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Nordstrom to Shutter Two Department Stores

Units in Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash., will close within a year.

Nordstrom Inc. will close two full-line department stores, one in Portland, Ore., and the other in Vancouver, Wash., within a year at a cost of 384 jobs.

This story first appeared in the February 6, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Portland store, a 150,000-square-foot unit at Lloyd Center Mall, was opened in 1960, and the Vancouver unit, a 71,000-square-foot store at the Westfield Vancouver, in 1977.

“These two locations just haven’t performed to the level we need them to, and investing in remodels to possibly make them more successful didn’t pencil out,” said Erik Nordstrom, president of stores at the Seattle-based retail firm. “We never like to close a store, but we came to the difficult conclusion that it doesn’t make good business sense to continue operating them after our agreements end.”

There are 220 nonseasonal employees at the Portland store and 164 in Vancouver.

The company operates three other full-line stores in the Portland area, including one downtown, and four Nordstrom Rack units. Nordstrom called the other Portland area stores “amongst some of our most successful in the country.”

Concurrently, Nordstrom said it would open a 35,000-square-foot Nordstrom Rack store in the Christiana Fashion Center in Newark, Del., in the fall of next year, its first Rack store in the state. It’s operated a full-line store at The Christiana Mall in Newark since 2011.

Nordstrom operates 260 units, including 117 full-line stores and 140 Racks. It recently laid out plans to open six full-line stores in Canada in the next few years.

In the 12 months ended Nov. 2, Nordstrom opened 19 Rack stores but no full-line units. It planned to open 11 Racks and relocate one full-line store in the fourth quarter of last year.