Report: Activist Investor Ryan Cohen Seeks Changes at Nordstrom


Activist investor Ryan Cohen is reportedly looking to make changes at Nordstrom.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Thursday (Feb. 2) that Cohen has become one of the top shareholders in the company, aims to see a “refresh” of the board, including replacing director Mark Tritton, a former Bed Bath & Beyond CEO, and wants to drive cost cuts at the company.

Cohen had a stake in Bed Bath & Beyond while Tritton was there, pushed for changes in leadership compensation and other issues, and now believes Tritton shouldn’t be involved in determining compensation for members of the Nordstrom family because he used to work with them, according to the report, which cited unnamed sources.

Nominations for new members of the board can be made through Feb. 17, and Cohen has two candidates in mind, the report said.

Cohen is seeking to make these changes because both Nordstrom’s share price and its sales have fallen, per the report.

A Nordstrom spokeswoman told PYMNTS: “While Mr. Cohen hasn’t sought any discussions with us in several years, we are open to hearing his views, as we do with all Nordstrom shareholders. We will continue to take actions that we believe are in the best interests of the company and our shareholders.”

Together with his involvement with Bed Bath & Beyond, Cohen is the co-founder of Chewy and the person who sent video game retailer GameStop’s shares soaring in March 2022 when he tweeted that he had purchased 100,000 shares of the company’s stock.

Cohen has also built a stake in Alibaba worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the WSJ reported in January.

Nordstrom reported in January that it had softer sales and a greater-than-expected need for promotions and markdowns during the holiday shopping season.

During the nine weeks ended Dec. 31, sales at Nordstrom Rack discount stores slipped 7.6% from the previous year’s holiday shopping season, while those at Nordstrom were down 1.7%, the company said in a Jan. 20 press release.

“While we continue to see greater resilience in our higher income cohorts, it is clear that consumers are being more selective with their spending given the broader macro environment,” Nordstrom CEO Erik Nordstrom said at the time.

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