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Nordstrom Reports Fourth Quarter Results

SEATTLE, Feb. 25, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN) today reported net earnings of $212 million, or $0.92 per diluted share for the fourth quarter ended February 2, 2008. For the fourth quarter last year, net earnings and earnings per diluted share were $232 million and $0.89, respectively. Total sales in the fourth quarter were $2.5 billion, a decrease of 4.4 percent compared to sales of $2.6 billion for the same period in fiscal 2006. Fourth quarter same-store sales decreased 0.7 percent.

Similar to many other retailers, Nordstrom follows the retail 4-5-4 reporting calendar, which included an extra week in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 (the 53rd week) compared to the normal operating calendar of 52 weeks. Excluding the extra week of sales in the fourth quarter of 2006, total sales were approximately flat in the fourth quarter of 2007. The 53rd week is not included in same-store sales calculations.

FOURTH QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS

The fourth quarter presented a challenging consumer and retail environment, but the company continued to make good progress aligning inventory and expenses to sales trends. The company continues to focus on profitably growing market share by providing customers with a compelling selection of designer, luxury, and quality fashion merchandise. As always, Nordstrom is dedicated to offering friendly, knowledgeable, welcoming service, with a consistent offering and experience across its retail stores and online channel at Nordstrom.com.

-- Same-store sales decreased 0.7 percent for the quarter compared to the company's approximately flat same-store sales plan. Merchandise categories with performance above the same-store average for the quarter were designer products across categories, accessories, and women's shoes.
-- Gross profit, as a percent of sales, decreased 66 basis points compared to last year's fourth quarter. Merchandise margins declined over prior year as the company continued to align inventory with sales trends. Year end inventory per square foot was $47, down from $49 in the prior year. The decline in merchandise margin rate was partially offset by lower performance based buying costs.
-- Selling, general and administrative expenses, as a percent to sales, improved 68 basis points compared to last year's fourth quarter primarily due to lower incentive costs tied to company performance, partially offset by increased bad debt expense related to the company's credit card business.
-- In the fourth quarter of 2007, Nordstrom repurchased 11 million shares totaling $388 million, with an average price of $34.38. The company had $1.4 billion remaining on its existing authorization. Fourth quarter share repurchases had a $0.01 impact on fourth quarter earnings per diluted share. The cumulative impact year to date of the company's share repurchase program added $0.06 to fourth quarter 2007 earnings per diluted share.

FULL YEAR RESULTS

For the fiscal year ended February 2, 2008, net earnings increased 5.5 percent to $715 million compared to net earnings of $678 million last year. Earnings per diluted share for the same periods were $2.88 and $2.55, respectively. Full year results include a gain of $20.9 million, net of tax, or $0.09 per diluted share, for the sale of the Faconnable business, which closed during the third quarter.

Total sales for the year increased 3.1 percent to $8.8 billion compared to prior year sales of $8.6 billion. As noted previously, fiscal 2006 included a 53rd week of sales totaling $117.7 million. Excluding the extra week of sales in fiscal 2006, total sales increased 4.6 percent in fiscal year 2007. For the year, same-store sales increased 3.9 percent. As noted previously, same-store sales calculations do not include the 53rd week.

EXPANSION UPDATE

Nordstrom opened a new 165,000-square-foot full-line store at Aventura Mall in Aventura, Fla., on February 15, 2008.

In 2008, Nordstrom plans to open seven additional new full-line stores:
-- On March 7, a 210,000-square-foot store at the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, Hawaii;
-- On March 28, a 138,000-square-foot store at the Burlington Mall in Burlington, Mass.;
-- On April 18, a 118,000-square-foot store at The Mall at Partridge Creek in Clinton Township, Mich.;
-- On September 5, a 138,000-square-foot store at The Oaks Shopping Center in Thousand Oaks, Calif.;
-- On September 19, a 127,000-square-foot store at the Fashion Mall at Keystone in Indianapolis, Ind.;
-- On October 24, a 138,000-square-foot store at the Ross Park Mall in Pittsburgh, Pa.;
-- On November 7, a 77,000-square-foot store at the Waterside Shops in Naples, Fla.

