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Nordstrom sizzles, especially online

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Finally some good news in the department store sector.

Nordstrom Inc. on Thursday reported better-than-expected fiscal second-quarter earnings and sales.

The retailer reported net profit of $211 million, or $1.09 a share, for the quarter ending Aug. 1, up from $183 million, or 95 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Total net sales in the quarter increased 9.2% to $3.6 billion, the fourth consecutive quarter of high-single-digit growth. Nordstrom.com net sales increased 20% primarily driven by continued expansion of online merchandise selection.

The retailer said its strategic growth investments, including its retail store entry into Canada, the acquisition of online player Trunk Club and the launch of Nordstromrack.com, drove over one-third of the total sales growth in the second quarter.

Same-store sales rose 4.9%. Nordstrom’s annual Anniversary Sale, its largest sales event of the year, met company expectations.

Nordstrom’s off-price division, Nordstrom Rack, saw its net sales rise 13% to $0.9 billion, representing 26 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth. Nordstrom Rack same-store sales increased 1.7%.

Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook net sales increased 50% for the second consecutive quarter.

During the first half of the year, the retailer opened two full-line stores and 11 Nordstrom Rack stores. In the third quarter, it plans to open three full-line stores (Vancouver, BC, Canada; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin), relocate a full-line store in Los Angeles, California and open 16 Nordstrom Rack stores.

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