Nordstrom February Comps Rise - Analyst Blog

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One of the leading fashion specialty retailers in the United States, Nordstrom Inc. ( JWN ), once again reported a robust growth in its sales and comparable store sales (comps) for the four-week period ended February 25, 2012.

Nordstrom's February comparable store sales grew 10.2% compared with the four-week period ended February 26, 2011. The company's February 2012 comps benefited from the inclusion of a shoe clearance event, which was absent in corresponding year-ago period. The shift of the event into February 2012 period boosted comps by about 200 to 250 basis points, while it is projected to negatively impact the company's March 2012 comps by 150 to  200 basis points.

During the month, comparable store sales at the Nordstrom's business segments - Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack - increased 11.9% and 5.9%, respectively, compared to the year-ago period.

Total retail sales climbed 16.2% to $704 million from $606 million reported in February last year. As of February 25, 2012, Nordstrom had 116 Nordstrom full-line stores, 104 Nordstrom Racks, 2 Jeffrey boutiques, 1 treasure & bond store and 1 clearance store, brining the total store count to 224.

Subsequent to releasing its sales results on March 1, 2012, Nordstrom opened a new Nordstrom Rack store at the Outlets in Orange, California.

Looking ahead, in March, Nordstrom aims to put up one more Nordstrom full-line store at City Creek Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The company also envisions repositioning its Nordstrom Rack store from downtown Seattle, Washington, to the close by Westlake Center.

Peer Performance

One of Nordstrom's competitors, Gap Inc.'s ( GPS ) registered an increase of 4% in February 2012 same-store sales, while its net sales came in at $874 million compared with $821 million in the year-ago period.

Conclusion

Based in Seattle, Washington, Nordstrom Inc. offers high quality apparel, shoes, cosmetics and accessories for men, women and kids. The company offers both branded and private label merchandise, as well as a private label card, two Nordstrom VISA credit cards and debit cards for Nordstrom purchases.

Nordstrom remains focused on expanding its store network to drive top-line growth. However, a sluggish discretionary spending environment, intense competition and exposure to seasonal fluctuations will keep us on the sidelines.

Nordstrom maintains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. Our long-term recommendation on the stock remains Neutral.


 
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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: GPS , JWN

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