Nordstrom Inc. plans to reopen its store at the Mall of San Juan in Puerto Rico on Nov. 9.
The two-story, 138,000-square-foot store has been closed since fall 2017 due to severe damage from Hurricane Maria last year. The store experienced significant water damage and the entire interior had to be rebuilt, the company said.
“We have many loyal customers on the island and we continue to believe there’s opportunity for us to do business there,” said Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom stores. “We want to thank our customers for their patience as we worked through this rebuilding process.”
The Seattle-based retailer did not disclose the cost to repair the store.
Nordstrom plans to hire 90 local employees for sales, support and restaurant roles in all areas of the store, including women’s, men’s, and children’s apparel, shoes, accessories and cosmetics, and others for alterations, building services, housekeeping, loss prevention and the restaurant offerings. After the Category 4 hurricane struck the island in September 2017, Nordstrom eliminated most of the jobs, but extended pay for the period while the store remained closed, offered separation packages and was able to transfer some employees to other jobs within the company with some relocation assistance. Yazmin Rivera, who served as interim store manager to help rebuild the store, has stepped up to the role of store manager.
The mall, a Taubman Centers Inc. property, closed on Sept. 19, 2017, a day before the hurricane struck the island. The mall reopened on Oct. 19, 2017, though Nordstrom as well as Saks Fifth Avenue and some other stores remained closed.
Saks is still closed and was hit with a lawsuit by Taubman to get the retailer to make the necessary repairs to reopen it. The lawsuit is still active.
According to people familiar with the property, Saks suffered even more extensive damage than Nordstrom, but has given indications that it will get the store reopened and will make the repairs. “They have not started construction,” a source said. “They will shortly.” Saks has not given a reopening date yet.
Close to 90 percent of the retailers in the center are said to be in business, with a few exceptions including Gap, Banana Republic and Saks.