Nordstrom Inc. will shut its department store in the Dulles Town Center in Dulles, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C., on Sept. 8, impacting about 150 nonseasonal employees.
Other department store operators, such as Macy’s Inc., Sears Holdings and J.C. Penney Co. Inc., are closing or have closed scores of locations this year. Macy’s operates more than 700 department stores under the nameplates Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Penney’s has 1,013 units, and at the beginning of 2017, Sears had about 1,400 stores under the Sears and Kmart nameplates.
But it’s rare for Nordstrom to close a full-line store, partly because it has fewer department stores — 122 — and doesn’t need to streamline its store base as much as some competitors. Only one full-line Nordstrom store closed this year, in Santa Ana, Calif., in the MainPlace Mall. Since 1990, Nordstrom, which also operates the Rack off-price chain, has opened 298 stores and closed just 17.
“Our strategy is focused on our customers. When it comes to store investments we feel it makes the most sense to look at the total market area versus individual stores. In looking at the greater D.C. market, we feel we can serve our customers better at our other area stores and online,” said Jamie Nordstrom, president of stores for Nordstrom.
“We’ve been fortunate to build great relationships with our customers and employees at our Dulles Town Center store for the past 15 years; our operating agreement is set to expire and closing this store is the best decision for us.”
Nordstrom will continue to serve the greater D.C. area with its five other full-line department stores, in Tysons Corner Center, Montgomery Mall, Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, Annapolis Mall and The Mall in Columbia. The company also operates 12 Nordstrom Rack off-price stores in the area.
“Given the number of stores in the area, we will be able to offer roles to anyone [from the Dulles store] who wants to stay on with us,” Nordstrom said. Eligible employees who work at the store through their last scheduled shift will be eligible for a separation package.
Nordstrom said all of the company’s full-line stores open more than a year generate positive cash flow. The retailer has three full-line stores and 12 Nordstrom Rack stores scheduled to open this fall. Nordstrom’s Manhattan flagship will launch in two phases, first with the 47,000-square-foot men’s store, scheduled for a spring 2018 opening, and secondly, with the 320,000-square-foot women’s store, expected to open fall 2019.