discuss their third quarter results.

Guichard pointed out that mobile phones, pajamas and exercise equipment are the three categories that register the greatest dynamism and he expects this to continue towards the end of the year.

“We are surprised at how resilient the consumer has been. The first fortnight of October we celebrated our anniversary and during the night sale, sales grew 35% year-on-year, which surprised us a lot”, added Enrique Güijosa, director of administration and finance of the company.

The company increased its inventories 26% during the third quarter of the year, with which it hopes to meet the demand generated by promotional events at the end of the year, such as El Buen Fin, the World Cup in Qatar and the holidays.

In the third quarter of the year, sales of Liverpool stores with more than a year in operation increased 19.3%, while those of Suburbia grew 16.1%. Despite the double-digit sales registered in the period, managers are more conservative regarding the end of this year, because inflation has reduced the purchasing power of consumers.

“It is very likely that Liverpool will close its sales this year with double-digit growth, but these increases will tend to become less spectacular throughout 2023,” said Carlos Hermosillo, an independent analyst.

Güijosa projects an eventual slowdown in revenues, “probably in the first half of 2023,” he said.

The plan with Nordstrom

Regarding his 9.9% shareholding in Nordstrom, Guichard reiterated that it is a passive investment that allows geographic and risk diversification. “It’s an investment where we feel we’re going to get the benefit of our shareholders’ valuation,” he said.

For the Mexican chain, Nordstrom is probably the best managed department store in the United States and they maintain a certain relationship with the administration, but not as deep, according to what the manager explained.

In this regard, Carlos Hermosillo believes that, although they can learn some lessons, it will be necessary to consider that US consumers have different habits than Mexicans, and that the economic situation is different.

“I see the diversification with Nordstrom as the recognition that the Capex in Mexico is going to be lower, since the physical footprint they need is not much larger than what they already have. That is to say, the excess flow gives them the opportunity to seek investments in other latitudes or niches in which they had not participated until now”, declares the analyst.

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