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Seattle-based Nordstrom Inc. (JWN - Analyst Report) announced plans to open 2 new Nordstrom Rack stores, one at the Shoppes at University Town Center in Sarasota, Fla. and the other at Shelbyville Road Plaza in Louisville, KY by fall 2013.

Nordstrom’s new Rack store in Fla. at the Shoppes at University Town Center will add to the company’s 9 full-line and 8 Rack stores operating in the state. The new Rack store will enclose about 35,000 square feet space in the centrally located mall between the intersection of I-75 and University Parkway and across the street from the future Mall at University Town Center.

Occupying the space formerly held by Circuit City, the new Rack store will join a mix of vibrant retailers in the mall, including Marshalls, Ross Stores Inc. (ROST - Analyst Report) and Pier 1 Imports Inc. (PIR - Snapshot Report).

Apart from the current announcement, Nordstrom has 2 more Rack store openings lined up in Jacksonville and Naples, Florida this fall season. Additionally, the company is slated to open a full-line store in Jacksonville next year.

Nordstrom announced its entry in Kentucky with its first Rack store in the Shelbyville Road Plaza. This store will cater to the company’s Kentucky-based customers who frequent Cincinnati and Indianapolis for their needs. The new Rack store will occupy 33,000 square feet space, previously held by Circuit City in the mall located off the I-264. Other retailers housed in the mall include Trader Joe's, Ross, and Nike Inc.’s (NKE - Analyst Report) Factory Store.

Nordstrom’s Rack stores generally offer merchandise from Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com at a significantly reduced price to customers. Products at these stores are sold with discounts of roughly 50% to 60% from the original Nordstrom tags. Nordstrom Rack also carries a vast assortment of branded apparel, accessories and shoes that are available at Nordstrom stores, and are offered to customers at a discount of about 30% – 70%.

Nordstrom’s latest store openings signify the company’s commitment to strengthen its network with the aim of driving top-line growth. As of Mar 21, 2013, Nordstrom operated 242 stores, including 117 Nordstrom full-line stores, 121 Nordstrom Racks, 2 Jeffrey boutiques, 1 treasure&bond store and 1 clearance store. Nordstrom currently maintains a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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