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Nordstrom Expands Brand Portfolio

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In an effort to expand its product assortments, United States’ leading fashion retailer, Nordstrom Inc. (JWN - Free Report) , recently announced that it has started selling the top two British Brands - TOPSHOP and TOPMAN - at its stores. Currently, these brands will feature as separate departments at 14 out of 117 of Nordstrom’s full-line stores throughout the country as well as on its ecommerce website starting in late 2012.

The brands’ collection at Nordstrom stores will include the exclusive designs available at any TOPSHOP and TOPMAN store as well as some limited-edition pieces, specially designed for Nordstrom. Additionally, the Nordstrom website will have an extended merchandise selection featuring these two new brands.

Launched in 1964, TOPSHOP is a well known British brand for women, offering glamorous footwear, accessories and an extensive range of denim and jewelry. The brand has grown as a major British style authority due to the development of young talent including Christopher Kane, Meadham Kirchhoff, Hussein Chalayan, Richard Nicoll and Mary Kantrantzou. Moreover, the brand’s Boutique collection, which focuses on style over seasonal trends, has led to its growth.

On the other hand, TOPMAN, which is Arcadia Group’s brand for men, produces truly exciting high-street men's fashion. The brand, launched in 1978, offers exclusive and affordable menswear in about 230 stores operating across UK. Additionally, its website - TOPMAN.COM - ships to over 100 countries worldwide.

We believe Nordstrom’s strategy of enhancing brand portfolio along with expanding store network has always helped it to drive its top-line growth. The company’s sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 grew 7.1% year over year to $2,535 million. Moreover, earnings for the quarter came at 75 cents per share, which was slightly above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 74 cents.

Buoyed by better-than-expected bottom-line performance, the company raised its earnings guidance range for fiscal 2012 to $3.40 – $3.50 per share from $3.30 – $3.45 forecasted earlier. Currently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fiscal stands at $3.44 per share.

Further, Nordstrom is set to continue with its store expansion strategy in fiscal 2012 with a target of opening 16 new stores consisting of 1 full-line store and 15 Rack stores. In addition, the company plans to add 24 new Rack stores in fiscal 2013 and intends to operate 230 Rack stores by the end of 2016.

Based in Seattle, Washington, Nordstrom Inc. offers high-quality apparel, shoes, cosmetics and accessories for men, women and kids. The company offers both branded and private label merchandise, as well as a private label card, two Nordstrom VISA credit cards and debit cards for Nordstrom purchases. As of September 10, 2012, Nordstrom operated 117 Nordstrom full-line stores, 110 Nordstrom Rack, 2 Jeffrey boutiques, 1 treasure&bond store and 1 clearance store, thus bringing the total store count to 231.

Nordstrom competes with other upscale specialty retailers, such as Saks Inc. and Macy’s Inc. (M - Free Report) . The company maintains a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term Buy rating.

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