Anyone who has really tried to get themselves in shape has heard of the plateau - it's that phase when your current exercises just don't seem to be working as much as they used to, and even though you're sticking to a schedule, you're not getting any stronger. Oddly enough, that's where Nordstrom finds itself in regards to its online sales growth.
The Motley Fool has a breakdown of the roller coaster ride Nordstrom's eCommerce sales have ridden since the early 2000s, when online generated just 5 percent of sales, to 2015, which brought in 20 percent. However, the brand's full-price online sales have slowed in recent years, with its discount eCommerce sales actually losing money. Case in point of the plateau: despite increasing 19.8 percent in 2015, Nordstrom's full-priced online products fell to just 3.1 percent last quarter.
The retailer has begun culling the less profitable items from its online catalog, though that may be contributing to the decline in growth, too. Whatever the cause, it's having a considerable effect on Nordstrom's plans going forward - plans to build a $170-million fulfillment center in California, the brand's largest market, have been tabled until it sees measured improvement to its omnicommerce futures, and without adequate support (i.e. a new fulfillment center), Nordstrom finds itself stuck in a Catch-22 of modern retail.