Nordstrom to Permanently Close 16 Stores, Plans Phased Reopening for Others

by Alex Tostado

Seattle — Nordstrom plans to permanently close 16 of its 116 full-line stores, with the company incurring the non-cash impairment charges associated with the closures. The clothing retailer hopes the closures will better position it for the long-term retail landscape at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The list of stores was not released.

“We’ve been investing in our digital and physical capabilities to keep pace with rapidly changing customer expectations,” says Erik Nordstrom, CEO of Nordstrom Inc. “The impact of COVID-19 is only accelerating the importance of these capabilities in serving customers.”

“More than ever, we need to work with flexibility and speed,” he adds. “Our market strategy helps with both, bringing inventory closer where customers live and work, allowing us to use our stores as fulfillment centers to get products to customers faster, and connecting digital and physical experiences with services like curbside pickup and returns.”

The retailer is also restructuring its regions, support roles and corporate organization for greater speed and flexibility. This restructuring is expected to result in expense savings of approximately $150 million. That savings represents 30 percent of the company’s previously announced plans for net cash reductions of more than $500 million in operating expenses, capital expenditures and working capital.

With stores temporarily closed since March 17, Nordstrom plans to reopen its locations in a phased, market-by-market approach that aligns with local guidelines. As it reopens stores, the company is making the following updates:

  • Conducting health screenings for employees;
  • Providing face coverings for employees and customers;
  • Taking steps to allow for social distancing of six feet or more, including limiting the number of customers and employees in the store;
  • Increasing cleaning and sanitization;
  • Modifying the fitting room experience;
  • Continuing to offer contactless curbside services at full-line stores;
  • Altering hours of operation;
  • Pausing or adapting high-touch services and customer events; and
  • Keeping tried-on and returned merchandise off the sales floor for a period of time.

Across its brands, Nordstrom Inc. operates 378 locations: 116 full-line stores, 247 Nordstrom Racks, three Jeffrey boutiques, two clearance stores, five Trunk Club clubhouses and five Nordstrom Local service hubs.

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