Erik Nordstrom is the Chief Executive Officer of Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN), a leading fashion retailer with an unwavering commitment to customer service.
With a team of 50,000 dedicated employees across United States and Canada, Erik has enabled the organization to move with speed and flexibility to adapt to the rapid changes in customer expectations in an increasingly digital world. This agility became especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, which required Nordstrom to temporarily close stores and operate online only. While COVID was certainly disruptive, it also accelerated existing trends which Nordstrom had been preparing for.
High among those trends was the customer’s desire for convenience and connection. Convenience comes from leveraging infrastructure to better serve customers how they want to be served. Connection means knowing the customer, being relevant and being able to personalize the experience digitally and in-store. Nordstrom is delivering on both by unlocking the full power of its digital-first platform to get closer to customers than ever before.
While Nordstrom is in a position of strength emerging from the pandemic and rapidly adjusting to this new retail environment through moves like partnering with online fashion retailer ASOS, retail analysts are still uncertain of what the future of the industry holds.
“What we know with certainty with the pandemic is that we don’t know,” BMO capital markets managing director Simeon Siegel noted. “The prior rules of retail placement simply no longer exist.”
Siegel said Nordstrom could be poised to comeback stronger than its peers due to a stronger e-commerce platform. But the industry’s buzzword “experiential” may need to be reinvented.
“The most recent buzzword in retail has been ‘experiential,’” Siegel said. “The risk factor now is that experiences in stores are exactly what people are concerned about.”
Erik Nordstrom will join the HBS Club of NY over Zoom for an exclusive conversation about all things retail. Join us for this insightful discussion.
Participants must register by NOON on September 27th to receive details on joining the discussion. The Zoom link will be sent out 24 hours before the event.
Please note that no refunds will be issued.
Chief Executive Officer at Nordstrom
Erik Nordstrom began his career in the stockroom of the downtown Seattle store in 1979. He worked as a salesperson in the shoe department through high school and college. After graduating from the University of Washington, Erik held numerous positions throughout the company, including buying and regional management, before becoming co-president in 2015 and then chief executive officer in 2020.
From 2000-2014 Erik was president of full line stores and from 2014- 2016 he directly supported Nordstrom.com. In his current role, he supports the company’s full-line businesses, off-price businesses, finance, legal, technology, strategy and its digital properties (Nordstrom.com and NordstromRack.com).
Since Erik and his brothers took over the leadership of Nordstrom in 2000, the business has grown from $5.1B to over $15B and has increased the number of stores from 115 to more than 350. The brothers also took the company international in 2014, opening the first Nordstrom store in Canada, and the first full-line Nordstrom store in New York City in 2019.
Erik has served on the Nordstrom Board of Directors since 2006.
Journalist at CNBC
Sara Eisen is co-anchor of CNBC’s Closing Bell. She is known for her deep expertise in financial markets and the global economy as well as regular news making interviews with some of the most prominent names in the financial world.
She joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. Prior to CNBC, Eisen was co-anchor of Bloomberg Surveillance as well as a correspondent for Bloomberg Television. Eisen holds a master’s degree in broadcast journalism with a concentration in business reporting from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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