Leading fashion specialty retailer Nordstorm Inc has unveiled an 88 per cent surge in fourth quarter earnings to $50.7 million from $27m in the year-ago period thanks to better than expected sales and expense controls. The upscale retailer said in a statement that fourth quarter sales slipped 1.5 per cent to $1.63 billion from $1.66bn in the year before, while sales at stores open at least a year - same-store sales - dipped 3.4 per cent.