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EX-32.1 - CERTIFICATION OF CO-PRESIDENT AND CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER - NORDSTROM INCjwn-232018x10kex321.htm
EX-31.2 - CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER - NORDSTROM INCjwn-232018x10kex312.htm
EX-31.1 - CERTIFICATION OF CO-PRESIDENT - NORDSTROM INCjwn-232018x10kex311.htm
EX-21.1 - SIGNIFICANT SUBSIDIARIES OF THE REGISTRANT - NORDSTROM INCjwn-232018x10kex211.htm
EX-10.48 - EX-10.48 - NORDSTROM INCjwn-232018x10kex1048.htm
EX-10.7 - EX-10.7 - NORDSTROM INCjwn-232018x10kex107.htm

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
þ
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended February 3, 2018
or
¨
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from ___________ to___________
Commission file number 001-15059
NORDSTROM, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Washington
 
91-0515058
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
 
 
1617 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, Washington
 
98101
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (206) 628-2111
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common stock, without par value
 
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. YES þ NO ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. YES ¨ NO þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. YES þ NO ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). YES þ NO ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer þ
Accelerated filer ¨
Non-accelerated filer ¨ (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
Smaller reporting company ¨
 
Emerging growth company ¨
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). YES ¨ NO þ
As of July 28, 2017 the aggregate market value of the Registrant’s voting and non-voting stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant was approximately $6.4 billion using the closing sales price on that day of $48.56. On March 12, 2018, 167,790,511 shares of common stock were outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Proxy Statement for the 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders scheduled to be held on May 29, 2018 are incorporated into Part III.


Nordstrom, Inc. and subsidiaries 1

























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TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
Page
 
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
 
 
 
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
 
 
 
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
 
 
 
Item 15.
 
 


Nordstrom, Inc. and subsidiaries 3


PART I
Item 1. Business.
DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS
Founded in 1901 as a retail shoe business in Seattle, Nordstrom later incorporated in Washington state in 1946 and went on to become one of the leading fashion retailers based in the U.S. We provide customers with a differentiated and seamless customer experience through our robust ecommerce platform and high-quality store portfolio in top North American markets. As of March 19, 2018, we operate 363 U.S. stores located in 40 states as well as six Nordstrom full-line stores in Canada. The west coast of the U.S. is the area in which we have the largest presence. We have two reportable segments, which include Retail and Credit.
As of March 19, 2018, the Retail segment includes:
117 Nordstrom-branded full-line stores in the U.S., including Nordstrom Local
six Canada full-line stores
full-price Nordstrom.com website and mobile application
235 off-price Nordstrom Rack stores
off-price Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook website and mobile application
seven Trunk Club clubhouses and TrunkClub.com website
two “Last Chance” clearance stores
two Jeffrey boutiques
Through these multiple retail channels, we strive to deliver the best customer experience possible. We offer an extensive selection of high-quality brand-name and private label merchandise focused on apparel, shoes, cosmetics and accessories.
Our integrated Nordstrom full-line stores and digital store allow us to provide our customers with a seamless shopping experience. In-store purchases are primarily fulfilled from that store’s inventory, but when inventory is unavailable at that store, it may also be shipped to our customers from our fulfillment centers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania (“East Coast”), or from other Nordstrom full-line stores. Online purchases are primarily shipped to our customers from our Cedar Rapids and East Coast fulfillment centers, but may also be shipped from our Nordstrom full-line stores. We engage with our customers on their terms, blurring the lines between the digital and in-store experience. Our customers can pick up online orders in our Nordstrom full-line stores if inventory is available at one of our locations, or reserve clothes online to try in store in many of our locations. Nordstrom Local is a test retail concept that is focused on services, providing customers convenient access to personal stylists, alterations, online orders and more. We also leverage the expertise of our salespeople to enable customers to receive personalized product recommendations on their mobile phones through our digital Style Board selling tool. These capabilities allow us to better serve customers across various channels and improve sales.
Nordstrom Rack stores purchase merchandise primarily from the same vendors carried in Nordstrom full-line stores and also serve as outlets for clearance merchandise from our Nordstrom stores and other retail channels. Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook offers a consistent selection of off-price merchandise, as well as limited-time sale events on fashion and lifestyle brands and are integrated with a single customer log-in, shared shopping cart and streamlined checkout process. Nordstromrack.com combines the technology expertise of HauteLook with the merchant expertise of Nordstrom Rack. Online purchases are primarily shipped to our customers from our San Bernardino, California and East Coast fulfillment centers. Furthermore, we can accommodate returns from these sites by mail or at any Nordstrom Rack location.
Through our Credit segment, our customers can access a variety of payment products and services, including a selection of Nordstrom-branded Visa® credit cards in the U.S. and Canada, as well as a Nordstrom-branded private label credit card and a debit card for Nordstrom purchases. When customers use a Nordstrom-branded credit or debit card, they also participate in our loyalty program that provides benefits based on their level of spending. Although the primary purposes of our Credit segment are to foster greater customer loyalty and drive more sales, we also receive credit card revenue through our program agreement with TD Bank, N.A. (“TD”) (see Note 2: Credit Card Receivable Transaction in Item 8).
We invested early in our omni-channel capabilities, integrating our operations, merchandising and technology across our stores and online, in both our Nordstrom full-price and Nordstrom Rack off-price businesses. Today, we have more than 60 combinations in which merchandise is ordered, fulfilled and delivered. Though this has enabled us to serve customers in multiple ways, we are focused on providing a seamless experience for our customer across stores and online. As a result of the evolution of our operations, our reportable segments have become progressively more integrated such that we will change our reportable segments to one reportable segment to align with how management will view the results of our operations in the first quarter of 2018. For more information about our business and our reportable segments, see Item 7: Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Note 15: Segment Reporting in Item 8.


4


FISCAL YEAR
We operate on a 52/53-week fiscal year ending on the Saturday closest to January 31st. References to 2017 relate to the 53-week fiscal year ended February 3, 2018. References to any other years included within this document are based on a 52-week fiscal year.
RETURN POLICY
We have a fair and reasonable approach to returns, handling them on a case-by-case basis with the ultimate objective of making our customers happy. We have no formal return policy on how long we accept returns at our Nordstrom full-line stores or online at Nordstrom.com. Our goal is to take care of our customers, which includes making returns and exchanges easy, whether in stores or online, where we offer free shipping on purchases and returns. Our Nordstrom Rack stores generally accept returns up to 90 days from the date of purchase with the original price tag and sales receipt and accept returns of Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook merchandise. Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook generally accepts returns of apparel, footwear, accessories and HauteLook home products within 90 days from the date of shipment. Beginning in 2018, our off-price channels accept returns 45 days from the date of purchase or shipment.
SEASONALITY
Our business, like that of other retailers, is subject to seasonal fluctuations. Due to our Anniversary Sale in July and the holidays in the fourth quarter, our sales are typically higher in the second and fourth quarters than in the first and third quarters of the fiscal year. Consistent with the timing in 2016, our 2017 Anniversary Sale began in the third week of July and extended one week into the third quarter. 
NORDSTROM REWARDS
Our Nordstrom Rewards™ loyalty program, which rewards customers based on their level of spending, is one area that enables us to directly engage and strengthen relationships with customers while driving incremental sales and trips. Upon reaching certain point thresholds, customers receive Nordstrom Notes® (“Notes”), which can be redeemed for goods or services. In May 2016, we expanded the program to any customer interested in participating, when historically this program was offered only to Nordstrom cardholders. Notes can be earned and redeemed at Nordstrom full-line stores, Nordstrom.com, Nordstrom Rack and Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook. Nordstrom cardholders can also earn rewards at Trunk Club. Customers who participate in our Nordstrom Rewards loyalty program through our credit and debit cards receive additional benefits including reimbursements for alterations, Personal Triple Points days, shopping and fashion events and early access to the Anniversary Sale.
COMPETITIVE CONDITIONS
We operate in a highly competitive business environment. We compete with other international, national, regional and local retailers, including internet-based businesses, omni-channel department stores, specialty stores, off-price stores and boutiques, that may carry similar lines of merchandise. Our specific competitors vary from market to market. We believe the keys to competing in our industry are providing great customer service and customer experiences in stores and online. This includes offering compelling price and value, fashion newness, quality of products, selection, convenience, technology, product fulfillment, personalization and appealing, relevant store environments in top locations.
INVENTORY
We plan our merchandise purchases and receipts to coincide with expected sales trends. For instance, our merchandise purchases and receipts increase prior to our Anniversary Sale, which has historically extended over the last two weeks of July. We also purchase and receive a larger amount of merchandise in the fall as we prepare for the holiday shopping season (from late November through December). At Nordstrom Rack, we invest in pack and hold inventory, which involves the strategic purchase of merchandise from some of our full-line stores’ top brands in advance of the upcoming selling seasons, to take advantage of favorable buying opportunities. This inventory is typically held for six months on average and has been an important component of Nordstrom Rack’s inventory strategy.
In order to offer merchandise that our customers want, we purchase from a wide variety of high-quality domestic and foreign suppliers. We also have arrangements with agents and contract manufacturers to produce our private label merchandise. We expect our suppliers to meet our “Nordstrom Partnership Guidelines,” which address our corporate social responsibility standards for matters such as legal and regulatory compliance, labor, health and safety and the environment. This is available on our website at Nordstrom.com.
EMPLOYEES
During 2017, we employed approximately 72,500 employees on a full- or part-time basis. Due to the seasonal nature of our business, employment increased to approximately 75,000 employees in July 2017 and 76,000 in December 2017. All of our employees are non-union. We believe our relationship with our employees is good.
TRADEMARKS
We have 193 trademarks, each of which is the subject of one or more trademark registrations and/or trademark applications. Our most notable trademarks include Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook and Trunk Club. Our most notable brand trademarks include Halogen, BP., Nordstrom, Zella, Caslon, Tucker+Tate and 14th & Union. Each of our trademarks is renewable indefinitely, provided that it is still used in commerce at the time of the renewal.


