Improving Economy Has Retailers Nordstrom, Inc. and The Gap Inc. Reporting Strong Sales for March

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Nordstrom, Inc. and The Gap Inc.


NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -04/09/12)- It is shaping up to be a good year for major retailers. Contributing factors such as warmer weather, demand for new spring fashions and an improving economy have a number of major retailers reporting strong same-store sales for March. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Retail Industry and provides investment research on Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN - News) and The Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS - News).

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Last month was the warmest March for North America in more than 50 years, according to Planalytics. "It puts people in the frame of mind to buy the product," said Dorothy Lakner, an analyst at Caris & Co. "The other important thing to keep in mind is just the fashion trends -- the color is really appealing to people."

Same store sales are a great way for investors to measure the strength of the industry. The 18 retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters posted a 6.9% rise in March same-store sales when a 5.3% gain was expected.

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Nordstrom, Inc. reported an 8.6 percent increase in same-store sales for the five-week period ended March 31, 2012 compared with the five-week period ended April 2, 2011. Preliminary total retail sales of $1.03 billion for March 2012 increased 14.7 percent compared with total retail sales of $897 million for the same period in fiscal 2011.

Gap Inc. reported that March 2012 net sales increased 10 percent compared with last year. Net sales for the five-week period ended March 31, 2012 were $1.46 billion compared with net sales of $1.33 billion for the five-week period ended April 2, 2011. The company's comparable sales for March 2012, which include the associated comparable online sales, were up 8 percent compared with a 10 percent decrease for March 2011.

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