Nordstrom, Five Below Best of Breed, Finish Line Needs Fresher Look

Not only did Nordstrom nail their apparel offerings this year, but they also added sales events to the calendar without slamming margins, says Dan Hess, chief analyst at Merchant Forecast.
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Not only did Nordstrom nail their apparel offerings this year, but they also added sales events to the calendar without slamming margins, says Dan Hess, chief analyst at Merchant Forecast. 'For the first time ever, instead of 3 sales a year, Nordstrom’s will have 9 sales a year and those sales are going to drive incremental traffic,' says Hess, who’s firm provides research on retailers to the mutual and hedge fund industry. 'We see it as a top line story without hurting margins.' Shares of the upscale department store have dropped over 7% in 2015. Earlier this week, Nordstrom sold its U.S. $2.2 billion consumer credit card portfolio to TD Bank. Under the deal, Nordstrom will receive a large chunk of net revenue generated by the credit card accounts. At the other end of the retail spectrum, Hess is also bullish on discount retailer Five Below, viewing it as an expansion opportunity. As of March 17, 2015, Five Below operated 370 stores in 22 states. Hess sees the company’s store count going up to 2,000 with outlets eventually stretching from coast to coast. 'They just entered Alabama with great success and Florida is next which will be a home run,' says Hess.