Bruce Nordstrom

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Bruce Nordstrom
Bruce A. Nordstrom

(1933-10-01) October 1, 1933 (age 86)
ResidenceSeattle, Washington, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Washington
OccupationFormer chairman and CEO, Nordstrom
Known forOwner of over 10% of Nordstrom
Net worthUS$1.2 billion (January 2019)[1]
Spouse(s)Jeannie Nordstrom
Children3 sons
Parent(s)Everett Nordstrom
RelativesJohn W. Nordstrom (grandfather)
Anne Gittinger (sister)

Bruce A. Nordstrom (born October 1, 1933)[2] is an American billionaire businessman, and the former chairman of the retailer Nordstrom, a company founded by his grandfather John W. Nordstrom. He ran the company from 1968 until 1995 and resumed his position as chairman in 2000 until 2006. He is a philanthropist in the Seattle community and appears in the Forbes list of wealthiest people in 2012.[3]

Early life and family[edit]

He is the grandson of John W. Nordstrom, founder of Nordstrom, Inc., which began as a shoe store in 1901. At the age of 9, Bruce Nordstrom began his career at the retailer working the stockroom and sales floor of Nordstrom's downtown Seattle store, making 25 cents an hour.[4] Bruce continued working under his father, Everett Nordstrom and uncles, Elmer and Lloyd Nordstrom, until he pursued college.

He graduated from the University of Washington in 1955 with a bachelor's degree in economics.[5] While at Washington, Nordstrom became a member of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity.[6]


For more than 40 years, Nordstrom led Nordstom, Inc, growing it from seven shoe stores to more than 156 stores in 27 states, and a European chain of boutiques.[4] During his tenure, he helped grow the company from under $40 million to $8.6 billion.[4]

In 1963, Nordstrom was named a president of Nordstrom, Inc.[5] He became board co-chair in 1968 alongside cousins James and John, cousin in-law Jack McMillan, and family friend, Bob Bender. They made up the third generation of Nordstroms, who led company expansion and profitability until the 1990s, when they began to retire.[7]

In 1995, Nordstrom retired as co-chairman. The company leadership was restructured with Nordstrom's sons – Blake, Pete and Erik in leadership roles alongside a new CEO, John Whitacre.[7] From 1995 until 2000, Nordstrom sales decreased and the company executed a marketing campaign to modernize the brand that was not well received. As a result, Whitacre left the company in 2000. Nordstrom returned as chairman for the second time, joined by his three sons in a new generation of leadership. The stores began to slowly turn around as the Nordstroms moved the focus back to employees.[8] Profitability followed; in 2003, the company reached record revenues of $6.5 billion.[9]

Nordstrom retired a second time in 2006, with Enrique "Rick" Hernandez Jr., a Nordstrom board member since 1997, taking on the role of chairman. His sons remain board members and company leaders.[10]

In 2007, Nordstrom co-authored Leave It Better Than You Found It, a book documenting the history of Nordstrom Inc. and its philosophy.[citation needed]

As of January 2019, he had a net worth of US$1.2 billion.[1]

Philanthropy and community involvement[edit]

Nordstrom and his wife Jeannie are active volunteers and donors to nonprofit and civic organizations in Seattle. Nordstrom held leadership positions for the Downtown Seattle Association, Seattle Children's Hospital Foundation, Swedish Hospital, Seattle Goodwill, Delta Society and United Way of King County.[5]

As an alumnus of the University of Washington, Nordstrom has stayed active in athletics and community affairs. He is the former chairman of the Tyee Board of Advisors and was a recipient of the Frank Orrico Award for "uncommon dedication" to the Department of Athletics in 1994.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Nordstrom is married to Jeannie and they have three sons – Blake (who died on 2 January 2019), Erik, and Peter, who are both in leadership positions at Nordstrom.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Forbes profile: Bruce Nordstrom". Forbes. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Bruce A. Nordstrom". Birth Records Search. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Bruce Nordstrom". Forbes. September 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d Bond, Jeff (June 2010). "The Keeper of the Nordstrom Way". The University of Washington Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Johnson, L.E. (Erv). "Bruce A. Nordstrom" (PDF). Oxford Cup Roll Awards. The Beta Theta Pi. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  6. ^ Tyee Yearbook. Seattle, WA: University of Washington. 1956. p. 310.
  7. ^ a b "Nordstrom, Inc. History". International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.67. St. James Press via Fundraising Universe. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  8. ^ Mulady, Kathy (26 June 2001). "Back in the family". Seattle Post Intelligencer. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  9. ^ Bukszpan, Daniel. "Nordstrom, Inc.: Bruce Nordstrom & Blake Nordstrom". CEO Dads and Their Executive Kids. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  10. ^ Earnest, Leslie (24 May 2006). "Nordstrom Goes Outside the Family". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Statement from Nordstrom". Nordstrom. Retrieved 3 January 2019.

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