Nordstrom, Inc. and subsidiaries 5


CAUTIONARY STATEMENT
Certain statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K contain or may suggest “forward-looking” information (as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) that involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, our anticipated financial outlook for the fiscal year ending February 2, 2019, our anticipated annual total and comparable sales rates, our anticipated new store openings in existing, new and international markets, our anticipated Return on Invested Capital and trends in our operations. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of our management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Our actual future results may differ materially from historical results or current expectations depending upon factors including, but not limited to:
Strategic and Operational
successful execution of our customer strategy to provide a differentiated and seamless experience across all Nordstrom channels,
timely and effective implementation of our plans to evolve our business model, including development of applications for electronic devices, improvement of customer-facing technology, timely delivery of products purchased digitally, enhancement of inventory management systems, greater and more fluid inventory availability between our digital channels and retail store locations, and greater consistency in marketing and pricing strategies, as well as our ability to manage the costs associated with this evolving business model,
our ability to evolve our business model as necessary to respond to the business and retail environment, as well as fashion trends and consumer preferences, including changing expectations of service and experience in stores and online,
our ability to properly balance our investments in existing and new store locations, especially our investments in our Nordstrom Men’s Store NYC and Nordstrom NYC,
successful execution of our information technology strategy,
our ability to effectively utilize data in strategic planning and decision making,
timely completion of construction associated with newly planned stores, relocations and remodels, all of which may be impacted by the financial health of third parties and consumer traffic to the locations,
efficient and proper allocation of our capital resources,
effective inventory management processes and systems, fulfillment and supply chain processes and systems, disruptions in our supply chain and our ability to control costs,
the impact of any systems or network failures, cybersecurity and/or security breaches, including any security breach of our systems or those of a third-party provider that results in the theft, transfer or unauthorized disclosure of customer, employee or Company information or compliance with information security and privacy laws and regulations in the event of such an incident,
the effect of the publicly announced exploration by members of the Nordstrom family of a possible “going private transaction” on our relationships with our customers, employees, suppliers and partners, on our operating results and on our business generally,
our ability to safeguard our reputation and maintain our vendor relationships,
our ability to maintain relationships with and motivate our employees and to effectively attract, develop and retain our future leaders, which could be impacted by the uncertainty about the possibility of a “going private transaction”,
our ability to realize the expected benefits, respond to potential risks and appropriately manage costs associated with our program agreement with TD,
the effectiveness of planned advertising, marketing and promotional campaigns in the highly competitive and promotional retail industry,
market fluctuations, increases in operating costs, exit costs and overall liabilities and losses associated with owning and leasing real estate,
potential goodwill impairment charges, future impairment charges and fluctuations in the fair values of reporting units or of assets in the event projected financial results are not achieved within expected time frames,
compliance with debt and operating covenants, availability and cost of credit, changes in our credit rating and changes in interest rates,
the timing, price, manner and amounts of future share repurchases by the Company, if any, or any share issuances by the Company,
Economic and External
the impact of the seasonal nature of our business and cyclical customer spending,
the impact of economic and market conditions and the resultant impact on consumer spending and credit patterns,
the impact of economic, environmental or political conditions in the U.S. and countries where our third-party vendors operate,
weather conditions, natural disasters, health hazards, national security or other market and supply chain disruptions, or the prospects of these events and the resulting impact on consumer spending patterns or information technology systems and communications,
Legal and Regulatory
our compliance with applicable domestic and international laws, regulations and ethical standards, including those related to employment and tax, and the outcome of claims and litigation and resolution of such matters,
the impact of the current regulatory environment and financial system, health care, and tax reforms,
the impact of changes in accounting rules and regulations, changes in our interpretation of the rules or regulations, or changes in underlying assumptions, estimates or judgments.
These and other factors, including those factors described in Item 1A: Risk Factors, could affect our financial results and cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking information we may provide. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events, new information or future circumstances, except as may be required by law.


6


SEC FILINGS
We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). All the materials we file with the SEC are publicly available at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. In addition, the SEC maintains a website at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.
WEBSITE ACCESS
Our website address is Nordstrom.com. Our annual and quarterly reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q (including related filings in eXtensible Business Reporting Language (“XBRL”) format), current reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements, our executives’ statements of changes in beneficial ownership of securities on Form 4 and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) are available for free on or through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file the report with or furnish it to the SEC. Interested parties may also access a webcast of quarterly earnings conference calls and other financial events through our website.
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
We have a long-standing commitment to upholding a high level of ethical standards. In addition, as the listing standards of the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) and the rules of the SEC require, we have adopted Codes of Business Conduct and Ethics for our employees, officers and directors (“Codes of Ethics”) and Corporate Governance Guidelines. Our Codes of Ethics, Corporate Governance Guidelines and Committee Charters for the Audit, Compensation, Corporate Governance and Nominating, Finance and Technology Committees are posted on our website. Any amendments to these documents, or waivers of the requirements they contain, will also be available on our website.
For printed versions of these items or any other inquiries, please contact:
Nordstrom Investor Relations
1617 Sixth Avenue, Suite 500
Seattle, Washington 98101
(206) 303-3200
invrelations@nordstrom.com
Item 1A. Risk Factors.
Our business faces many risks. We believe the risks described below outline the items of most concern to us.
RISKS DUE TO STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL FACTORS
Our inability to successfully execute our customer strategy or our plans to evolve our business model could negatively impact our business and future profitability and growth.
The retail environment is rapidly evolving with customer shopping preferences continuing to shift to digital channels. Computers and mobile electronic devices allow customers to browse and transact anywhere and anytime. Our customer strategy focuses on providing a differentiated and seamless experience across all Nordstrom channels, whether in store or in the digital environment. We are enhancing our customer shopping experience in our stores and online, including mobile and social channels, by pursuing a heightened focus on digital technology to fuel our growth.
Our growth strategies in this area span the development of applications for electronic devices, improvement of customer-facing technology, timely delivery of products purchased digitally, enhancement of inventory management systems, greater and more fluid inventory availability between digital and retail locations, and greater consistency in marketing and pricing strategies. In addition, these strategies will require further expansion and reliance on data science and analytics across all our channels. This business model has a high variable cost structure driven by fulfillment and marketing costs and will continue to require investment in cross-channel operations and supporting technologies.
With the accelerated pace of change in the retail environment, we may not be able to meet our customers’ changing expectations of how they shop in stores or through digital channels. If we do not successfully implement and expand our digital initiatives, or do not seamlessly integrate or maintain them properly, we may fall short of our customer’s expectations, impacting our brand, reputation, profitability and growth. In addition, if customers shift to digital channels at a different pace than we anticipate, we may need to quickly modify our initiatives and investments, which may adversely impact our profitability and harm our competitive position. We also may not gather accurate and relevant data or effectively utilize that data, which may impact our strategic planning and decision making.


Nordstrom, Inc. and subsidiaries 7


Our business could suffer if we do not appropriately assess and react to competitive market forces and changes in customer behavior.
We compete with other international, national, regional and local retailers, including internet-based businesses, omni-channel department stores, specialty stores, off-price stores and boutiques, that may carry similar lines of merchandise. Digital channels continue to facilitate comparison shopping, intensifying competition in the retail market. If we fail to adequately anticipate and respond to customer and market dynamics, we may lose market share or our ability to remain competitive, causing our sales and profitability to suffer. If we do not properly allocate our capital between the store and digital environment or between the full-price and off-price channels, or adjust the effectiveness and efficiency of our stores and digital channels, our overall sales and profitability could suffer.
Our customer relationships and sales may be negatively impacted if we do not anticipate and respond to consumer preferences and fashion trends or manage inventory levels appropriately.
Our ability to predict or respond to constantly changing fashion trends, consumer preferences and spending patterns significantly impacts our sales and operating results. If we do not identify and respond to emerging trends in consumer spending and preferences quickly enough, we may harm our ability to retain our existing customers or attract new customers. If we purchase too much inventory, we may be forced to sell our merchandise at lower average margins, which could harm our business. Conversely, if we fail to purchase enough merchandise, we may lose opportunities for additional sales and potentially harm relationships with our customers.
The investment in existing and new store locations, including our Nordstrom Men’s Store NYC and Nordstrom NYC, may outpace our expected returns.
The locations of our existing stores and planned store openings are assessed based upon desirability, demographics, and retail environment. This involves certain risks, including properly balancing our capital investments between new stores, relocations, remodels, technology and digital channels, assessing the suitability of locations, especially in new domestic and international markets, and constructing, furnishing and supplying a store in a timely and cost-effective manner. In particular, we plan to open our Nordstrom Men’s Store NYC in Spring 2018 and our Nordstrom NYC store in 2019.
Sales at our stores may not meet projections, particularly in light of the changing trends between digital and brick-and-mortar shopping channels, which could adversely affect our return on investment. As we enter into new domestic and international markets, such as Manhattan and Canada, our efforts will require additional management attention and resources and may distract us from executing our core operations.
Even if we take appropriate measures to safeguard our information security and privacy environment from security breaches, our customers and our business could still be exposed to risk.
Nordstrom, our subsidiaries and, in some instances, our third-party vendors collect, store and transmit customers’ personal information, consumer preferences and credit card information. In addition, our operations involve the collection, storage and transmission of employee information and our financial and strategic data. Security breaches of this information may be the result of intentional or inadvertent activities by our employees or by third parties with whom we have business relationships that may result in the unauthorized release of customer or employee personal or confidential information.
Any measures we implement to prevent a security or cybersecurity threat may not be completely effective and may have the potential to harm relations with our customers and employees or decrease activity on our websites by making them more difficult to use. In addition, the regulatory environment surrounding information security, cybersecurity and privacy is increasingly demanding, with new and constantly changing requirements.
Security breaches and cyber incidents and their remediation, whether at Nordstrom, our third-party providers or other retailers, could expose us to a risk of loss or misappropriation of this information, litigation, regulatory enforcement action, fines, information technology system failures or network disruptions, potential liability, reputation damage and loss of customers’ trust and business, any of which could adversely impact our financial performance. Any such breaches or incidents could subject us to financial losses, investigation, notification and remediation costs, which may not be covered by our insurance policies. If there is additional information that is later discovered related to such security breach or incident, there could be further loss of shareholders’ and customers’ trust and business based upon their reactions to this additional information. Additionally, we could be subject to external credit card fraud. To the extent that any incident results in the loss, damage or misappropriation of information, we may be materially adversely affected by claims from our customers, financial institutions, regulators, payment card networks and other third parties.
Our business may be impacted by information technology system failures or network disruptions.
Our ability to transact with customers and operate our business depends on the efficient operation of our computer and communications systems. If we encounter an interruption or deterioration in critical processes or experience the loss of critical data, which may result from natural disasters, accidents, power disruptions, telecommunications failures, acts of terrorism or war, computer viruses, physical or electronic break-ins, security or cybersecurity threats or attacks or third-party or other disruptions, our business could be harmed. Depending on the severity of the failure, our disaster recovery plans may be inadequate or ineffective. These events could also damage our reputation, result in loss of sales and be expensive to remedy.