On October 3, 2008, Nordstrom plans to open the newly relocated full-line store at the Tacoma Mall in Tacoma, Wash. In the fall of 2008, Nordstrom also plans to open two new Rack stores at the Springbrook Prairie Pavilion in Naperville, Ill., and the Laguna Hills Mall in Laguna Hills, Calif.

QUARTERLY DIVIDEND

As announced on February 20, 2008, the Nordstrom board of directors declared a quarterly dividend increase from $0.135 per share to $0.16 per share, payable on March 14, 2008, to shareholders of record on February 29, 2008.

    2008 OUTLOOK
    The company is providing the following 2008 forecast:

                                                 Fiscal 2008
    Same-store Sales                             flat to a 2% decrease
    Gross Profit (%)                             30 to 60 basis point decrease
    Selling, General and Admin. Expense (%)      60 to 80 basis point increase
    Interest Expense, net                        $55 to $60 million increase
    Finance Charges and Other, net               $50 to $60 million increase
    Effective Tax Rate                           38.7%
    Earnings per Diluted Share                   $2.75 to $2.90
    Diluted Shares Outstanding                   228 million

For the first quarter of 2008, the company expects a decline of 3 percent to 5 percent in same-store sales. Earnings per diluted share for the first quarter are expected in the range of $0.49 to $0.54.

CONFERENCE CALL INFORMATION:

Company management will be hosting a conference call and webcast to discuss fourth quarter results at 4:30 p.m. (ET) today. To participate, please dial 1-888-323-7915 ten minutes prior to the call (passcode: NORD). A telephone replay will be available by dialing 1-800-294-3089 beginning approximately one hour after the conclusion of the call until 3:59 a.m. (ET) on March 25, 2008. Interested parties may also access the call in listen-only mode over the Internet by visiting the Investor Relations section of the company's corporate Web site at http://www.nordstrom.com. An archived version of the webcast will be available at this location until March 24, 2008.

Nordstrom, Inc. is one of the nation's leading fashion specialty retailers, with 157 US stores located in 28 states. Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, today Nordstrom operates 102 full-line stores, 50 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques, one free-standing shoe store, and two clearance stores. In addition, Nordstrom serves customers through its online presence at http://www.nordstrom.com and through its catalogs. Nordstrom, Inc. is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol JWN.

Certain statements in this news release contain "forward-looking" information (as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) that involves risks and uncertainties, including anticipated results for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2009 and its first quarter, anticipated quarterly and annual same-store sales rate, planned store openings, the timing and amounts of share repurchases, and trends in company operations. Actual future results and trends may differ materially from historical results or current expectations depending upon factors including, but not limited to, our ability to respond to the business environment and fashion trends, effective inventory management, the impact of economic and competitive market forces, successful execution of our store growth strategy including the timely completion of construction associated with newly planned stores, relocations, and remodels, our compliance with information security and privacy laws and regulations, employment laws and regulations and other laws and regulations applicable to the company, successful execution of our multi-channel strategy, our ability to safeguard our brand and reputation, efficient and proper allocation of our capital resources, successful execution of our technology strategy, the impact of terrorist activity or war on our customers and the retail industry, trends in personal bankruptcies and bad debt write-offs, changes in interest rates, our ability to maintain our relationships with our employees, our ability to control costs, weather conditions and hazards of nature that affect consumer traffic and consumers' purchasing patterns, and the timing and amounts of share repurchases by the company. Our SEC reports, including our Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 3, 2007, and our Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 2, 2008, to be filed with the SEC on or about March 21, 2008, contain other information on these and other factors that could affect our financial results and cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking information we may provide. The company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events, new information or future circumstances.

