Nordstrom’s founding family hopes heavy investing in stores and ecommerce will help the department-store chain reinvent itself for the next 50 years

Many retailers, pummeled by online competition and shifting consumer tastes, are slashing costs and closing hundreds of stores. Nordstrom Inc. is doing the opposite.

The family-run company has been investing heavily as it tries to outrun the forces battering the industry. It is revamping some of its 122 department stores and spending more than $500 million to gain a toehold in Manhattan. It has snapped up e-commerce companies including flash sale website HauteLook and subscription service Trunk Club. And it has launched new...

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