(Reuters) - Nordstrom Inc <JWN.N> reported better-than-expected quarterly same-store sales on Thursday as more people shopped at the apparel retailer's online stores, sending shares up 2.5 percent after the bell.
The upscale Seattle-based clothing and accessories retailer also slightly raised its full-year earnings forecast to $2.85-$3 per share from $2.75-$3 per share, and said it now expected net sales for the year to increase about 4 percent instead of 3-4 percent.
Department stores have been struggling with declining mall traffic and stiff competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O> and off-price stores such as TJX Cos Inc <TJX.N>.
Nordstrom, which has fought back by investing in its own off-price discount chain, Nordstrom Rack, said off-price comparable sales rose 3.1 percent during the quarter, boosted by sales at its Nordstromrack.com website. Same-store sales at its full-price Nordstrom.com jumped 19.8 percent.
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The company reported a 1.7 percent increase in total same-store sales for the second quarter ended July 29, handily beating the 0.5 percent decline expected by research firm Consensus Metrix.
Nordstrom said net income fell to $110 million, or 65 cents per share, from $117 million, or 67 cents per share, a year earlier.
Nordstrom's net sales rose 3.5 percent to $3.72 billion.
Rivals Kohl's Corp <KSS.N> and Macy's Inc <M.N> reported declines in quarterly sales and gross margins earlier on Thursday, sending shares in both department store chains tumbling.
The company gave no update on its potential privatization by some members of its founding family. Sources told Reuters last month that the family was trying to raise around $1 billion in equity from outside investors to take the department store operator private.
(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and David Gregorio)