8


Improvements to our merchandise buying and fulfillment processes and systems could adversely affect our business if not successfully executed.
We are making investments to improve our merchandise planning, procurement, allocation and fulfillment capabilities through changes in personnel, processes, location logistics and technology over a period of several years. If we encounter challenges associated with change management, the ability to hire and retain key personnel involved in these efforts, implementation of associated information technology or adoption of new processes, our ability to continue to successfully execute our strategy or evolve our strategy with changes in the retail environment could be adversely affected. As a result, we may not derive the expected benefits to our sales and profitability, or we may incur increased costs relative to our current expectations.
The possibility of a “going private transaction” by the Nordstrom family could negatively impact our operating results, business and relationships with our customers, employees, suppliers and partners.
In June 2017, members of the Nordstrom family formed a group (the “Group”) to explore the possibility of pursuing a “going private transaction” involving the acquisition by the Group of 100% of our outstanding shares of common stock (a “Going Private Transaction”). The Board of Directors also formed a special committee (the “Special Committee”) comprised of independent directors to act on the Company’s behalf in connection with such exploration by the Group and any possible transaction. In October 2017, the Group informed the Special Committee that the Group has suspended active exploration of a Going Private Transaction for the balance of the year. The Group also informed the Special Committee that it intends to continue its efforts to explore the possibility of making a going private proposal after the conclusion of the holiday season. In March 2018, the Group delivered an indicative proposal to the Special Committee regarding a Going Private Transaction. The Special Committee determined that the price proposed is inadequate. No assurances can be given regarding the terms and details of any such transaction, that any proposal made by the Group, if any, will be accepted by the Special Committee, that definitive documentation relating to a transaction will be executed, or that a transaction will be consummated in accordance with that documentation, if at all. We do not plan to disclose developments or provide updates on the progress or status of any potential Going Private Transaction until the Special Committee deems further disclosure is appropriate or required. Speculation regarding any developments related to the review of a Going Private Transaction and perceived uncertainties related to our future could cause our stock price to fluctuate significantly.
The possibility of a Going Private Transaction or any other alternative may expose us and our operations to a number of risks and uncertainties, including the potential failure to retain, attract or strengthen our relationships with key personnel, current and potential customers, suppliers, and partners, which may cause them to terminate, or not to renew or enter into, arrangements with us; the potential incurrence of expenses associated with the retention of legal, financial and other advisors regardless of whether any transaction is consummated; distractions and disruptions in our business; and exposure to potential litigation in connection with this process and effecting any transaction, any of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations as well as the market price of our common stock.
Our customer, employee and vendor relationships could be negatively affected if we fail to maintain our corporate culture and reputation.
We have a well-recognized culture and reputation that consumers may associate with a high level of integrity, customer service and quality merchandise, and it is one of the reasons customers shop with us and employees choose us as a place of employment. Any significant damage to our reputation, including factors outside our control or on social media, could diminish customer trust, weaken our vendor relationships, reduce employee morale and productivity and lead to difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified employees. Additionally, management may not accurately assess the impact of significant legislative changes, including those that relate to privacy, employment matters and health care, impacting our relationship with our customers or our workforce and adversely affecting our sales and operations.
If we do not effectively design and implement our strategic and business planning processes to attract, retain, train and develop talent and future leaders, our business may suffer.
We rely on the experience of our senior management, who have specific knowledge relating to us and our industry that is difficult to replace, and the talents of our workforce to execute our business strategies and objectives. We have succession plans in place and our Board of Directors reviews these succession plans. If our succession plans do not adequately cover significant and unanticipated turnover, the loss of the services of any of these individuals, or any resulting negative perceptions of our business, could damage our reputation and our business. Additionally, our ability to maintain relationships with and motivate our employees and to effectively attract, develop and retain our future leaders, could be impacted by the uncertainty about the possibility of a Going Private Transaction.
Our program agreement with TD could adversely impact our business.
The program agreement with TD was consummated on terms that allow us to maintain customer-facing activities while TD provides Nordstrom-branded payment methods and payment processing services. If we fail to meet certain service levels, TD has the right to assume certain individual servicing functions. If we lose control of such activities and functions, if we do not successfully respond to potential risks and appropriately manage potential costs associated with the program agreement with TD, or if these transactions negatively impact the customer service associated with our cards, resulting in harm to our business reputation and competitive position, our operations, cash flows and returns to shareholders could be adversely affected. If TD became unwilling or unable to provide these services or if there are changes to the risk management policies implemented under our program agreement with TD, our results may be negatively impacted.


Nordstrom, Inc. and subsidiaries 9


Ownership and leasing real estate exposes us to possible liabilities and losses.
We own or lease the land and/or buildings for all of our stores and are therefore subject to all of the risks associated with owning and leasing real estate. In particular, the value of the assets could decrease, their operating costs could increase, or a store may not be opened as planned due to changes in the real estate market, demographic trends, site competition, dependence on third-party performance or overall economic environment. Additionally, we are potentially subject to liability for environmental conditions, exit costs associated with disposal of a store, commitments to pay base rent for the entire lease term or operate a store for the duration of an operating covenant.
Investment and partnerships in new business strategies and acquisitions could disrupt our core business.
We have invested in or are pursuing strategic growth opportunities, which may include acquisitions of, or investments in, other businesses, as well as new technologies or other investments to provide a superior customer shopping experience in our stores and digital channels. Additionally, our business model will continue to rely more on partnerships with third parties for certain strategic initiatives and technologies. If these investments, acquisitions or partnerships do not perform as expected or create operational difficulties, we may record impairment charges. If we do not realize our anticipated return on investments, our profitability and growth could be adversely affected.
If we fail to appropriately manage our capital, we may negatively impact our operations and shareholder return.
We utilize working capital to finance our operations, make capital expenditures and acquisitions, manage our debt levels and return value to our shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. Changes in the credit and capital markets, including market disruptions, limited liquidity and interest rate fluctuations, may increase the cost of financing or restrict access to a potential source of liquidity. A deterioration in our capital structure or the quality and stability of our earnings could result in noncompliance with our debt covenants or a downgrade of our credit rating, constraining the financing available to our Company. If our access to financing is restricted or our borrowing costs increase, our operations and financial condition could be adversely impacted. Further, if we do not properly allocate our capital to maximize returns, our operations, cash flows and returns to shareholders could be adversely affected.
The concentration of stock ownership in a small number of our shareholders could limit our shareholders’ ability to influence corporate matters.
We have regularly reported in our annual proxy statements the holdings of members of the Nordstrom family, including Bruce A. Nordstrom, our former Co-President and Chairman of the Board, his sister Anne E. Gittinger and members of the Nordstrom family within our Executive Team. According to the Schedule 13D/A filed with the SEC on March 5, 2018, these individuals beneficially owned an aggregate of approximately 31% of our common stock. As a result, either individually or acting together, they may be able to exercise considerable influence over matters requiring shareholder approval. In addition, as reported in our periodic filings, our Board of Directors has from time to time authorized share repurchases. While these share repurchases may be offset in part by share issuances under our equity incentive plans and as consideration for acquisitions, the repurchases may nevertheless have the effect of increasing the overall percentage ownership held by these shareholders. The corporate law of the State of Washington, where the Company is incorporated, provides that approval of a merger or similar significant corporate transaction requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of a company’s outstanding shares. The beneficial ownership of these shareholders may have the effect of discouraging offers to acquire us, delay or otherwise prevent a significant corporate transaction because the consummation of any such transaction would likely require the approval of these shareholders. As a result, the market price of our common stock could be affected.
RISKS DUE TO ECONOMIC AND EXTERNAL MARKET FACTORS
Our revenues and operating results are affected by the seasonal nature of our business and cyclical trends in consumer spending.
Our business, like that of other retailers, is subject to seasonal fluctuations and cyclical trends in consumer spending. Due to our Anniversary Sale in July and the holidays in the fourth quarter, our sales are typically higher in the second and fourth quarters than in the first and third quarters of the fiscal year. Any factor that negatively impacts these selling seasons could have an adverse effect on our results of operations for the entire year. To provide shareholders a better understanding of management’s expectations surrounding results, we provide public guidance on our expected operating and financial results for future periods comprised of forward-looking statements subject to certain risks and uncertainties.
A downturn in economic conditions and other external market factors could have a significant adverse effect on our business and stock price.
During economic downturns, fewer customers may shop for the high-quality items in our stores and on our websites, as these products may be seen as discretionary, and those who do shop may limit the amount of their purchases. This reduced demand may lead to lower sales, higher markdowns and an overly promotional environment or increased marketing and promotional spending.
Additionally, factors such as results differing from guidance, changes in sales and operating income in the peak seasons, changes in our market valuations, performance results for the general retail industry, announcements by us or our industry peers or changes in analysts’ recommendations may still impact the price of our common stock and our shareholder returns.


