Seattle -- Nordstrom Inc. reported Thursday that profit for the first quarter edged up just 2.7% to $149 million, compared with $145 million in the same period last year. Results, which were negatively impacted by free shipping offers and promotional initiatives, met internal expectations but missed Wall Street estimates.
Sales soared 13.7% to $2.53 billion, but still missed analysts’ forecast of $2.55 billion. Same-store sales rose 8.5%.
Nordstrom has seen strong performance of late, as the luxury category has continued to gain strength, but investments into customer experience initiatives such as free shipping on all online purchases with no minimum purchase requirement have squeezed profit margins. The initiatives, however, have had a positive impact on Nordstrom’s e-commerce business, as online sales rose 44.2% in the quarter ended April 28.