Nordstrom plans to permanently close 16 of its 116 full-line stores while moving toward a phased reopening of others, as it continues to navigate its business through the Coronavirus pandemic. The stores to be shuttered were not identified in the company’s statement.
The Seattle-based retailer also said it will make changes to how its stores function in a “market-by-market” approach and will move its big Anniversary Sale from July to August.
“We’ve been investing in our digital and physical capabilities to keep pace with rapidly changing customer expectations. The impact of COVID-19 is only accelerating the importance of these capabilities in serving customers,” said CEO Erik Nordstrom. “More than ever, we need to work with flexibility and speed. Our market strategy helps with both, bringing inventory closer to 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 said Tuesday that at both full-line Nordstrom and discount Nordstrom Rack stores, the online and in-store sides are closely integrated: “More than half of Nordstrom’s store sales involve an online journey and a third of online sales involve a store experience.” According to the company, more than half of Nordstrom.com orders are fulfilled from full-line stores, and 25 percent of Nordstromrack.com and HauteLook.com orders are fulfilled by Nordstrom Rack stores.
The company also said it will restructure its regional and corporate organization “for greater speed and flexibility” in moves that will save about $150 million a year. Details were not provided.
When its stores do reopen, Nordstrom said, changes will include 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 sanitizing, modifying the fitting room experience, and continuing to offer curbside services at full-line stores.
In addition to its full-line stores, the company operates 247 Nordstrom Rack stores, five Nordstrom Local service hubs, three Jeffrey boutiques, two clearance stores, and five Trunk Club clubhouses.
Back in March, the retailer said it will close all standalone Trunk Club stores and will fold the brand into existing Nordstrom stores. The timeline for this move has not been disclosed.