10


Our stores located in shopping malls may be adversely affected by any declines in consumer traffic of malls.
The majority of our stores are located within shopping malls and benefit from the abilities that we and other anchor tenants have to generate consumer traffic. A substantial decline in mall traffic, the development of new shopping malls, the availability of locations within existing or new shopping malls, the success of individual shopping malls and the success of other anchor tenants may negatively impact our ability to maintain or grow our sales in existing stores, as well as our ability to open new stores, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.
Our business depends on third parties for the production, supply or delivery of goods, and a disruption could result in lost sales or increased costs.
The continued success of our operations is tied to our timely receipt of quality merchandise from third parties. Our process to identify qualified vendors and access quality products in an efficient manner on acceptable terms and cost can be complex. Violations of law with respect to quality and safety by our importers, manufacturers or distributors could result in delays in shipments and receipt of goods or damage our reputation, resulting in lost sales. These vendors may experience difficulties due to economic or political conditions or the countries in which merchandise is manufactured could become subject to new trade restrictions, including increased customs restrictions, tariffs or quotas. Additionally, changes in tax and trade policies that impact the retail industry, such as increased taxation on imported goods, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and liquidity.
The results of our Credit operations could be adversely affected by changes in market conditions.
Revenues earned under our program agreement with TD are indirectly subject to economic and market conditions that are beyond our control, including, but not limited to, interest rates, consumer credit availability, demand for credit, consumer debt levels, payment patterns, delinquency rates, employment trends and other factors. Changes in these economic and market conditions could impair our revenues and profitability.
Our business and operations could be materially and adversely affected by supply chain disruptions, port disruptions, severe weather patterns, natural disasters, widespread pandemics and other natural or man-made disruptions.
These disruptions could cause, among other things, a decrease in consumer spending that would negatively impact our sales, staffing shortages in our stores, distribution centers or corporate offices, interruptions in the flow of merchandise to our stores, disruptions in the operations of our merchandise vendors or property developers, increased costs and a negative impact on our reputation and long-term growth plans. We have a significant amount of our total sales, stores and square footage in the west coast of the United States, particularly in California, which increases our exposure to market-disrupting conditions in this region.
RISKS DUE TO LEGAL AND REGULATORY FACTORS
We are subject to certain laws, litigation, regulatory matters and ethical standards, and our failure to comply with or adequately address developments as they arise could adversely affect our reputation and operations.
Our policies, procedures and practices and the technology we implement are designed to comply with federal, state, local and foreign laws, rules and regulations, including those imposed by the SEC, consumer protection and other regulatory agencies, the marketplace, and foreign countries, as well as responsible business, social and environmental practices, all of which may change from time to time. Compliance with laws and regulations and/or significant legislative changes may cause our business to be adversely impacted, or even limit or restrict the activities of our business. In addition, if we fail to comply with applicable laws and regulations or implement responsible business, social, environmental and supply chain practices, we could be subject to damage to our reputation, class action lawsuits, legal and settlement costs, civil and criminal liability, increased cost of regulatory compliance, losing our ability to accept credit and debit card payments from our customers, restatements of our financial statements, disruption of our business and loss of customers. Any required changes to our employment practices could result in the loss of employees, reduced sales, increased employment costs, low employee morale and harm to our business and results of operations. In addition, political and economic factors could lead to unfavorable changes in federal, state and foreign tax laws, which may affect our tax assets or liabilities and adversely affect our results of operations. We are also regularly involved in various litigation matters that arise in the ordinary course of business. Litigation or regulatory developments could adversely affect our business and financial condition.
Changes to accounting rules and regulations could affect our financial results or financial condition.
Accounting principles and related pronouncements, implementation guidelines and interpretations with regard to a wide variety of accounting matters that are relevant to our business, including, but not limited to, revenue recognition, merchandise inventories, leasing, goodwill, impairment of long-lived assets, stock-based compensation and tax matters are highly complex and involve subjective assumptions, estimates and judgments. Changes in these rules and regulations, changes in our interpretation of the rules or regulations or changes in underlying assumptions, estimates or judgments could adversely affect our financial performance or financial position.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
None.


Nordstrom, Inc. and subsidiaries 11


Item 2. Properties.
The following table summarizes the number of retail stores we own or lease, and the percentage of total store square footage represented by each listed category as of February 3, 2018:
 
 
Number of stores
 
 
 
 
Nordstrom
Full-Line Stores1

 
Nordstrom
Rack and Other2

 
% of total store
square footage

Leased stores on leased land
 
26

 
242

 
44
%
Owned stores on leased land
 
63

 

 
37
%
Owned stores on owned land
 
33

 
1

 
18
%
Partly owned and partly leased store
 
1

 

 
1
%
Total
 
123

 
243

 
100
%
1 Nordstrom full-line stores include U.S. full line stores, Canada full-line stores and Nordstrom Local.  
2 Other includes Trunk Club clubhouses, Jeffrey boutiques and Last Chance stores.
The following table summarizes our retail store openings and closures for fiscal 2017 and announced retail store openings and closures for fiscal 2018 by state/province:
 
 
Number of stores
Fiscal year
 
2017
 
Announced 2018
State/Province
 
Nordstrom
Full-Line Stores1

 
Nordstrom
Rack and Other2

 
Nordstrom
Full-Line Stores1

 
Nordstrom
Rack and Other2

Openings
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
U.S.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Arizona
 

 

 

 
1

California
 
1

 
3

 

 
1

Florida
 

 
1

 

 

Illinois
 

 
2

 

 
1

Indiana
 

 
1

 

 

Maryland
 

 
1

 

 

Minnesota
 

 
2

 

 

New Jersey
 

 

 

 
1

New York
 

 
1

 
1

 

Oregon
 

 
1

 

 

Pennsylvania
 

 

 

 
1

Tennessee
 

 
1

 

 

Texas
 

 
2

 

 
1

Washington
 

 
2

 

 

Canada
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alberta
 

 

 

 
2

Ontario
 
1

 

 

 
4

Total Openings
 
2

 
17

 
1

 
12

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Closures
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
California
 
(1
)
 

 

 

Oregon
 

 

 
(1
)
 

Virginia
 
(1
)
 

 

 

Total Closures
 
(2
)
 

 
(1
)
 

1 Nordstrom full-line stores include U.S. full line stores, Canada full-line stores and Nordstrom Local.
2 Other includes Trunk Club clubhouses, Jeffrey boutiques and Last Chance stores.


12


The following table lists our retail store count and square footage by state/province as of February 3, 2018:
Retail stores by channel
 
Nordstrom Full-Line Stores1
 
Nordstrom Rack and Other2
 
Total
State/Province
 
Count

Square Footage
(000’s)

 
Count

Square Footage
(000’s)

 
Count

Square Footage
(000’s)

U.S.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alabama
 


 
1

35

 
1

35

Alaska
 
1

97

 
1

35

 
2

132

Arizona
 
2

384

 
8

287

 
10

671

California3
 
31

5,192

 
53

1,967

 
84

7,159

Colorado
 
3

559

 
6

213

 
9

772

Connecticut
 
1

189

 
1

36

 
2

225

Delaware
 
1

127

 
1

32

 
2

159

Florida
 
9

1,389

 
16

545

 
25

1,934

Georgia
 
2

383

 
5

165

 
7

548

Hawaii
 
1

195

 
2

78

 
3

273

Idaho
 


 
1

37

 
1

37

Illinois
 
4

947

 
16

590

 
20

1,537

Indiana
 
1

134

 
2

60

 
3

194

Iowa
 


 
1

35

 
1

35

Kansas
 
1

219

 
1

35

 
2

254

Kentucky
 


 
1

33

 
1

33

Louisiana
 


 
3

90

 
3

90

Maine
 


 
1

30

 
1

30

Maryland
 
4

765

 
5

186

 
9

951

Massachusetts
 
4

595

 
8

275

 
12

870

Michigan
 
3

552

 
5

178

 
8

730

Minnesota
 
2

380

 
5

173

 
7

553

Missouri
 
2

342

 
2

69

 
4

411

Nevada
 
1

207

 
3

101

 
4

308

New Jersey
 
5

991

 
7

248

 
12

1,239

New Mexico
 


 
1

34

 
1

34

New York
 
2

460

 
14

473

 
16

933

North Carolina
 
2

300

 
2

74

 
4

374

Ohio
 
3

549

 
6

224

 
9

773

Oklahoma
 


 
2

67

 
2

67

Oregon
 
4

555

 
6

218

 
10

773

Pennsylvania
 
2

381

 
6

214

 
8

595

Puerto Rico
 
1

143

 


 
1

143

Rhode Island
 
1

206

 
1

38

 
2

244

South Carolina
 


 
4

104

 
4

104

Tennessee
 
1

145

 
2

69

 
3

214

Texas3
 
9

1,562

 
18

604

 
27

2,166

Utah
 
2

277

 
4

126

 
6

403

Virginia
 
4

746

 
7

268

 
11

1,014

Washington
 
7

1,392

 
9

354

 
16

1,746

Washington D.C.
 


 
4

115

 
4

115

Wisconsin
 
1

150

 
2

67

 
3

217

Canada
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alberta
 
1

142

 


 
1

142

British Columbia
 
1

231

 


 
1

231

Ontario
 
4

750

 


 
4

750

Total
 
123

21,636

 
243

8,582

 
366

30,218

1 Nordstrom full-line stores include U.S. full line stores, Canada full-line stores and Nordstrom Local.
2 Other includes seven Trunk Club clubhouses, two Jeffrey boutiques and two Last Chance stores.
3 California and Texas had the highest square footage, with a combined 9,325 square feet, representing 31% of our total Company square footage.


