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SEATTLE-Nordstrom Rack’s New York debut is just one example of the chain’s continuing expansion, Nordstrom executives said at the company’s second quarter conference call.

Rack will open in the former Virgin Megastore space in Union Square next spring, one of at least 14 Rack stores planned for 2010. Twelve new units have already been announced, and two more letters of intent are being prepared, said Blake W. Nordstrom, president.

“We thought [Union Square] was a terrific opportunity for the Rack,” Nordstrom said. “We have a number of full-price stores in the Northeast and there was no better opportunity to add a Rack.”

The company is planning a total of 13 Rack units this year. In the third quarter, Nordstrom plans to open a 138,000-square-foot full-line store at Kenwood Towne Centre in Cincinnati, and six Nordstrom Rack stores at the Shops of Southlake in Southlake, TX; Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove, MN; Beverly Connection in Los Angeles; Hastings Village in Pasadena, CA; Westfield Oakridge in San Jose, CA, and Gateway Center in Austin, TX.

Rack’s smaller size, and less expensive and faster construction allow the company to make decisions quickly, Blake Nordstrom added. The company already has been able to take advantage of a number of closed big boxes such as Circuit City to expand the chain quickly.

Net sales in the second quarter were $2.14 billion, down 6.2% from the same period last year. Same-store sales declined 9.8%. Net earnings were $105 million, vs. earnings of $143 million for the year-ago quarter.

Nordstrom operates 111 full-line stores, 61 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques, and one clearance store in 28 states.

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