Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE:JWN) today reported preliminary sales of $420.1 million for the month of May 2000, a 5.2 percent decrease compared to sales of $443.1 million in May 1999.

Preliminary 2000 year-to-date sales of $1.57 billion increased 5.7 percent compared to 1999 year-to-date sales of $1.48 billion. Same-store sales for May 2000 decreased 11.0 percent, and year-to-date same-store sales increased 0.6 percent, compared to the same periods in 1999.

As previously disclosed by the company, the sales comparisons in May were significantly and unfavorably affected by a shift in the timing of the company's Women's Half-Yearly Sale, and by calendar variations. In 2000, the Women's Half-Yearly Sale will be held entirely in June at all full-line stores. In 1999, 41 of the company's full-line stores held the first four days of the sale on May 28-31. In addition, May 2000 included one more Tuesday and Wednesday, and one less Saturday and Sunday, than May 1999. These factors are estimated to have reduced the May 2000 same-store sales comparison by approximately 15 to 16 percent.

A clearer view of the company's underlying sales performance during May -- excluding calendar variations and event shifts -- can be seen by comparing May 1-25, 2000, with the corresponding days in 1999, which were May 3-27. For the period of May 1-25, 2000, compared to May 3-27, 1999: total sales and same-store sales increased 9.2 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively; same-store sales for full-line stores, and for the Nordstrom Rack and other businesses, were up 4.9 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively; stronger same-store sales in full-line stores were achieved in women's accessories, shoes, men's apparel, cosmetics, junior women's and women's specialized apparel, while women's apparel sales were flat and children's apparel sales declined. Also during this period, positive same-store sales were achieved in all geographic regions.

Nordstrom, Inc. is one of the nation's leading fashion specialty retailers, with 108 stores located in 23 states, including 72 full-line stores, 30 Nordstrom Racks, three Faconnable boutiques, two free-standing shoe stores, and one clearance store. The Company also serves customers through its online presence at and, as well as through its direct mail catalogs.

Sales Summary
(unaudited; $
in millions) May May YTD YTD
2000 1999 2000 1999
(121 days) (120 days)

Total sales $420.1 $443.1 $1,566.4 $1,482.2
Total sales
percentage change -5.2% 9.6% 5.7% 2.6%

Same-store sales
percentage change
(compared to same
period in prior year)
Full-line stores -11.8% 10.0% 0.0% 0.9%
Rack and other
stores -1.8% -2.7% 6.3% -4.2%
All stores -11.0% 8.9% 0.6% 0.5%

Number of stores
Full-line 72 68
Rack and other 36 31
Total 108 99

Gross square
footage (stores) 14,782,000 13,813,000