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Nordstrom's January Comps Rise

Zacks Equity Research

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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