Nordstrom Q1 profit slips but tops estimates; 20 stores on tap by year-end

Seattle -- Nordstrom Inc.’s net income for the first quarter fell 3% to $140 million from $145 million in the year ago period, reflecting heavy investments in technology to support omnichannel initiatives and the retailer’s debut in Canada. Its earnings still topped Street views. The company plans to open three full-line stores and 17 Nordstrom Rack stores during the remainder of fiscal 2014

Revenue for the quarter ended May 3, 2014 rose 6.8% to $2.93 billion from $2.75 billion, with top-performing categories including accessories, women’s shoes, and cosmetics.

Same-store sales increased 3.9%, topping the 1.3% gain analysts had forecast. Same-store sales fell 1.9% at Nordstrom full-line stores and rose 6.4% at Nordstrom Rack outlets. Direct (includes e-commerce) sales grew by 33% in the quarter on top of a 25% prior year increase.

Nordstrom also announced it will seek a financial partner for its Nordstrom credit card receivables, which totals approximately $2 billion. The company said believes there is an opportunity to explore a financial partnership in which it can maintain its customer focus while gaining greater financial flexibility.

Nordstrom ended the quarter with 117 full line stores, the same as the prior year, while the number of Rack outlets increased to 150 locations from 128.

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