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Nordstrom said Thursday that sales in stores open at least a year rose 9.8 percent in October on strong demand for women’s, men’s and children’s apparel.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected an increase of 6 percent. The metric is a key measure of a retailer’s health, because it excludes sales at stores that opened or closed during the past year.

Total sales for the four-week period ended Oct. 27 rose 11.5 percent to $835 million. The company said its sales were strongest at stores in the Midwest and Northwest.

For the third quarter, sales at stores open at least a year increased 10.7 percent. Total sales rose 13.8 percent to $2.71 billion.

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For the year-to-date, same store sales rose 7.7 percent, while total sales increased 11.4 percent to $8.17 billion.

The Seattle retailer operates 117 department stores, unchanged from a year ago, and 121 Nordstrom Rack outlet stores, up by 13 locations.

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