Blake Nordstrom’s Pay Declines in 2012

President's total compensation fell 34.6 percent as the Seattle-based retailer's operating income fell short of target levels.

Blake Nordstrom saw his cash and total compensation fall last year — by 29 percent and 34.6 percent, respectively — as the Seattle-based retailer’s operating income fell short of target levels set by its board’s compensation committee.

This story first appeared in the April 2, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Total compensation fell to $3.9 million from $6 million in 2011, while cash compensation slipped to $1.6 million from $2.3 million, according to the definitive proxy statement Nordstrom Inc. filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

Nordstrom, president of the store that bears his family name, received an increase in salary, up 1.7 percent to $710,000 from $698,000 in 2011 — while his cash bonus, or nonequity incentive plan compensation in the parlance of proxy statements, dropped 42.8 percent to $892,000 from $1.6 million in the prior year.

In 2011, Nordstrom exceeded target levels for earnings before interest and taxes, and Nordstrom’s cash bonus was in excess of the mark of 150 percent of his salary. Last year, however, strong sales were “offset by increased operating expenses and incremental investments in marketing and technology,” and EBIT rose 7.7 percent to $1.35 billion, above the $1.3 billion minimum performance milestone but below the target mark. Like Blake Nordstrom, his brothers Peter Nordstrom, executive vice president of the company and president of merchandising, and Erik Nordstrom, executive vice president and president of stores, received 85 percent of their target bonus amounts. In all three cases, the target bonus amount equals 150 percent of their base salaries of $700,000 each.

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For the current fiscal year, the compensation committee lifted the bonus target amounts for the three brothers to 200 percent of base salaries from 150 percent, and the maximum cash bonus was raised to 500 percent from 250 percent. As before, executives are only eligible for cash bonuses if return on invested capital thresholds are met or exceeded.

Nordstrom’s net income last year rose 7.7 percent to $735 million, while sales were up 12.1 percent to $11.8 billion.

Blake Nordstrom’s stock and bonus awards fell fractionally last year, to $1.39 million from $1.393 million. The most substantial decline in his compensation came from the actuarial column headed “change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings,” which fell 61.1 percent to $879,000 from $2.3 million in 2011.

Because of vesting schedules and fluctuating stock values, stock and option awards aren’t necessarily realized by the named executives but, in accordance with SEC requirements, are reported to the SEC at “grant date fair value.”

Peter and Erik Nordstrom’s total compensations fell 35.8 and 35.2 percent, respectively, to $3.75 million and $3.7 million.