It hasn't been a good year for brick-and-mortar retail. Following a record low for U.S. retail sales toin March, on Monday, J.Crew Group filed for bankruptcy. The next day, Nordstrom announced that it's closing 16 of its 116 full-line department stores to adapt to customer needs during the current climate.
The Seattle-based company hasn't released which stores it plans on closing. But sources told WWD that the retail giant plans on shuttering locations across the country, including Flatiron Crossing in Colorado, Short Pump Town Center in Virginia, and Westfarms in Connecticut.
On March 17, Nordstrom temporarily closed all 378 locations—which include its full-line stores, Nordstrom Rack discount stores, Nordstrom Local service hubs, Jeffery boutiques, clearance stores, and Trunk Club clubhouses. The company hasn't announced any reopening dates yet.
When the stores reopen, Nordstrom plans to make several health and safety updates for its customers and employees. Some of the new policies include conducting health screenings for employees, increasing cleaning and sanitation, altering hours of operation, and keeping merchandise that's been returned or tried on off the sales floor for a period of time. It also plans on providing face coverings for employees and customers, limiting the number of people in the store, and adapting the fitting room experience.
While its stores have been closed, Nordstrom has continued its online business. The company expanded store fulfillment in mid-April, widening its inventory selection. Currently, more than half of Nordstrom.com orders are fulfilled from full-line stores. “We’ve been investing in our digital and physical capabilities to keep pace with rapidly changing customer expectations," Nordstrom CEO Erik Nordstrom said in a statement. The impact of COVID-19 is only accelerating the importance of these capabilities in serving customers."
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