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Nordstrom third quarter consistent with full-year outlook

Nordstrom’s third quarter results were consistent with its full-year outlook. Strong direct sales growth and improving trends in the Rack mitigated softer sales trends in full-line stores.

The company’s Anniversary Sale, which is historically its largest sale event of the year, fell in the second quarter this year, rather than in the second and third quarters as it did last year. The estimated impact of this event shift increased earnings per diluted share in the second quarter but reduced them in this quarter by approximately $0.06.

Total third-quarter same-store sales increased 0.1% and net sales totaled $2.8 billion, a 2.9% increase compared with the same period in fiscal 2012.

Nordstrom same-store sales including the full-line and direct businesses decreased 0.7%, compared with last year’s same-store sales increase of 11.2%. Top-performing merchandise categories included cosmetics, women’s apparel, and women’s shoes. Momentum continued in women’s apparel, outperforming the Nordstrom average on a year-to-date basis.

Full-line same-store sales decreased 4.2% compared with last year’s same-store sales increase of 8.1%. The Southwest and Southern California regions were the top-performing geographic areas.

Direct net sales increased 23% in the third quarter, on top of last year’s increase of 38%, driven by expanded merchandise selection and ongoing technology investments to enhance the online experience.

Nordstrom Rack net sales increased $95 million, or 16%, compared with the same period in fiscal 2012, reflecting 20 store openings since the third quarter of fiscal 2012. Nordstrom Rack same-store sales increased 3.7% on top of last year’s same-store sales increase of 8.1%.

HauteLook net sales increased by 22% in the third quarter.

Nordstrom plans to open four new Rack stores and relocate one Rack store during the remainder of fiscal 2013.