Shares of Nordstrom’s stock were up in after-hours trading following the department store operator’s report of better-than-expected sales numbers for the second quarter.

Nordstrom’s net sales rose 3.5 percent year-over-year as the company’s Nordstrom Rack and online businesses posted gains. Same-store sales, also driven by Rack and online, were up 1.7 percent for the company. Comps at Nordstrom’s full-line stores have fallen for eight straight quarters.

Nordstrom’s annual anniversary sale boosted numbers for the company’s full-line stores, which still saw a net sales decrease during the quarter. Blake Nordstrom, co-president for Nordstrom, said the sale generates volume that “rivals” what the company does during the Christmas holidays.

This year’s event, Mr. Nordstrom told analysts on yesterday’s earnings call, “outperformed our recent sales trends as customers responded favorably to newness and the ability to shop the way they prefer,…