Nordstrom President Visits Mays for Keynote Speech

On March 11, Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School concluded the M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Lecture Series with keynote speaker Blake Nordstrom, president of Nordstom, Inc.. The lecture series is meant to examine innovation and advancement of retail. The event was hosted by the Center for Retailing Studies (CRS).

CRS research director, Venkatesh Shanka led a Q&A session where Nordstrom offered career advice and  discussed the company’s keys to success, promise and outlook for growth.

Mays Business Online offers a summary of some topics discussed by Nordstrom. One of these outlines describes the company’s unique structure as a “four-legged chair.”

“Nordstrom provided an illustration of a four-legged chair to explain the company’s composition, which has created a launch pad for success and growth. He identified:

  1. Full-line Nordstrom stores: Posting $7.7 billion in sales, Nordstrom’s brick-and-mortar sites make up 60 percent of the business. Although there is a large investment nationwide, the company has experienced multiple challenges from housing their stores in mall-based environments.

eCommerce and online sales: This is the fastest-growing area of business for the company.

Nordstrom Rack stores: Attracting the younger, aspirational generation, the Rack is an expanding channel for Nordstrom. The off-price model targets an entirely new demographic and method to gaining new customers and paving way for new merchandising in full-line stores.

On-line off-price: As Nordstrom said, it’s all about acquisition “in the name of speed.” By acquiring flash sale site HauteLook in 2011, the company can compete with Amazon, offering dynamic price strategy online, increasing momentum and sales, something that cannot be done quickly in-store.”


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