     Investor Contact:                    Media Contact:
     Chris Holloway                       Michael Boyd
     (206) 303-3290                       (206) 373-3038



                               NORDSTROM, INC.
              CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS - 4th Quarter
   (unaudited; amounts in millions, except per share data and percentages)

                           Quarter   % of sales(1)   Quarter   % of sales(1)
                             ended     (except as      ended     (except as
                            2/2/08     indicated)     2/3/07     indicated)
                           --------  -------------   --------   -------------
    Net sales               $2,514       100.0%       $2,631       100.0%
    Cost of sales and
     related buying
     & occupancy costs      (1,569)      (62.4%)      (1,624)      (61.7%)
                           --------                  --------
    Gross profit               945        37.6%        1,007        38.3%
    Selling, general and
     administrative
     expenses                 (637)      (25.4%)        (685)      (26.0%)
    Finance charges and
     other, net                 76         3.0%           65         2.5%
                           --------                  --------
    Earnings before
     interest expense, net
     and income tax expense    384        15.3%          387        14.7%
    Interest expense, net      (30)       (1.2%)          (8)       (0.3%)
                           --------                  --------
    Earnings before income
     tax expense               354        14.1%          379        14.4%
    Income tax expense        (142)      (40.2%)(2)     (147)      (38.7%)(2)
                           --------                  --------
    Net earnings              $212         8.4%         $232         8.8%
                           ========                  ========
    Earnings per share
      Basic                  $0.93                     $0.90
      Diluted                $0.92                     $0.89

    ADDITIONAL DATA
    Weighted average shares
     outstanding
      Basic                    229                       257
      Diluted                  232                       262


    (1) Subtotals and totals may not foot due to rounding.

    (2) Percent of earnings before income taxes.



                               NORDSTROM, INC.
              CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS - Fiscal Year
   (unaudited; amounts in millions, except per share data and percentages)

                              Year   % of sales(1)      Year    % of sales(1)
                             ended     (except as      ended      (except as
                            2/2/08     indicated)     2/3/07      indicated)
                           --------  -------------   --------   -------------
    Net sales               $8,828       100.0%       $8,561       100.0%
    Cost of sales and
     related buying
     & occupancy costs      (5,526)      (62.6%)      (5,354)      (62.5%)
                           --------                  --------
    Gross profit             3,302        37.4%        3,207        37.5%
    Selling, general and
     administrative
     expenses               (2,360)      (26.7%)      (2,297)      (26.8%)
    Gain on sale of
     Faconnable                 34         0.4%            -            -
    Finance charges and
     other, net                271         3.1%          239         2.8%
                           --------                  --------
    Earnings before
     interest expense, net
     and income tax
     expense                 1,247        14.1%        1,149        13.4%
    Interest expense, net      (74)       (0.8%)         (43)       (0.5%)
                           --------                  --------
    Earnings before income
     tax expense             1,173        13.3%        1,106        12.9%
    Income tax expense        (458)      (39.0%)(2)     (428)      (38.7%)(2)
                           --------                  --------
    Net earnings              $715         8.1%         $678         7.9%
                           ========                  ========
    Earnings per share
      Basic                  $2.92                     $2.60
      Diluted                $2.88                     $2.55

    ADDITIONAL DATA
    Weighted average shares
     outstanding
      Basic                    245                       261
      Diluted                  249                       266


    (1) Subtotals and totals may not foot due to rounding.

    (2) Percent of earnings before income taxes.



