For Nordstrom Rack, Long Beach closing won’t slow expansion plans
By Jay Keller
Nordstrom, Inc., announced plans on Tuesday to close its Nordstrom Rack store in Long Beach City Place, marking the first store closing by the retailer since November 2011.
For Nordstrom shoppers, the move to shutter a Nordstrom Rack location may come as a bit of a surprise, especially considering that Nordstrom, Inc., as added 13 new Rack stores since January 2013 and 19 last year.
But, as it turns out, the move to pass on renewing the nearly 12-year lease on the Long Beach Rack store comes in the wake of successfully opening three new stores at nearby locations.
“We still hope to do business in Long Beach in the future,” Nordstrom Rack president Geevy Thomas said on Tuesday. “[B]ut with our lease set to expire, and having opened three nearby locations in recent years, this is the right time to not renew our lease, close our store at that location and look to the future.”
Thomas concluded by saying the company will pursue finding another location “where we can better serve our customers.”
Until recently, Nordstrom has been quietly following a roadmap that includes opening 230 Rack stores by 2016.
But, in the last week to 10 days, Nordstrom has been more vigilant about making public comments about the plans to nearly double its presence of Rack over full-line stores, details of which were only subtly mentioned before in the Nordstrom company history published online.
While speaking at an investment conference on June 13, Nordstrom CFO Michael G. Koppel told the crowd that Nordstrom leadership has evolved its philosophy from the thinking that full-line stores should always outnumber Rack stores in a market.
But now, Koppel also said that “we got past the fact that there’s one-to-one, because now we have more Racks than we have full-line.”
Nordstrom currently operates a total of 248 stores located in 33 states (not counting the 2014 closing in Long Beach) which includes 117 full-line stores, 127 Nordstrom Racks and four others connected to the brand.
Currently, the company says the future roadmap plans including opening two full-line stores in the U.S. next year and just one more is slated for 2018 located in Manhattan.
Nordstrom’s also expects to open its first full-line stores in Canada but the company has yet to release the number of stores.