Upscale fashion retailer Nordstrom Inc on Wednesday posted a 31 per cent plunge in first quarter net income from the year-ago period due to an accounting charge.

The Washington-based company said its net profit fell to $17.1 million, or 12 cents a share, from $24.8m, or 18 cents a share, in 2001. Excluding nonrecurring items and the affect of a new accounting standard related to goodwill amortisation, it made $30.4m, or 22 cents a share.