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An overview of Nordstrom’s growth story

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Feb. 18 2015, Published 10:54 a.m. ET

Company overview

Nordstrom (JWN) is an upscale department store that sells apparel, shoes, cosmetics, and accessories for women, men, and children. Founded by John W. Nordstrom and Carl Wallin, the company began as a small downtown shoe store in 1901. Today, the fourth generation of the Nordstrom family manages the high-end establishment, which has 287 stores in 38 states and Canada.

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Nordstrom’s growth story

Over the past few decades, Nordstrom has strengthened its position by strategically expanding from a successful independent shoe store to a high-end department store and then venturing into off-price retailing through Nordstrom Rack.

Nordstrom  serves customers through 116 full-line stores in the US, one store in Canada, 167 Nordstrom Rack locations, and one clearance store. In 2005, the company acquired Jeffrey boutiques in Atlanta and Manhattan.

Through Nordstrom.com, the company reaches customers in 96 countries. Also, the company’s e-commerce site Nordstromrack.com operates in partnership with its flash sale site HauteLook, which Nordstrom acquired in 2011.

Competition

In the upscale department store category, Nordstrom competes with the Neiman Marcus Group, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, and Von Maur. Nordstrom’s other competitors include Dillard’s (DDS), Macy’s (M), JCPenney (JCP), the TJX Companies (TJX), and Kohl’s (KSS). These companies are part of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), which had 12.29% holdings in the consumer discretionary sector and 0.06% holdings in Nordstrom as of February 11, 2015.

Series overview

This series will focus on Nordstrom’s target consumers, revenue stream, growth prospects, multichannel approach, international expansion, and other key aspects.

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