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Nordstrom is Rallying Ahead of Industry: Factors at Play

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Nordstrom, Inc. JWN seems to be on a roll, thanks to its constant efforts toward bolstering growth across businesses via expansion of omni-channel capabilities. In addition, its customer strategy, which focuses on leveraging the company’s brand strength to provide high-quality services and offer compelling products, is impressive.

Notably, the Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company has rallied 27.3% against the industry’s 9.7% decline and the broader sector’s 4.2% rise in the past six months. Let’s delve deep.

Growth Catalysts

Nordstrom remains keen on enhancing store network and developing e-commerce platform to provide a robust omni-channel experience to customers. It focuses on store expansion to boost market share and top lines. The company is keen on prioritizing investments in the top North American markets, including significant expansion in Canada. Overall, the company envisions a $1-billion sales opportunity from its expansion in Canada by fiscal 2020.


Nordstrom is largely benefiting from its market strategy in Los Angeles. Management has been introducing this strategy in new markets to offer products with same-day pickup or next-day delivery. Also, the company has been receiving encouraging customer response for its NYC flagship store, which has fortified its presence in the world's top retail market.

In a bid to boost e-commerce growth, the company is advancing in the technology space by enhancing digital networks and ramping up marketing efforts. In fact, the company has been witnessing revenue growth across its full-price and off-price businesses, thanks to solid contributions from loyalty programs, digital channel and merchandise assortment. Apparently, Nordstrom’s digital sales represented 34% of net sales, up 300 basis points (bps) year over year, in third-quarter fiscal 2019. Further, its Nordy Club had about 12 million active customers in the quarter, which represented 13% year-over-year growth and 65% of quarterly sales.

Nordstrom’s significant progress with respect to customer-based strategy positions it well to reach the long-term revenue target of $20 billion by fiscal 2020. Also, the company’s cost-savings efforts, through which it plans to strike a balance between sales and expenses, bode well. It has achieved $170 million in cost savings and is ahead of its plans to realize nearly $150-$200 million in fiscal 2019.

Wrapping Up

The aforesaid factors surely infuse confidence in Nordstrom. However, the company is not immune to concerns like escalating operating expenses and intense competition. Spending toward occupancy, technology, store openings, supply chain and marketing are leading to higher expenses. This along with cost of investments in the company’s market strategy may strain margins and eat into profits.

Nevertheless, Nordstrom’s well-chalked plans, including omni-channel efforts and cost savings, will help maintain growth in the long run.

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Zumiez Inc. (ZUMZ - Free Report) , also a Zacks Rank #1 stock, boasts an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 12%.

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