Timeline of Nordstrom

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This is a timeline of Nordstrom, a clothing retailing company.

Big picture[edit]

Time period Key developments at Nordstrom
1901–1928 First generation of Nordstrom leadership under John W. Nordstrom.
1928–1968 Second generation of Nordstrom leadership under Everett Nordstrom and brothers. Nordstrom expands out of Seattle into Portland. Nordstrom moves beyond shoes into general apparel.
1968–1995 Third generation of Nordstrom leadership under Bruce Nordstrom and brothers. Nordstrom goes public and grows into 61 full-line stores and 20 clearance and off-price stores. It expands into California, the East Coast, and the rest of the nation.
1995–2000 The third generation steps down and John J. Whitacre takes over as leader. This was described as a "failed experiment", where Nordstrom suffers through a crisis of confidence.
2000–2016 Bruce Nordstrom takes back leadership and retires in 2006. Blake Nordstrom becomes the first fourth-generation Nordstrom to lead the company. Nordstrom expands to the Internet and acquires Façonnable, Trunk Club, and Haute Look. By 2010, Nordstrom reaches record sales of 9.31 billion and its fastest-ever inventory turns—5.56 per year. Its shares grow by 120% from 2009-2014.[1][2]

Full timeline[edit]

Year Event type Details
1901 Company Nordstrom is founded by John W. Nordstrom as Wallin & Nordstrom, a shoe store, at Fourth Avenue and Pike Street.[2]
1923 Expansion Nordstrom opens up its second store in the University District [2]
1928 Team John W. Nordstrom retires and sells his shares to two of his sons, Everett Nordstrom and Elmer Nordstrom (the 2nd generation of chairmen, who would stay for 40 years).[2]
1930 Company The remodeled Second Avenue has its grand opening and the company is renamed to Nordstrom.
1950 Expansion Nordstrom expands out of Seattle by creating its first store in Portland.[3]
1963 Product Nordstrom ventures into the women's apparel market with its purchase of Best Apparel of Seattle.[4]
1968 Team All three brothers retire, letting the third generation take over (Everett's son, Bruce Nordstrom; Elmer's sons, James and John; Lloyd's son-in-law, Jack McMillan, along with family friend Bob Bender).[3]
1971 Company Nordstrom is taken public on NASDAQ under the ticker NOBE (Nordstrom Best).[4]
1973 Company The first Nordstrom Rack opens in Seattle as a clearance outlet for its full-line stores.[4]
1975 Expansion Nordstrom expands into Alaska (the only time by acquisition) by purchasing Northern Commercial Company and opened its first Nordstrom Rack clearance store in Seattle.[3]
1976 Company Nordstrom opens a series of stores called Place Two to sell a more limited selection of apparel in smaller markets.
1978 Expansion Nordstrom expands to California with a 127,000-square-foot, three-level store at South Coast Plaza.[3]
1988 Expansion Nordstrom expands to the East Coast (starting in Virginia).[3]
1991 Company Nordstrom FSB (a federally chartered savings bank doing business as Nordstrom Bank) is founded.
1993 Company Nordstrom expands into direct sales by beginning its catalog division.[3]
1995 Team The third generation of cochairmen decide to step down.
1997 Team John Whitacre steps in as the first CEO outside of the Nordstrom family.[5]
1998 Company Nordstrom replaces its downtown Seattle store with a new flagship location in the former Frederick & Nelson building across the street.
2000 Team John J. Whitacre is replaced and Bruce Nordstrom returns to co-chairman.
2000 Company Nordstrom launches the $40 million “Reinvent Yourself” campaign, but acknowledges that this campaign is a mistake when provocative ads and too-edgy fashions in its main stores rankled some longtime shoppers.[6]
2000 Expansion Nordstrom expands into Florida by opening its first southernmost store at Town Center at Boca Raton, despite Miami having being luxury market for years.
2000 Acquisitions Nordstrom acquires Façonnable, an international high-end men's and women's tailor, and keeps the acquisition until 2007.[4]
2002 Company Nordstrom begins rolling out a state-of-the-art merchandising system, letting it shift from tallying sales by hand to monitoring sales minute by minute at its stores around the country.[7]
2006 Team Bruce Nordstrom retires and Enrique "Rick" Hernandez Jr., a Nordstrom board member since 1997, takes on the role of chairman.[8]
2011 Acquisitions Nordstrom acquires Hautelook and enters the online private sale market.[4]
2014 Acquisitions Nordstrom acquires Trunk Club, a personalized clothing service.[4]
2014 Expansion Nordstrom opens its first full-line store in Canada in Calgary.[4]


  1. ^ "Nordstrom's Business Strategy Is Working - Business Insider". Businessinsider.com. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Seattle History: Nordstrom through the years - Seattle's Big Blog". Blog.seattlepi.com. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Robert Spector; Patrick D. McCarthy (7 February 2012). The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: The Handbook For Becoming the "Nordstrom" of Your Industry. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-23653-6.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Nordstrom History". Shop.nordstrom.com. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  5. ^ Frey, Christine (November 20, 2002). "John Whitacre, former Nordstrom CEO, was a team player". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  6. ^ "There Will Soon Be Way More Nordstrom Racks Than Regular Nordstrom Stores - BuzzFeed News". Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  7. ^ "Nordstrom Regains Its Luster". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  8. ^ Earnest, Leslie (24 May 2006). "Nordstrom Goes Outside the Family". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 October 2012.