Brisk sales of women’s clothing and cosmetics helped lift Nordstrom’s revenue in the second quarter, buoying the confidence of investors who boosted the luxury retailer’s share price in after hours trading.
In the quarter that ended July 29, Nordstrom saw net sales rise 3.5% to $3.7 billion vs. $3.6 billion in the same period last year.
Net earnings slipped a bit however, down to $110 million or 65 cents in diluted earnings per share. That matched the expectations of analysts at S & P Global Market Intelligence, but was two cents below the earnings per share posted by the store chain in the same period last year.
The financial report Thursday was the first since the department store chain said in June that the Nordstrom family was looking to buy the company co-founded in 1901 by ancestor John W. Nordstrom.
Taking the company private would free the luxury retailer from the heightened expectations and constraints that come with being accountable to shareholders, and the potential move was seen as a sign that Nordstrom family recognized the need to be able to innovate without the pressure of showing strong results every quarter.
The company would not comment during an earnings call on the potential family purchase. But the second quarter’s results seemed to impress investors, with shares increasing 2.18% in after-market trading to $45.85.
The retailer said that its anniversary sale, an annual event where customers can get deals on new merchandise, was especially successful this year, with a more than 20% spike in online sales compared to the sale in 2016.
Boosting online traffic is a priority for traditional retailers who have been roiled by the rise of Amazon and the shift to shopping via tablet and mobile device. But Nordstrom, which built its reputation on attentive personal service, emphasized that it would continue to leverage its physical stores to enhance its e-commerce experience.
“The combination of our physical and digital assets represents a competitive advantage,’’ Blake Nordstrom, the company’s co-president, said in a call with investors.
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