Nordstrom, Inc. and subsidiaries 13


Our headquarters are located in Seattle, Washington, where our offices consist of both leased and owned space.
For use by our Retail segment, we have:
six owned merchandise distribution centers (Portland, Oregon; Dubuque, Iowa; Ontario, California; Newark, California; Upper Marlboro, Maryland and Gainesville, Florida),
two owned fulfillment centers (Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania),
one leased fulfillment center (San Bernardino, California) and
three leased administrative offices (Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California and New York City, New York).
For use by our Credit segment, we have one leased office building (Centennial, Colorado).
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
We are subject from time to time to various claims and lawsuits arising in the ordinary course of business, including lawsuits alleging violations of state and/or federal wage and hour and other employment laws, privacy and other consumer-based claims. Some of these lawsuits include certified classes of litigants, or purport or may be determined to be class or collective actions and seek substantial damages or injunctive relief, or both, and some may remain unresolved for several years. We believe the recorded reserves in our Consolidated Financial Statements are adequate in light of the probable and estimable liabilities. As of the date of this report, we do not believe any currently identified claim, proceeding or litigation, either alone or in the aggregate, will have a material impact on our results of operations, financial position or cash flows. Since these matters are subject to inherent uncertainties, our view of them may change in the future.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
None.


14


PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Shareholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
MARKET, SHAREHOLDER AND DIVIDEND INFORMATION
Our common stock, without par value, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “JWN.” The approximate number of holders of common stock as of March 12, 2018 was 154,000, based upon the number of registered and beneficial shareholders and the number of employee shareholders in the Nordstrom 401(k) Plan. On this date, we had 167,790,511 shares of common stock outstanding.
The high and low prices of our common stock and dividends declared for each quarter of 2017 and 2016 are presented in the table below:
 
 
Common Stock Price
 
 
 
 
 
 
2017
 
2016
 
Dividends per Share
 
 
High
 
Low
 
High
 
Low
 
2017
 
2016
1st Quarter
 
$48.45
 
$40.70
 
$59.37
 
$46.65
 
$0.37
 
$0.37
2nd Quarter
 
$50.32
 
$39.53
 
$51.74
 
$35.01
 
$0.37
 
$0.37
3rd Quarter
 
$49.00
 
$39.63
 
$55.23
 
$39.05
 
$0.37
 
$0.37
4th Quarter
 
$53.00
 
$37.79
 
$62.82
 
$42.32
 
$0.37
 
$0.37
Full Year
 
$53.00
 
$37.79
 
$62.82
 
$35.01
 
$1.48
 
$1.48
SHARE REPURCHASES
(Dollar amounts in millions)
In February 2017, our Board of Directors authorized a program to repurchase up to $500 of our outstanding common stock through August 31, 2018.
In the fourth quarter of 2017, we made no share repurchases and we had $414 of remaining share repurchase capacity as of February 3, 2018. We do not plan to repurchase shares while the Group explores the possibility of making a going private proposal. The actual timing, price, manner and amounts of future share repurchases, if any, will be subject to market and economic conditions and applicable SEC rules.


Nordstrom, Inc. and subsidiaries 15


STOCK PRICE PERFORMANCE
The following graph compares the cumulative total return of Nordstrom common stock, Standard & Poor’s Retail Index (“S&P Retail”) and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (“S&P 500”) for each of the last five fiscal years, ending February 3, 2018. The Retail Index is composed of 29 retail companies, including Nordstrom, representing an industry group of the S&P 500. The following graph assumes an initial investment of $100 each in Nordstrom common stock, the S&P Retail and the S&P 500 on February 2, 2013 and assumes reinvestment of dividends.
chart-795b16536cc65c39a66.jpg
End of fiscal year
2012

 
2013

 
2014

 
2015

 
2016

 
2017

Nordstrom common stock
100

 
106

 
144

 
102

 
91

 
105

Standard & Poor’s Retail Index
100

 
125

 
154

 
179

 
211

 
299

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index
100

 
120

 
141

 
138

 
167

 
206



16


Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
Dollars in millions except per square foot and per share amounts
The following selected financial data are derived from the audited Consolidated Financial Statements and should be read in conjunction with Item 1A: Risk Factors, Item 7: Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Item 8: Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Fiscal year
2017

 
2016

 
2015

 
2014

 
2013

Earnings Results
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net sales

$15,137



$14,498



$14,095

 

$13,110

 

$12,166

Credit card revenues, net1
341


259


342

 
396

 
374

Gross profit
5,247


5,058


4,927

 
4,704

 
4,429

Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses
(4,662
)
 
(4,315
)
 
(4,168
)
 
(3,777
)
 
(3,453
)
Earnings before interest and income taxes (“EBIT”)
926


805


1,101

 
1,323

 
1,350

Net earnings
437


354


600

 
720

 
734

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Data
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents

$1,181

 

$1,007

 

$595

 

$827

 

$1,194

Merchandise inventories
2,027


1,896

 
1,945

 
1,733

 
1,531

Land, property and equipment, net
3,939


3,897

 
3,735

 
3,340

 
2,949

Total assets1
8,115


7,858

 
7,698

 
9,245

 
8,574

Total long-term debt1
2,737


2,774

 
2,805

 
3,131

 
3,113

Cash flow from operations1
1,400


1,658

 
2,470

 
1,243

 
1,345

Capital expenditures
731

 
846

 
1,082

 
861

 
803

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Performance Metrics
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net sales increase
4.4
%
 
2.9
%
 
7.5
%
 
7.8
%
 
3.4
%
Comparable sales increase (decrease)2
0.8
%
 
(0.4
%)
 
2.7
%
 
4.0
%
 
2.5
%
Gross profit % of net sales
34.7
%
 
34.9
%
 
35.0
%
 
35.9
%
 
36.4
%
SG&A % of net sales
30.8
%
 
29.8
%
 
29.6
%
 
28.8
%
 
28.4
%
EBIT % of net sales
6.1
%
 
5.6
%
 
7.8
%
 
10.1
%
 
11.1
%
Capital expenditures % of net sales
4.8
%
 
5.8
%
 
7.7
%
 
6.6
%
 
6.6
%
Return on assets
5.4
%

4.5
%

6.6
%

8.1
%

8.7
%
Return on invested capital (“ROIC”)3
9.7
%

8.4
%

10.7
%

12.6
%

13.6
%
Sales per square foot

$506

 

$498

 

$507

 

$493

 

$474

4-wall sales per square foot

$384



$392



$410

 

$413

 

$408

Inventory turnover rate
4.67

 
4.53

 
4.54

 
4.67

 
5.07

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Per Share Information
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Earnings per diluted share4

$2.59



$2.02



$3.15

 

$3.72

 

$3.71

Dividends declared per share1
1.48

 
1.48

 
6.33

 
1.32

 
1.20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Store Information (at year-end)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nordstrom full-line stores5
123

 
123

 
121

 
117

 
117

Nordstrom Rack and other6
243

 
226

 
202

 
175

 
143

Total square footage
30,218,000

 
29,792,000

 
28,610,000

 
27,061,000

 
26,017,000

1 Amounts were impacted by the October 1, 2015, credit card receivable transaction. As a result of the transaction, the dividends paid in the fiscal year 2015 included a special cash dividend of $4.85 per share. For further information regarding these impacts, see Note 2: Credit Card Receivable Transaction and Note 11: Shareholders’ Equity in Item 8.
2 The 53rd week is not included in comparable sales calculations (see Item 7: Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for more information about the 53rd week).
3 See ROIC (non-GAAP financial measure) in Item 7: Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for additional information and reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure.  
4 Earnings per diluted share included the impact of the Trunk Club goodwill impairment charge of $1.12 per share in fiscal year 2016.
5 Nordstrom full-line stores include U.S. full line stores, Canada full-line stores and Nordstrom Local.
6 Other includes Trunk Club clubhouses, Jeffrey boutiques and Last Chance stores.


Nordstrom, Inc. and subsidiaries 17


Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
Dollar, share and square footage amounts in millions except percentages, per share and per square foot amounts
OVERVIEW
Nordstrom is a leading fashion retailer offering apparel, shoes, cosmetics and accessories for women, men, young adults and children. We offer an extensive selection of high-quality brand-name and private label merchandise in the U.S. and Canada. We serve customers through two brands — Nordstrom full-price and Nordstrom Rack off-price. With customers increasingly engaging with Nordstrom in multiple ways, we’re focused on providing a seamless experience across stores and online. Our operations currently consist of our Nordstrom U.S. and Canada full-line stores, Nordstrom.com, Nordstrom Rack stores, Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook, Trunk Club, Jeffrey boutiques, Last Chance clearance stores and Nordstrom Local. Our customers can participate in our Nordstrom Rewards loyalty program which allows them to earn merchandise, services and other experiences. We also offer our customers a variety of payment products and services, including our Nordstrom co-branded credit cards. As we aspire to be the best fashion retailer, our customer strategy is centered on three strategic pillars: providing a differentiated product offering, delivering exceptional services and experiences, and leveraging the strength of our brand.
In 2017, net earnings were $437, or $2.59 per diluted share, which included impacts associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”), consisting of a $0.25 per share reduction related to our income tax provision and a $0.06 per share decrease for a one-time investment in our employees. We reached record sales of $15 billion in 2017. Our net sales increased 4.4%, inclusive of approximately $220 or 150 basis points from the impact of the 53rd week, while comparable sales increased 0.8% and are not inclusive of the 53rd week.
We achieved the following milestones in executing our growth plans:
Nordstrom experienced continued positive customer trends, reflecting customer growth of 4% to 33 million customers. Additionally, 9 million customers are shopping with us in multiple ways, a 6% increase over the previous year.
Generational investments, which include Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook, Canada and Trunk Club, contributed $1.5 billion in sales.
In the Nordstrom full-price business, strategic brands, including product with limited distribution and Nordstrom proprietary labels, continued to deliver outsized sales growth.
The Nordstrom Rack off-price business gained 6 million new customers with approximately one-third of off-price customers expected to cross-shop the full-price business over time.
Nordstrom Rewards loyalty program customers increased by 35% to 10.5 million. Sales from Nordstrom Rewards customers represented 51% of sales, an increase from 44% in 2016.
Looking ahead to 2018, we are executing on our three strategic pillars through a series of initiatives. On April 12, our Nordstrom Men’s Store NYC is slated to open, with our Nordstrom NYC store opening in Fall 2019. We expect this store to be the biggest and best statement of the Nordstrom brand, serving as a gateway to new customers both domestically and internationally.
We are also focusing on further integrating our digital and physical assets in our top markets in order to deliver best-in-class services and experiences to customers in those areas. We will bring our capabilities across supply chain, technology, marketing, product and services to create a digitally-connected and differentiated experience for customers to shop on their terms, starting in Los Angeles, our largest market. We believe that we will gain learnings from our experiences in the Los Angeles market that we can apply to other markets in the future.

