Nordstrom's January Comps Rise

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January comparable store sales (comps) for leading fashion retailer, Nordstrom Inc. (JWN), surpassed analyst projections driven by robust performance at both its store concepts.

Comparable-store sales increased 11.4% compared with the year-ago period. Comps for the company’s full-line segment were up 13.7%, while comps at Nordstrom Rack recorded an increase of 9.0%. All comps numbers reported in January excluded the additional 53rd week in fiscal 2012.

Preliminary total retail sales for the five weeks ended Feb 2, 2013, climbed 38.4% to $951 million from $688 million reported for the four-weeks ended Jan 28, 2012. Excluding the sales from the additional week, monthly sales for the four-weeks ended Jan 26, 2013 rose 14.9%.

This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock’s performance for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 also remained strong with comps increasing 6.3% compared to the year-ago period. The comps improvement was driven by a 6.1% gain at the full-line stores as well as a 7.1% increase at Nordstrom Rack stores. Preliminary total retail sales grew 13.5% to $3,596 million.

For fiscal 2012, Nordstrom’s preliminary total retail sales elevated 12.1% to $11,762 million driven by a 7.3% increase in comparable-store sales. During the period, the company’s comparable store sales at Nordstrom full-line and Nordstrom Rack segments augmented 7.5% and 7.4%, respectively.

Concurrently, 3 other retailers – Ross Stores Inc. (ROST), Macy’s Inc. (M) and Gap Inc. (GPS) – reported same-store sales for the month of January. Comps growth at Ross Stores, Macy’s and Gap were 4%, 11.7% and 8%, respectively.

Geared Up for More Stores

Nordstrom laid down plans to inaugurate a full-line store in the fall of 2015 at Ridgedale Center in Minneapolis, Minn. Further, the company aims to open 2 Nordstrom Rack stores in fall 2013, at The Mercato in Naples, Fla. and at Perimeter Expo shopping center in Atlanta, Ga.

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