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SEATTLE-Vacancies as a result of the Federated-May merger could lead to expansion opportunities for Nordstrom department stores, the locally based chain’s executives said during the quarterly conference call. Federated Department Stores officials announced last month that they would close 68 units as a result of their $11-billion acquisition of May Department Stores.

“There are stores on their list that are of interest to us, and we are pleased to finally have tangible details to work with,” said Blake Nordstrom, the company’s president. Nordstrom did not specify how many units the retailer is eyeing, but said the vacancies could provide an opportunity for the company to enter new markets. Nordstrom has taken over space in five of the 32 Lord & Taylor stores that May executives said in 2003 they would close or sell.

Nordstrom did not open any new stores during its Q2, which ended July 30. The company plans to open three new units for the remainder of the year, in San Antonio, at the Shops at La Cantera on Sept. 16, at the Irvine (CA) Spectrum on Sept. 30 and on Nov. 11 in Dallas at NorthPark Center.

During its last quarter, Nordstrom posted a year-over-year same-store sales gain of 6.2%, while total sales rose 2.8%, to $2.1 billion. Net earnings were $148.9 million, up from $106.9 million during last year’s second quarter. Executives said all regions posted same-store sales gains, but stores in the South and Southwest performed best.

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