Another key initiative for 2018 is the introduction of six Nordstrom Rack stores in Canada, where we completed our full-line store expansion plans last September. Similar to our experience in the U.S., we expect strong synergies between our full-price and off-price businesses.

Finally, we will continue to curate our assortment to provide newness and the opportunity for discovery for our customers. In our full-price business, our focus is on strategic brand growth through new launches and our existing partners. In our off-price business, leveraging our vendor partnerships enables us to offer the best brands at the best prices.
Our strategic brand partnerships and combined digital and physical assets make us uniquely positioned in the marketplace. We believe our diversified and resilient business model will continue to serve us well while creating value for our shareholders, customers and employees.


18


RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Our reportable segments in 2017 are Retail and Credit. We analyze our results of operations through earnings before interest and income taxes for our Retail Business and Credit, while interest expense, income taxes and earnings per share are discussed on a total Company basis.
Similar to many other retailers, Nordstrom follows the retail 4-5-4 reporting calendar, which included an extra week in the fourth quarter of 2017 (the “53rd week”). References to 2017 relate to the 53-week fiscal year ended February 3, 2018. References to 2016 and 2015 are based on a 52-week fiscal year. However, the 53rd week is not included in the comparable sales calculations.
RETAIL BUSINESS
Our Retail Business includes our Nordstrom U.S. and Canada full-line stores, Nordstrom.com, Nordstrom Rack stores, Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook, Trunk Club, Jeffrey boutiques, Last Chance clearance stores and Nordstrom Local. For purposes of discussion and analysis of our results of operations of our Retail Business, we combine our Retail segment results with revenues and expenses in the “Corporate/Other” column of Note 15: Segment Reporting in Item 8 (collectively, the “Retail Business”). Amounts in the “Corporate/Other” column include unallocated corporate expenses and assets (including unallocated assets in corporate headquarters, consisting primarily of cash, land, buildings and equipment and deferred tax assets), sales return reserves, inter-segment eliminations and other adjustments to segment results necessary for the presentation of consolidated financial results in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
Certain metrics we use to evaluate the Retail Business may not be calculated in a consistent manner among industry peers. Provided below are definitions of metrics we present within our analysis of the Retail Business:
Comparable Salessales from stores that have been open at least one full year at the beginning of the year
Total Company comparable sales include sales from our online channels
Gross Profit – net sales less cost of sales and related buying and occupancy costs
Inventory Turnover Rate – trailing 12-months cost of sales and related buying and occupancy costs (for all segments) divided by the trailing 4-quarter average inventory
Total Sales Per Square Foot – net sales divided by weighted-average square footage
4-wall Sales Per Square Foot – sales for Nordstrom U.S. and Canada full-line stores, Nordstrom Rack stores, Trunk Club clubhouses, Jeffrey boutiques, Last Chance clearance stores and Nordstrom Local divided by their weighted-average square footage
Summary
The following table summarizes the results of our Retail Business:
Fiscal year
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
 
Amount

 
% of net
sales1

 
Amount

 
% of net
sales1

 
Amount

 
% of net
sales1

Net sales
 

$15,137

 
100.0
%
 

$14,498

 
100.0
%
 

$14,095

 
100.0
%
Cost of sales and related buying and occupancy costs
 
(9,877
)
 
(65.3
%)
 
(9,434
)
 
(65.1
%)
 
(9,161
)
 
(65.0
%)
Gross profit
 
5,260

 
34.7
%
 
5,064

 
34.9
%
 
4,934

 
35.0
%
Selling, general and administrative expenses
 
(4,508
)
 
(29.8
%)
 
(4,159
)
 
(28.7
%)
 
(4,016
)
 
(28.5
%)
Goodwill impairment
 

 

 
(197
)
 
(1.4
%)
 

 

Earnings before interest and income taxes
 

$752

 
5.0
%
 

$708

 
4.9
%
 

$918

 
6.5
%
1 Subtotals and totals may not foot due to rounding.


Nordstrom, Inc. and subsidiaries 19


Retail Business Net Sales
In our ongoing effort to enhance the customer experience, we are focused on providing customers with a seamless experience across our channels. While our customers may engage with us through multiple channels, we know they value the overall Nordstrom brand experience and view us simply as Nordstrom, which is ultimately how we view our business. The following is a summary of our net sales by channel for our Retail Business:
Fiscal year
2017

 
2016

 
2015

Net sales by channel:
 
 
 
 
 
Nordstrom full-line stores - U.S.1

$6,951

 

$7,186



$7,633

Nordstrom.com
2,887

 
2,519


2,300

Full-price
9,838

 
9,705

 
9,933

 
 
 
 
 
 
Nordstrom Rack
4,059

 
3,809

 
3,533

Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook
897


700


532

Off-price
4,956

 
4,509

 
4,065

 
 
 
 
 
 
Other retail2
614

 
554

 
378

Retail segment
15,408

 
14,768

 
14,376

Corporate/Other
(271
)
 
(270
)
 
(281
)
Total net sales

$15,137

 

$14,498

 

$14,095

 
 
 
 
 
 
Net sales increase
4.4
%
 
2.9
%
 
7.5
%
 
 
 
 
 
 
Comparable sales increase (decrease) by channel3:
 
 
 
 
 
Nordstrom full-line stores - U.S.
(4.2
%)
 
(6.4
%)
 
(1.1
%)
Nordstrom.com
13.1
%
 
9.5
%
 
15.2
%
Full-price
0.4
%
 
(2.7
%)
 
2.3
%
Nordstrom Rack
(1.9
%)
 
0.2
%
 
(1.0
%)
Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook
25.5
%
 
31.7
%
 
47.4
%
Off-price
2.5
%
 
4.5
%
 
4.3
%
Total Company
0.8
%
 
(0.4
%)
 
2.7
%
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sales per square foot:
 
 
 
 
 
Total sales per square foot

$506

 

$498

 

$507

4-wall sales per square foot
384

 
392

 
410

Full-line sales per square foot - U.S.
337

 
346

 
370

Nordstrom Rack sales per square foot
497

 
507

 
523

1 Nordstrom full-line stores - U.S. includes Nordstrom Local.
2 Other retail includes Nordstrom Canada full-line stores, Trunk Club and Jeffrey boutiques.
3 The 53rd week is not included in comparable sales calculations.
Net Sales (2017 vs. 2016)
In 2017, total Company net sales increased 4.4%, while comparable sales increased 0.8%. During the year, we opened two Nordstrom full-line stores, including one in Canada, and 17 Nordstrom Rack stores. The 53rd week contributed approximately $220 in additional net sales.
Full-price net sales, which consists of the U.S. full-line and Nordstrom.com channels, increased 1.4% compared with 2016, while comparable sales increased 0.4%. Also on a comparable basis, full-price sales reflected an increase in the average selling price per item sold, partially offset by a decrease in the number of items sold. Kids was the top-performing merchandise category.
Off-price net sales, which consists of Nordstrom Rack and Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook channels, increased 9.9%, compared with 2016 and comparable sales increased 2.5%. Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook had a comparable sales increase of 25.5% and now represents over 18% of off-price sales. Nordstrom Rack net sales increased 6.6%, primarily attributable to 17 new store openings in 2017, while comparable sales decreased 1.9%. On a comparable basis, the average selling price per item sold and the total number of items sold decreased at Nordstrom Rack. The top-performing Nordstrom Rack merchandise category was Beauty.


