By  on May 7, 2014

At Nordstrom Inc., digital is now just a fact of life.

“The Nordstrom team is squarely focused on a strategy that serves customers the way customers want to be served today,” the retailer’s chairman, Enrique Hernandez Jr., told shareholders at its annual meeting in Seattle Wednesday. “But that’s evolving fast. In fact, it’s evolving faster than we had originally anticipated even just a year ago.”

It was a challenging year for retail in 2013, but Nordstrom continued to grow its sales, even while its full-line stores saw net sales slip 3.3 percent to $7.71 billion. The shortfall was made up by a 27.8 percent sales gain at nordstrom.com, to $1.6 billion; a 12 percent rise at Nordstrom Rack, to $2.74 billion, and a 21.8 percent increase at HauteLook and the smaller Jeffrey business, which saw combined sales of $330 million. (Together nordstrom.com and the Web-centric division including HauteLook and Jeffrey logged sales of $1.95 billion last year, 16 percent of the company’s overall take of $12.17 billion).

“We don’t even like to use the word ‘channel’ to describe the way we serve customers because customers don’t say, ‘I like this channel’ or ‘I like that channel.’ They say, ‘I like Nordstrom.’ They just like shopping on their terms,” Hernandez said. “It’s simply the way you have to do business today in retail, combining the accessibility of the pure online experience with the high touch and inclusivity of the stores.”

 

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