The high-end department store chain Nordstrom in the U.S. reported sales of $2.30 billion in the fourth quarter that ended Jan. 31, an 8.5 percent drop from the previous year. Same-store sales were down by 12.5 percent, and the gross margin for the quarter fell by 5.6 percentage points to 32.0 percent. The sales figure was slightly above what had been forecast. For the full year, Nordstrom had a sales decrease of 6.3 percent to $8.3 billion. Comparable store sales fell by 9.0 percent, and the gross margin fell by 2.9 percentage points to 34.5 percent. In 2009, the company plans to open three new full stores and 10 new Nordstrom Rack off-price stores.