20


Net Sales (2016 vs. 2015)
In 2016, total Company net sales increased 2.9%, while comparable sales decreased 0.4%. During the year, we opened three Nordstrom full-line stores, including two in Canada, and 21 Nordstrom Rack stores.
Full-price net sales decreased 2.3% compared with 2015, while comparable sales decreased 2.7%. Also on a comparable basis, full-price sales reflected a decrease in the total number of items sold, partially offset by an increase in the average selling price per item sold. The top-performing merchandise category was Beauty.
Off-price net sales increased 10.9%, compared with 2015 and comparable sales increased 4.5%. Nordstromrack.com/HauteLook had comparable sales increase of 31.7% and represented 15% of off-price sales. Nordstrom Rack net sales increased 7.8%, primarily attributable to 21 new store openings in 2016. On a comparable basis, the total number of items sold increased at Nordstrom Rack, partially offset by a decrease in the average selling price per item sold. Kids was the top-performing Nordstrom Rack merchandise category.
Retail Business Gross Profit
The following table summarizes the Retail Business gross profit (“Retail GP”):
Fiscal year
2017

 
2016

 
2015

Retail gross profit

$5,260

 

$5,064



$4,934

Retail gross profit as a % of net sales
34.7
%
 
34.9
%

35.0
%
Inventory turnover rate
4.67

 
4.53

 
4.54

Gross Profit (2017 vs. 2016)
Retail GP decreased 18 basis points in 2017 when compared with 2016, primarily due to higher planned occupancy expenses related to new store growth for Nordstrom Rack and Canada. Continued focus on inventory execution led to improvements in inventory turnover rate in 2017.
Gross Profit (2016 vs. 2015)
Our Retail GP rate was relatively flat compared with 2015, reflecting higher occupancy costs associated with Nordstrom Rack and Canada store growth, in addition to increased markdowns in the first half of the year to realign inventory to sales trends. This was offset by strong inventory execution during the remainder of the year and reduced competitive markdowns.
Retail Business Selling, General and Administrative Expenses
Retail Business selling, general and administrative expenses (“Retail SG&A”) are summarized in the following table:
Fiscal year
2017

 
2016

 
2015

Retail selling, general and administrative expenses

$4,508

 

$4,159

 

$4,016

Retail selling, general and administrative expenses as a % of net sales
29.8
%
 
28.7
%
 
28.5
%
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses (2017 vs. 2016)
Our Retail SG&A rate increased 99 basis points in 2017 and increased $349 compared with 2016 primarily due to planned technology and performance related expenses.
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses (2016 vs. 2015)
Our Retail SG&A rate increased 19 basis points in 2016 and increased $143 compared with 2015 primarily due to technology and fulfillment expenses.
Retail Business Goodwill Impairment
We recognized a goodwill impairment charge of $197 in 2016 related to Trunk Club (see Note 8: Fair Value Measurements in Item 8).


Nordstrom, Inc. and subsidiaries 21


CREDIT SEGMENT
The Nordstrom credit and debit card products are designed to strengthen customer relationships and grow retail sales by providing loyalty benefits, valuable services and payment products. We believe our credit business allows us to build deeper relationships with our customers by fully integrating the Nordstrom Rewards loyalty program with our retail business and providing better service, which in turn fosters greater customer loyalty. Nordstrom cardholders tend to visit our stores more frequently and spend more than non-cardholders. Nordstrom private label credit and debit cards can be used at a majority of our U.S. retail businesses, while Nordstrom Visa credit cards also may be used for purchases outside of Nordstrom (“outside volume”). In 2017, we began offering a Canadian Nordstrom-branded Visa card, which can be used for purchases inside and outside of Nordstrom.
In October 2015, we completed the sale of a substantial majority of our U.S. Visa and private label credit card portfolio to TD. In November 2017, we sold the remaining balances which consisted of employee credit card receivables for the U.S. Visa and Nordstrom private label credit cards to TD (see Note 2: Credit Card Receivable Transaction in Item 8).
Summary
The table below provides a detailed view of the operational results of our Credit segment, consistent with Note 15: Segment Reporting in Item 8:
Fiscal year
 
2017

 
2016

 
2015

Credit card revenues, net
 

$341

 

$259

 

$342

Credit expenses
 
(167
)
 
(162
)
 
(159
)
Earnings before interest and income taxes
 

$174

 

$97

 

$183

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Credit and debit card volume1:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Inside
 

$5,987

 

$5,858

 

$5,953

Outside
 
4,434

 
4,160

 
4,309

Total volume
 

$10,421

 

$10,018

 

$10,262

1 Credit and debit card volume represents sales on the total portfolio plus applicable sales taxes.

Credit Card Revenues, net
The following is a summary of our credit card revenues, net:
Fiscal year
2017

 
2016

 
20151

Credit program revenues, net

$331

 

$246

 

$64

Other
10

 
13

 
278

Total credit card revenues, net

$341

 

$259

 

$342

1 Other in fiscal year 2015 consisted of $173 of finance charge revenue, $61 in interchange fees and $44 of late fees and other revenue.
Credit program revenues, net include our portion of the ongoing credit card revenue, net of credit losses, from both sold and newly generated credit card receivables pursuant to our program agreement with TD. Asset amortization and deferred revenue recognition associated with the assets and liabilities recorded as part of the transaction are also recorded in credit program revenues, net. Revenue earned under the program agreement is impacted by the credit quality of receivables, both owned and serviced, and factors such as deteriorating economic conditions, declining creditworthiness of cardholders and the success of account management and collection activities may heighten the risk of credit losses.
Other credit card revenues included finance charge revenue, interchange fees and late fees. Finance charges represented interest earned on unpaid balances while interchange fees were earned from the use of Nordstrom Visa credit cards at merchants outside of Nordstrom. Late fees were assessed when a credit card account becomes past due. We continued to recognize revenue in this manner for credit card receivables retained (employee receivables) subsequent to the close of the October 2015 credit card receivable transaction until we sold our remaining receivables in November 2017.
Credit Card Revenues, net increased $82 in 2017 reflecting our strategic partnership with TD to responsibly grow our receivables and associated revenues and a reduction in amortization expense related to the sale of the credit card portfolio. Credit Card Revenues, net decreased $83 in 2016 due to the credit card receivable transaction and the new program agreement.


22


Credit Expenses
Credit expenses consist of operational, bad debt and occupancy expenses.
Credit Expenses (2017 vs. 2016)
Total credit expenses increased $5 in 2017 compared with 2016 due to an increase in costs associated with the Nordstrom Rewards loyalty program.
Credit Expenses (2016 vs. 2015)
Total credit expenses increased $3 in 2016 compared with 2015 primarily due to a $64 gain partially offset by $32 of expenses incurred in 2015 associated with the credit card receivables transaction and a decrease in bad debt expense subsequent to the sale of the credit card receivables in October 2015.
TOTAL COMPANY RESULTS
Interest Expense, Net
Interest expense is summarized in the following table:
Fiscal year
2017


2016


2015

Interest on long-term debt and short-term borrowings

$168

 

$147

 

$153

Less:
 
 
 
 
 
Interest income
(5
)
 
(1
)
 

Capitalized interest
(27
)
 
(25
)
 
(28
)
Interest expense, net

$136

 

$121

 

$125

Interest Expense, Net (2017 vs. 2016)
Interest expense, net increased $15 in 2017 compared with 2016 primarily due to a net interest expense charge of $18 related to the $650 debt refinancing completed in the first quarter of 2017 (see Note 7: Debt and Credit Facilities in Item 8).
Interest Expense, Net (2016 vs. 2015)
Interest expense, net decreased $4 in 2016 compared with 2015 primarily due to the defeasance of our $325 Series 2011-1 Class A Notes in the third quarter of 2015.
Income Tax Expense
Income tax expense is summarized in the following table:
Fiscal year
2017

 
2016

 
2015

Income tax expense

$353

 

$330

 

$376

Effective tax rate
44.7
%
 
48.2
%
 
38.6
%
In December 2017, the Tax Act was signed into law. Among numerous other provisions, the Tax Act significantly revises the U.S. federal corporate income tax by reducing the statutory rate from 35% to 21%, imposing a mandatory one-time transition tax on accumulated unrepatriated earnings of foreign subsidiaries and enhancing and extending the option to claim accelerated depreciation on qualified property. The Tax Act also revises tax laws that will affect 2018, including, but not limited to, eliminating certain deductions for executive compensation and limiting the deduction for interest. We have reasonably estimated the effects of the Tax Act and recorded provisional amounts in our Consolidated Financial Statements as of February 3, 2018. Net earnings included $42 related to the Tax Act, which includes a provisional one-time, non-cash charge of $51 related to the revaluation of our net deferred tax assets for the change in statutory tax rate and for the impacts associated with the future limitations on executive compensation, partially offset by cash tax savings from a lower federal tax rate.As we complete our analysis of the Tax Act and interpret any additional guidance issued by the U.S. Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and other standard-setting bodies, we may make adjustments to the provisional amounts, which may materially impact our provision for income taxes in the period in which the adjustments are recorded.


Nordstrom, Inc. and subsidiaries 23


The following table illustrates the components of our effective tax rate:
Fiscal year
2017

 
2016

 
2015

Statutory rate1
33.7
%
 
35.0
%
 
35.0
%
Tax Act impact
6.1
%
 

 

Goodwill impairment

 
10.1
%
 

State and local income taxes, net of federal income taxes
4.5
%
 
5.1
%
 
4.1
%
Non-deductible acquisition-related items
0.3
%
 
0.6
%
 
0.4
%
Federal credits
(0.7
%)
 
(0.6
%)
 
(0.6
%)
Other, net
0.8
%
 
(2.0
%)
 
(0.3
%)
Effective tax rate
44.7
%
 
48.2
%
 
38.6
%
1 The statutory rate in 2017 is reduced due to tax reform.
Income Tax Expense (2017 vs. 2016)
The decrease in the effective tax rate for 2017 compared with 2016 was primarily due to the non-deductible goodwill impairment charge of $197 related to Trunk Club in the third quarter of 2016 (see Note 8: Fair Value Measurements in Item 8). Excluding the impact of the Trunk Club goodwill impairment, our effective tax rate for 2017 would have increased approximately 700 basis points compared with the prior year primarily due to a provisional, one-time tax charge related to the revaluation of net deferred tax assets as a result of the Tax Act (see Note 13: Income Taxes in Item 8 for additional information).
Income Tax Expense (2016 vs. 2015)
The increase in the effective tax rate for 2016 compared with 2015 was primarily due to the non-deductible goodwill impairment charge of $197 related to Trunk Club. Excluding the impact of the Trunk Club goodwill impairment, our effective tax rate for 2016 would have decreased approximately 100 basis points compared with the prior year primarily due to an increase in nontaxable income.
Earnings Per Share
Earnings per share is as follows:
Fiscal year
2017

 
2016

 
2015

Basic

$2.62

 

$2.05

 

$3.22

Diluted

$2.59

 

$2.02

 

