Nordstrom layoffs respond to sagging profits, rising competition

Nordstrom expects to lay off about 350 to 400 people, with the majority of the cuts coming from corporate headquarters in Seattle.

Beset by fierce online competition, a lackluster retail climate, the costs of rapid expansion and sagging profits of late, Nordstrom on Monday said it expects to lay off 350 to 400 people in a cost-cutting measure aimed at becoming more efficient.

The majority of the cuts will come from its corporate headquarters in Seattle, where departments such as marketing, finance, legal and merchandising are all looking at possible cutbacks.

Sales-floor positions are not being considered for cuts, the fashion retailer said.

Nordstrom will first look at eliminating open positions. It then will make job cuts primarily in its corporate center and regional support teams, the company said.

The 400 positions represent nearly 6 percent of the company’s 7,000 employees who work for corporate divisions (not necessarily in Seattle). In total, the company employs more than 70,000 people.

The cuts should be completed by July and are expected to save the company about $60 million.

“We will never change our commitment to serving customers, but recognize how they want to be served has been changing at an increasingly rapid pace,” Blake Nordstrom, company co-president, said in a statement. “Meeting our customers’ expectations means we must continually evolve with them. We see opportunities to create a more efficient and agile organization that ensures we’re best positioned to achieve our goals.”

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