In Other News: Nordstrom’s Cautious Canadian Move

by Harry Sheff

NordstromAs Nordstrom prepares to open its second Canadian store—this one in Ottawa—the Seattle-based luxury retailer’s president Blake Nordstrom tells the Globe and Mail that he’s erred on the side of overstocking the Calgary store at the expense of margins.

“We probably, because of our sensitivity, were a little guilty internally of maybe even having too much inventory,” he said. It will hurt Nordstrom’s bottom line in the short term, to the tune of “tens of millions of dollars in annual operating losses,” according to the Globe and Mail.

After Minneapolis-based Target’s disastrous Canadian experiment, which included major supply chain issues, Nordstrom’s slow and cautious expansion makes sense. Target announced in January that it would close all 133 stores in Canada just two years after opening.
However, Blake Nordstrom doesn’t like that comparison. “There are huge differences,” he told the Globe and Mail. “They opened over 100 stores at once. That’s quite a difficult feat. We opened one. We’re focused on one store at a time, six stores in total. We’re doing our best to open those properly.”

Nordstrom opened the Calgary store, its first outside the U.S., in September 2014 at Chinook Centre. After the Ottawa store opens this month, the retailer will open in Vancouver in September, followed by two Toronto stores in fall 2016 (Yorkdale Centre and Eaton Centre) and another Toronto store in spring 2017 (Sherway Gardens). Nordstrom Rack, the off-price division, will open in Canada in 2017.