Upscale department store retailer Nordstrom Inc has revealed plans to double the number of discount Nordstrom Rack stores it operates to more than 230 over the next four years.

"At this time last year, our plan was to open roughly 15 Racks per year. Today, the plan is to double the number of Rack stores to more than 230 over the next four years, with roughly 24 openings in 2013 and more than 30 in 2014," said Blake Nordstrom, principal executive officer, president and director.

During 2012, total sales at Nordstrom Rack were up 20%, while same-store sales rose 7.4%. Sales productivity, including the 15 new stores, reached its highest level in recent years at over $550 per sq ft, the company revealed.

The news comes after Nordstrom recorded a 20% jump in fourth-quarter profit - but warned that investments in e-commerce and expansion of its Nordstrom Rack stores would impact profit in the year ahead.

Net earnings reached US$284m from $236m the same period the year before, while sales rose 13.5% to $3.6bn, compared to $3.2bn the year before.