Nordstrom is making the rare move to shut down a full-line department store in Salem, Oregon, a decision that will likely cost about 130 workers their jobs.
The news comes as the Nordstrom family is looking to resume their efforts to push their chain private later in the year. The switch to a private designation for Nordstrom has been underway since 2017, though the brand ran into hurdles in securing sufficient financing to make the deal happen.
The Seattle-based retailer does not have the massive store fleet some of its competitors have, making a closure a much more notable event. The company operates roughly 360 brick-and-mortar stores today, more than 200 of which include its off-price brand, Nordstrom Rack.
“The decision to close a store is never one we take lightly,” Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we don’t think investing in Salem Center is the best approach for us moving forward.”
He said the company is “focusing on how to bring those together in individual markets to give our customers a more convenient and seamless shopping experience.”
After the Oregon location shutters, Nordstrom will still have three full-line department stores and six Nordstrom Racks in the state.
Physical stores trimmed their ranks by 7,000 last year — a 20-year high and a 229 percent increase year over year. Store closure announcements in the U.S. increased 229 percent year over year to some 6,985, according to an FGRT report.
Nick Egelanian, president of retail development consultants SiteWorks International, said in an email interview with Retail Dive that it’s a bit off base to blame all store closures on eCommerce, given longtime trends in segments like department stores — but that clearly more reshaping is on retail’s menu for the next 12 months.