October sales results for leading fashion retailer, Nordstrom Inc. ( JWN ), remained robust with a 9.8% rise in comparable store sales (comps) compared with the year-ago period. Nordstrom's two business segments - Nordstrom full-line and Nordstrom Rack - reported comps increase of 10.2% and 10.5%, respectively, compared with the year-ago period.
For the four weeks ended October 27, 2012, total retail sales climbed 11.5% to $835 million from $749 million reported for the five-week period ended October 29, 2011.
Comps for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 gained 10.7% on top of the year-ago quarter, primarily benefiting from the shift in timing of the company's Anniversary Sale event. Quarterly comps at the company's business segments also came in strong, comprising an 11.2% increase in Nordstrom full-line store comps and an 8.1% augmentation in Nordstrom Rack store comps. Net sales for the quarter rose 13.8% to $2,713 million.
Year-to-date through October 27, 2012, Nordstrom's total retail sales elevated 11.4% to $8,166 million driven by a 7.7% increase in comparable store sales. During the period, the company's comparable store sales at Nordstrom full-line and Nordstrom Rack segments augmented 8.1% and 7.5%, respectively.
One of Nordstrom's competitors, Gap Inc. ( GPS ), registered a 4% rise in comparable store sales for the month of October, while net sales came in at $1.22 billion, up 7.0% compared with the prior-year period.
Geared up for More Stores
During October, Nordstrom successfully executed its plan of opening three new Nordstrom Rack stores in different locations. These stores were opened at Town & Country in Phoenix, Arizona; Alamo Quarry Market in San Antonio, Texas; and Huntington Shopping Center in Huntington, New York. Further, the company relocated its Nordstrom Rack store in White Plains, New York, to another floor at the same location.
The company's plans for November include opening two Nordstrom Rack stores at Warwick Mall in Warwick, Rhode Island; and Northgate Mall in Seattle, Washington.
Over the longer term, Nordstrom targets to open four Nordstrom Rack stores beginning 2013, including stores in Manhasset Center in Long Island, New York; Promenade in Crocker Park in Cleveland, Ohio; Collection Anex in Chicago, Illinois.; and Baldwin Commons in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
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 maintains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. Our long-term recommendation on the stock remains Neutral.