Are Nordstrom’s Recent Job Cuts A Sign Of A Bigger Issue?

by MR Magazine Staff

Last week, Nordstrom’s eliminated 106 customer care jobs. Is this purely a move to right-size its workforce, or is it a sign of a larger issue with online sales? The 106 positions cut include 30 in Seattle, 18 in Cedar Rapids, IA, and 58 from remote staffers scattered across the country, according to Nordstrom spokesperson Emily Sterken. The workers’ primary responsibility had been to answer questions posed by customers via email, online chat and phone. Nordstrom, like most retailers, has been focusing on growing its online business, says Professor Saravanan Kesavan of the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Based on fourth quarter 2016 results, those efforts seem to be paying off. Nordstrom reported fourth-quarter earnings that exceeded expectations, with record sales of $14.5 billion, due in large part to “continuous improvements to its operating model.” By driving traffic to its website, the expectation would be that Nordstrom would see an increase in customer contact via email, online chat and phone. So the fact that the company is trimming that customer-facing workforce “is a bit surprising,” says Kesavan. Read more at Forbes.