Nordstrom has regained its panache in one of the most competitive retailing environments ever. The Seattle chain did it the traditional Nordstrom way: offering exceptional customer service and relatively affordable luxury items. The company had faced difficult times trying to freshen its image while managing a massive overhaul of its antiquated inventory system in 2000-01. Investors pounded the stock and questioned whether Blake Nordstrom, a fourth-generation family member, could turn around the company. The retailer finally found the right combination—one that combines traditional and fashionable women’s merchandise with efficient inventory control. Total sales climbed 14.6%, to $2.6 billion, during the recently ended fourth quarter, and sales at stores open more than a year rose 8.3%. And over the past 12 months, the stock has climbed nearly 30%.

Overall Grade


Market Data


Market Value

$13.6 Billion




Sales Growth Rate**



12-Month Sales

$8.8 Billion

12-Month Net Income

$0.7 Billion

Total Return Past 12 Months


Past 36 Months


Economic SectorConsumer Discretionary
IndustryDepartment Stores
The overall sector letter grade reflects how the weighted average of the return on income, or return on equity, and sales growth grades compare with others in the same sector. For the overall grade as well as the ROE/ROI and sales growth grades, an "A" places a company in the top 7% of its sector and an "A-" in the top 14% of the sector. The actual ranking was done using the underlying numerical measures. Grades are for information only.
* For nonfinancial companies, three-year average pretax operating profit before interest and special items as a percentage of average invested capital. For financial companies, pretax profits as a percentage of average shareholder's equity.
*Three-year average annual sales growth based on the most recently reported 36 months, calculated using the least-squares method.

Blake W. Nordstrom

Blake W. Nordstrom, 46

President since 2000

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Data as of 2/28/07 provided by Standard & Poor's Compustat