Most struggling department stores know that they need a strong eCommerce arm to make up for their (hopefully temporary) in-store deficiencies. However, some unlucky few are starting to realize that they don't have the funds necessary to get back on their digital feet, and one of those is Nordstrom.
Chain Store Age is reporting that, in a letter dated June 15, Nordstrom Co-President Erik Nordstrom officially canceled the construction of a fulfillment center in an as-yet (and perhaps never-to-be) unnamed city on the West Coast. The mayors of Fresno and Visalia, California, both received copies of the letter, and while it's unclear at just what stage the selection and construction process had reached before Nordstrom cut the cord, the co-president explained that the decision was made in response to the changing retail landscape around them.
“Since our teams first met a year ago, the pace of change in retail has continued to increase,” Nordstrom said. “What’s most important is to evolve our business to best serve our customers. We will continue to invest across our business to competitively position us for long-term success and to deliver the products and experiences customers want.”
Nordstrom did leave itself an out by explaining that it would revisit its eCommerce needs in four years' time, which is enough time to drastically change the retailer's standing, both online and offline. Still, with Nordstrom itself claiming that online will represent at least 30 percent of its sales by 2020, one has to wonder how long it can sustain those numbers without adequately reinvesting in its supply chain in the form of strategic fulfillment centers.