Tough Holidays Hurt Nordstrom Profit

Seattle Nordstrom Inc. on Monday said its profit fell more than 8% in the fourth quarter amid a holiday shopping season it called "challenging."

The retailer said Monday it earned $212 million down from $232 million a year earlier. Quarterly sales slipped more than 4% to $2.5 billion, in line with Wall Street estimates and down from $2.6 billion last year.

Same-store decreased 0.7%.

For the fiscal year ended Feb. 2, net earnings increased 5.5% to $715 million compared to net earnings of $678 million last year. Full-year results include a gain of $20.9 million, net of tax for the sale of the Faconnable business, which closed during the third quarter.

Total sales for the year increased 3.1% to $8.8 billion compared to prior-year sales of $8.6 billion. As noted previously, fiscal 2006 included a 53rd week of sales totaling $117.7 million. Excluding the extra week of sales in fiscal 2006, total sales increased 4.6% in fiscal year 2007. For the year, same-store sales increased 3.9%.

In 2008, Nordstrom plans to open seven additional new full-line stores.

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