(JWN) Nordstrom’s Announces Latest Store Plans

The store expansion plans of leading fashion retailer, Nordstrom Inc. (JWN), are in full swing. The Seattle-based retailer, yesterday, announced that it has two new Nordstrom full-line stores in the pipeline, scheduled to be opened for the public in fall 2014.

These new namesake stores are planned to come up in The Woodlands Mall in The Woodlands, Texas and St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville, Florida. The new Nordstrom stores will be two-level stores.

The Woodlands store will be located in the current Sears Holdings Corporation (SHLD) site in the mall, encompassing an area of 138,000 square-feet. Located north of Houston, The Woodlands Mall is the property of General Growth Properties Inc. (GGP) with a total retail space of 1.3 million square-feet. The mall also houses leading departmental stores like Macy’s Inc. (M), Dillard’s Inc. (DDS), and J. C. Penney Company Inc. (JCP).

Nordstrom’s new full-line store in The Woodlands Mall will mark the opening of the company’s fourth store in the greater Houston region. The company opened its first full-line store in the region at the Houston Galleria in Houston, in 2003.

Apart from this, the company has opened two Nordstrom Rack stores – one, at The Center at Post Oak in Houston and another, at the Market at Town Center in Sugar Land.

The company’s Jacksonville store will cover an area of 124,000 square-feet, catering to customers throughout the Northeast Florida region. Centrally-located St. Johns Town Center is an open air shopping center spread over an area of 1.1 million square-feet.

The shopping center is the combined property of Simon Property Group (SPG) and Ben Carter Properties. The new Nordstrom store will anchor a new wing on the southwest side of this popular shopping center.

Last month, the company had announced its plans of opening a new two-level Nordstrom Rack store at The Newbry in Boston, Massachusetts, which is scheduled to be inaugurated in spring 2013. The store will include a wide selection of apparels, accessories and shoes of the Nordstrom Rack store.

Additionally, in June 2012, the company had announced the opening of two new Nordstrom Rack stores — one in its hometown Seattle, Washington, and the other in El Paso, Texas. The Seattle-based store is expected to open in November 2012, while the El Paso store is expected to start operating by the fall of 2013.

Nordstrom’s latest store openings signify the company’s commitment to expand its store network with the aim to drive its top-line growth. As of August 2, 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.

Moreover, the company has targeted to open 16 new stores in fiscal 2012 consisting of 1 full-line store and 15 Nordstrom Rack Stores. The company has also planned to add 24 new Rack stores in fiscal 2013 and intends to operate 230 Rack stores by the end of 2016.

Nordstrom currently maintains a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term Buy rating. However, our long-term recommendation on the stock remains Neutral.

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