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Macy’s and Nordstrom Struggle to Adapt to Changing Retail Trends

Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) and Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN), long-time Wall Street favorites, are now in the doghouse after their recent disappointing earnings reports and lackluster guidance. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), whose subpar performance has weighed down its shares for years, is back in investors’ good graces after issuing results that weren’t as bad as analysts had feared. Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT), which also was considered a basket case, reported an in-line quarter but pleased investors with better-than-expected comparable sales.

The biggest surprise in the retail world, though, was Macy’s and Nordstrom, but they shouldn’t be. They are relics of an earlier age when the mall was the center of the universe. Macy’s was especially slow in realizing that shopping habits have changed. It launched its off-price chain Macy’s Backstage this...