Nordstrom's strong sales performance was a bright spot among the otherwise lackluster department store set in the first quarter, causing its shares to tick higher on Friday. But a rare hiccup at its off-price Rack division—a key driver of sales over the past few years, and a major part of its expansion plans moving forward—dampened excitement.
After two and a half years of outpacing same-store sales growth at the company's full-price department stores, Rack's comparable sales dipped 0.2 percent in the period, down from 6.4 percent growth the prior year. ( Tweet this. ) In another reversal of trends, its traditional stores posted an 0.5 percent gain, compared to a decline of 1.9 percent one year ago.