Tags: Nordstrom | JWN | Coach | COH | retail | stocks

Nordstrom Reaches for New Retail Markets

By Constance Gustke   |   Monday, 25 Jul 2011 03:58 PM

These days, luxury goods offer gilded perks for investors. Typically, luxury department store valuations are 20 percent higher than others. High-end goods purveyors like Coach (COH) can easily override rising costs and sluggish consumer demand that bedevil lower-end stores.

Nordstrom (JWN) is counting on that panache to rev up sales. The retailer has 212 stores in 29 states. It targets the high-margin consumer with upscale brands. Nordstrom’s first-quarter results were helped by top-performing designer goods and jewelry niches.

So far, Nordstrom is posting strong revenues. In the first quarter, income rose 12 percent to $2.23 billion, versus $1.99 billion last year. Same-store sales increased 7.8 percent. The Nordstrom Rack stores, which sell discounted goods, boasted a 19.5 percent sales rise.

More growth is coming, as Nordstrom’s expands its discount Rack footprint. This year, 18 more stores are slated to open, along with 18 last year. Analysts add that Nordstrom still has room to grow and isn’t oversaturated, as are other department store nameplates.

Luxe suits it well

The Seattle-based company has a strong following. Of 19 analysts tracking Nordstrom, seven have strong buys, along with four buys, seven holds, and one underperform.

Goldman Sachs analysts recently pinned a buy recommendation on Nordstrom, citing its expansion plan as a means to fuel earnings. The bank’s 12-month stock price target, however, is $49, just a tad lower than recent trading action.

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These days, luxury goods offer gilded perks for investors. Typically, luxury department store valuations are 20 percent higher than others. High-end goods purveyors like Coach (COH) can easily override rising costs and sluggish consumer demand that bedevil lower-end...
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