Nordstrom reports mixed Q3 results

Seattle Nordstrom reported late Thursday that profits were up for the third quarter, as were total sales, but costs were higher than anticipated. For the quarter ended Oct. 31, the department store retailer recorded a profit of $83 million, up from $71 million in the year-ago period.

Third quarter same-store sales decreased 1.2%, compared with the same period in fiscal 2008. Net sales in the third quarter were $1.87 billion, an increase of 3.5% compared with net sales of $1.80 billion in the year-ago period.

While revenue figures beat Street expectations, profits fell short based on increased expense. Nordstrom said its fixed costs dropped from a year earlier, but it paid employees more in performance-related compensation than it expected because its sales were higher than expected.

The company’s capital expenditures are projected to total between $325 and $375 million in fiscal year 2010, compared with approximately $280 million in fiscal year 2009.

The company opened four full-line stores and 13 Nordstrom Rack stores since third quarter 2008, increasing retail square footage by 1.0 million, or 4.5%. It expects to open three full-line stores and approximately 15 Nordstrom Rack stores in 2010. In 2011, the company expects to open two to three full-line stores and 13-15 Nordstrom Rack stores.

Nordstrom currently operates 183 stores in 28 states.