                               NORDSTROM, INC.
                         CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
                       (unaudited; amounts in millions)

                                                      2/2/08         2/3/07
                                                     --------       --------
    Assets
    Current assets:
      Cash and cash equivalents                         $358           $403
      Accounts receivable, net                         1,788            684
      Investment in asset backed securities                -            428
      Merchandise inventories                            956            997
      Current deferred tax assets, net                   181            169
      Prepaid expenses and other                          78             61
                                                     --------       --------
    Total current assets                               3,361          2,742
    Land, buildings and equipment, net                 1,983          1,757
    Goodwill                                              53             52
    Acquired tradename                                     -             84
    Other assets                                         203            187
                                                     --------       --------
    Total assets                                      $5,600         $4,822
                                                     ========       ========


    Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity
    Current liabilities:
      Accounts payable                                  $556           $577
      Accrued salaries, wages and related benefits       268            340
      Other current liabilities                          492            433
      Income taxes payable                                58             76
      Current portion of long-term debt                  261              7
                                                     --------       --------
    Total current liabilities                          1,635          1,433
    Long-term debt, net                                2,236            624
    Deferred property incentives, net                    369            356
    Other liabilities                                    245            240

    Commitments and contingent liabilities

    Shareholders' equity:
      Common stock, no par value: 1,000 shares
       authorized; 221 and 257 shares issued and
       outstanding                                       936            827
      Retained earnings                                  201          1,351
      Accumulated other comprehensive loss               (22)            (9)
                                                     --------       --------
    Total shareholders' equity                         1,115          2,169
                                                     --------       --------
    Total liabilities and shareholders' equity        $5,600         $4,822
                                                     ========       ========



                               NORDSTROM, INC.
                    CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
                       (unaudited; amounts in millions)

                                                    Year ended     Year ended
    Operating Activities                              2/2/08         2/3/07
                                                     --------       --------
    Net earnings                                        $715           $678
    Adjustments to reconcile net earnings to net
     cash provided by operating activities:
      Depreciation and amortization of buildings
       and equipment                                     269            285
      Gain on sale of Faconnable                         (34)             -
      Amortization of deferred property incentives
       and other, net                                    (36)           (36)
      Stock-based compensation expense                    26             37
      Deferred income taxes, net                         (42)           (58)
      Tax benefit of stock-based payments                 28             44
      Excess tax benefit from stock-based payments       (26)           (38)
      Provision for bad debt expense                     107             17
      Change in operating assets and liabilities:
        Accounts receivable                           (1,234)           (61)
        Investment in asset backed securities            420            128
        Merchandise inventories                            -            (39)
        Prepaid expenses                                  (9)            (5)
        Other assets                                     (27)            (8)
        Accounts payable                                 (19)            84
        Accrued salaries, wages and related benefits     (64)            49
        Other current liabilities                         36             23
        Income taxes payable                              (6)            (6)
        Deferred property incentives                      58             31
        Other liabilities                                 (1)            17
                                                     --------       --------
    Net cash provided by operating activities            161          1,142
                                                     --------       --------

    Investing Activities
    Capital expenditures                                (501)          (264)
    Proceeds from sale of Faconnable                     216              -
    Proceeds from sale of assets                          12              -
    Purchases of short-term investments                    -           (110)
    Sales of short-term investments                        -            164
    Other, net                                             3             (8)
                                                     --------       --------
    Net cash used in investing activities               (270)          (218)
                                                     --------       --------

    Financing Activities
    Proceeds from long-term borrowings, net            2,510              -
    Principal payments on long-term borrowings          (680)          (307)
    Increase (decrease) in cash book overdrafts            5            (51)
    Proceeds from exercise of stock options               34             51
    Proceeds from employee stock purchase plan            17             16
    Excess tax benefit from stock-based payments          26             38
    Cash dividends paid                                 (134)          (110)
    Repurchase of common stock                        (1,702)          (621)
    Other, net                                           (12)             0
                                                     --------       --------
    Net cash provided by (used in) financing
     activities                                           64           (984)
                                                     --------       --------
    Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents            (45)           (60)
    Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year       403            463
                                                     --------       --------
    Cash and cash equivalents at end of year            $358           $403
                                                     ========       ========

SOURCE Nordstrom, Inc.
02/25/2008
CONTACT: Investors, Chris Holloway, +1-206-303-3290, or Media, Michael
Boyd, +1-206-373-3038, both of Nordstrom, Inc.
Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20001011/NORDLOGO
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Web site: http://www.nordstrom.com