Nordstrom Inc. will permanently close more stores in California than anywhere else in the U.S. as part of the retailer’s downsizing of its department store fleet by 16 locations.
WWD has learned that six California stores — Santa Barbara, Riverside, Escondido, Sacramento, Pleasanton and Montclair — won’t ever reopen. Since March 17, Nordstrom has kept all of its stores temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Nordstrom operates 116 full-line stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Eliminating 13 percent of its department store fleet underscores how much COVID-19 has hurt retailing and the economy, in particular “nonessential” retailers such as Nordstrom. The department stores slated to permanently close would just never reopen.
California is Nordstrom’s largest market, with close to 30 department stores and more than 50 Rack off-price stores.
In addition to department stores, Nordstrom operates 247 Nordstrom Rack units; three Jeffrey high-end boutiques; two clearance stores; six Trunk Club clubhouses, and five Nordstrom Local service hubs. The company also operates the nordstrom.com, nordstromrack.com, HauteLook and trunkclub.com web sites.
Nordstrom is also restructuring its regions, support roles and corporate organization for “greater speed and flexibility,” the company said in an announcement Tuesday evening. Some merchants were affected, though Nordstrom did not disclose the number of employees who would be let go.
The restructuring is expected to result in expense savings of approximately $150 million, or 30 percent of the company’s previously announced plans for net cash reductions of more than $500 million in operating expenses, capital expenditures and working capital. These actions, combined with its initial savings plan of $200 million to $250 million, represent a reduction in non-occupancy-related overhead expenses of approximately 20 percent.
Nordstrom has been in discussions with landlords and in many cases is also seeking to amend lease terms, including seeking to have rents based on percentage of sales, which would give the retailer greater financial protection. Other retailers are doing the same.
It’s likely that Nordstrom is considering closing some Rack stores, though the company did not disclose any of those plans.
As previously reported, Nordstrom has already taken dramatic steps to strengthen additional liquidity and financial flexibility in response to uncertainties created by the coronavirus. Among the measures taken, Nordstrom amended its $800 million revolving line of credit, and closed on its 8.75 percent secured debt offering of $600 million, as well as sharply cutting operating expenses, capital expenditures and working capital by around $750 million, and has been realigning inventory levels. The Seattle-based retailer also suspended quarterly cash dividends and share repurchases.
The other 10 is stores that Nordstrom will permanently close are in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Hurst, Tex.; Happy Valley, Ore.; Broomfield, Colo.; Chandler, Ariz.; Freehold, N.J.; Annapolis, Md.; Richmond, Va., and Miami and Naples, Fla.
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