Nordstrom: Growth ideas offset a maturing platform

RetailWire panelists discussed Nordstrom’s performance as an emerging “multi-platform” retailer, with growth coming from its Rack stores and its e-commerce sites. I have plenty of praise for the company’s balanced approach:

Nordstrom is aggressively riding the growth potential of Rack stores and its e-commerce business. (E-commerce grew at a 30% rate last year and accounts for over 10% of company sales in 2013.) And the company has been a leader in leveraging its brick-and-mortar inventory to fulfill web orders. It helps to have the service levels and “process” in place to make this happen.

It’s just as noteworthy that JWN continues to grow its full-line department stores at a very deliberate pace, especially given slow comp sales. It would be tempting to step up the rate of store openings, given the lack of saturation in many areas of the U.S., but this kind of caution will keep Nordstrom from asking five years from now, “Why do we have all this excess square footage?”


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