$3.15

Earnings Per Share (2017 vs. 2016)
For 2017, diluted earnings per share (“EPS”) of $2.59 included impacts associated with the Tax Act consisting of a $0.25 per share reduction related to our income tax provision and a $0.06 per share decrease for a one-time investment in our employees. The impact of the Trunk Club goodwill impairment charge of $197 in 2016 was approximately $1.12 per share. Excluding the impact of these items, EPS decreased in 2017 compared with 2016 due to planned increases in supply chain and technology costs associated with our growth initiatives, partially offset by an increase in net sales.
Earnings Per Share (2016 vs. 2015)
The decrease in EPS for 2016 compared with 2015 was primarily due to the Trunk Club goodwill impairment charge in 2016. Excluding the goodwill impairment charge, EPS in 2016 was relatively flat compared with 2015 due to higher technology and fulfillment costs supporting multi-channel growth, offset by a decrease in shares outstanding as a result of share repurchases during the year.
Fourth Quarter Results
The following are our results for the fourth quarters of 2017 and 2016:
Quarter ended
February 3, 2018

 
January 28, 2017

Net sales

$4,600



$4,243

Credit card revenues, net
102


73

Gross profit
1,631

 
1,523

Gross profit as a % of net sales
35.5
%
 
35.9
%
Retail selling, general and administrative expenses
(1,337
)
 
(1,134
)
Retail selling, general and administrative expenses as a % of net sales
(29.1
%)
 
(26.7
%)
Credit expenses
(52
)
 
(42
)
Net earnings
151

 
201

EPS (diluted)

$0.89

 

$1.15



24


Net Sales
Total Company net sales increased 8.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with the same period in 2016, inclusive of approximately $220 related to the 53rd week, and comparable sales increased 2.6%.
Full-price net sales increased 6.1% for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with the same period in 2016, while comparable sales increased 2.4%. Also on a comparable basis for the quarter, full-price sales reflected increases in the average selling price per item sold and the total number of items sold. For the fourth quarter, the top-performing merchandise categories were Kids’ and Men’s Apparel.
Off-price net sales increased 15% for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with the same period in 2016, while comparable sales increased 3.7%. Nordstrom Rack net sales increased 11.4%, attributable to 17 new store openings since the end of 2016. On a comparable basis, there was a decrease at Nordstrom Rack in the average selling price per item sold while the number of items sold was flat. Beauty was the top-performing Nordstrom Rack merchandise category.
Credit Card Revenues, net
Credit card revenues, net increased $29 for the fourth quarter, compared with the same period in the prior year, reflecting our strategic partnership with TD to responsibly grow our receivables and associated revenues with new and enhanced product offerings. In addition, the impact of the 53rd week contributed approximately $10 in additional revenue.
Gross Profit
Our total Company gross profit rate decreased 44 basis points for the fourth quarter compared with the same period in 2016, primarily due to higher occupancy expenses related to new store growth for Nordstrom Rack and Canada. Merchandise margin performance was in-line with our expectations, reflecting continued strength in regular price selling trends. Ending inventory increased 6.9% over last year, generally in-line with our expectations.
Retail Selling, General and Administrative Expenses
Our Retail SG&A rate increased 231 basis points compared with the same period in 2016. The increase reflected higher supply chain, marketing and technology expenses associated with our growth initiatives in addition to a legal settlement gain in 2016 of $22, or approximately 50 basis points.
Credit Expenses
In the fourth quarter of 2017, total credit expenses increased $10 compared with the fourth quarter of 2016, driven primarily by increased technology costs.
Earnings Per Share
EPS for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $0.89 per diluted share, which included impacts associated with the Tax Act consisting of a $0.25 reduction related to our income tax provision and a $0.06 decrease for a one-time pre-tax investment in our employees compared with $1.15 per diluted share for the same period in 2016. Excluding the impact of the Tax Act, EPS per diluted share increased due to higher net sales.
For further information on our quarterly results in 2017 and 2016, refer to Note 16: Selected Quarterly Data in Item 8.
2018 Guidance
Our expectations for 2018, which are shown in comparison to the 53-week fiscal 2017 where applicable, are as follows:
Net sales
$15.2 to $15.4 billion
Comparable sales (percent)
0.5 to 1.5
EBIT
$885 to $940 million
Earnings per diluted share (excluding the impact of any future share repurchase)
$3.30 to $3.55
The Company’s guidance also incorporates the following assumptions:
The effective tax rate is expected to be approximately 27.5%.
The impact of revenue recognition accounting changes is estimated to reduce EBIT by approximately $30.
The 53rd week in fiscal 2017 creates a timing shift in the 4-5-4 calendar for fiscal 2018 that is expected to impact comparisons to the prior year. This includes the shift in the Anniversary Sale event from the second and third quarters in 2017 to primarily the second quarter in 2018.
As a result of the evolution of our operations, our reportable segments have become progressively more integrated such that we will change our reportable segments to one reportable segment to align with how management will view the results of our operations in the first quarter of 2018, as discussed in Note 15: Segment Reporting in Item 8. These changes are not expected to impact total Company net earnings, earnings per share, financial position or cash flows. In addition, we are evaluating our legacy store based metrics, such as those calculated based on square footage, and migrating to metrics that are more relevant to how customers are engaging with us.


Nordstrom, Inc. and subsidiaries 25


Return on Invested Capital (“ROIC”) (Non-GAAP financial measure)
We believe ROIC is a useful financial measure for investors in evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of our use of capital and believe ROIC is an important component of shareholders’ return over the long term. In addition, we incorporate ROIC in our executive incentive compensation measures. For the 12 fiscal months ended February 3, 2018, our ROIC increased to 9.7% compared with 8.4% for the 12 fiscal months ended January 28, 2017. Results for the prior period were negatively impacted by approximately 330 basis points due to the Trunk Club non-cash goodwill impairment charge in the third quarter of 2016 (see Note 8: Fair Value Measurements in Item 8).
We define ROIC as our net operating profit after tax divided by our average invested capital using the trailing 12-month average. ROIC is not a measure of financial performance under generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) and should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for, return on assets, net earnings, total assets or other financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. Our method of determining non-GAAP financial measures may differ from other companies’ methods and therefore may not be comparable to those used by other companies. The financial measure calculated under GAAP which is most directly comparable to ROIC is return on assets. The following is a reconciliation of the components of ROIC and return on assets:
 
12 Fiscal Months Ended
 
February 3, 2018

 
January 28, 2017

 
January 30, 2016

 
January 31, 2015

 
February 1, 2014

Net earnings

$437

 

$354

 

$600

 

$720

 

$734

Add: income tax expense1
353

 
330

 
376

 
465

 
455

Add: interest expense
141

 
122

 
125

 
139

 
162

Earnings before interest and income tax expense
931

 
806

 
1,101

 
1,324

 
1,351

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Add: rent expense
250

 
202

 
176

 
137

 
125

Less: estimated depreciation on capitalized operating leases2
(133
)
 
(108
)
 
(94
)
 
(74
)
 
(67
)
Net operating profit
1,048

 
900

 
1,183

 
1,387

 
1,409

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Less: estimated income tax expense
(468
)
 
(416
)
 
(456
)
 
(544
)
 
(539
)
Net operating profit after tax

$580

 

$484

 

$727

 

$843

 

$870

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Average total assets

$8,055

 

$7,917

 

$9,076

 

$8,860

 

$8,398

Less: average non-interest-bearing current liabilities3
(3,261
)
 
(3,012
)
 
(2,993
)
 
(2,730
)
 
(2,430
)
Less: average deferred property incentives and deferred rent liability3
(644
)
 
(644
)
 
(548
)
 
(502
)
 
(489
)
Add: average estimated asset base of capitalized operating leases4
1,805

 
1,512

 
1,236

 
1,058

 
929

Average invested capital

$5,955

 

$5,773

 

$6,771

 

$6,686

 

$6,408

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Return on assets5
5.4
%
 
4.5
%
 
6.6
%
 
8.1
%
 
8.7
%
ROIC5
9.7
%
 
8.4
%
 
10.7
%
 
12.6
%
 
13.6
%
1 Results for the 12 months ended February 3, 2018, include $42 impact related to the Tax Act.
2 Capitalized operating leases is our best estimate of the asset base we would record for our leases that are classified as operating if they had met the criteria for a capital lease or we had purchased the property. Asset base is calculated as described in footnote 4 below.
3 Balances associated with our deferred rent liability have been classified as long-term liabilities in the current period.
4 Based upon the trailing 12-month average of the monthly asset base. The asset base for each month is calculated as the trailing 12 months of rent expense multiplied by eight. The multiple of eight times rent expense is a commonly used method of estimating the asset base we would record for our capitalized operating leases described in footnote 2.
5 Results for 12 fiscal months ended January 28, 2017 include the $197 impact of the Trunk Club non-cash goodwill impairment charge in the third quarter of 2016, which negatively impacted the prior period return on assets by approximately 240 basis points and ROIC by approximately 330 basis points.


26


LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
We strive to maintain a level of liquidity sufficient to allow us to cover our seasonal cash needs and to maintain appropriate levels of short-term borrowings. We believe that our operating cash flows, available credit facility and potential future borrowings are sufficient to meet our cash requirements for the next 12 months and beyond.
Over the long term, we manage our cash and capital structure to maximize shareholder return, maintain our financial position, manage refinancing risk and allow flexibility for strategic initiatives. We regularly assess our debt and leverage levels, capital expenditure requirements, debt service payments, dividend payouts, potential share repurchases and other future investments. We believe that as of February 3, 2018, our existing cash and cash equivalents on-hand of $1,181, available credit facilities of $800 and potential future operating cash flows and borrowings will be sufficient to fund these scheduled future payments and potential long-term initiatives.
The following is a summary of our cash flows by activity:
Fiscal year
2017

 
2016

 
2015

Net cash provided by operating activities

$1,400

 

$1,658

 

$2,470

Net cash used in investing activities
(684
)