An Open Mind Is the Best Look


From a modest shoe store in Seattle, Nordstrom grew into a leading global retailer of shoes, apparel, accessories, furnishing and an extensive range of services to make shopping seamless and personalised.


In 1887, John W. Nordstrom, at sixteen, immigrated from Sweden to the United States. He arrived in New York with $5 in his pocket. He laboured in mines and logging camps as he crossed the country to California and Washington. In 1897, he joined the Alaska and Klondike Gold Rush and after two years of prospecting, struck gold and sold his claim for $13,000. Returning to Seattle, he married Hilda Carlson in 1900 and searched for a business venture. Shoemaker Carl F. Wallin, whom he had met in Alaska, offered him partnership in a shoe store and the following year, they opened Wallin and Nordstrom, in Seattle. The business developed and, in 1923, they opened a second store. In 1928, John retired and sold his share to his sons, Everett and Elmer. Carl Wallin retired the following year and also sold his share to them. John W. Nordstrom’s third son, Lloyd, joined his brothers during the Depression in 1933 and the three helmed the company for almost forty years.

By 1960, the company had eight locations in Washington and Oregon, and was the largest independent shoe chain in the United States. Nordstrom ventured into the women’s clothing market with the acquisition of Seattle-based Best’s Apparel in 1963. With the purchase of a Portland-based fashion retailer three years later, Nordstrom offered a selection of shoes and apparel under the brand, Nordstrom Best. Men’s and children’s wear were added in 1966. In two years, the brothers handed the company over to the third generation: Everett’s son Bruce, Elmer’s sons James and John, Lloyd’s son-in-law Jack, and family friend Bob Bender. Going public in 1971, the company was renamed Nordstrom, Inc. Two years later, annual sales surpassed reported $100 million.

In 1973, Nordstrom Rack opened as a clearance center within the downtown Seattle store. In the next few years, Nordstrom expanded to Alaska and California. Expansion continued across the United States throughout the Nineties. In 1995, the third generation of Nordstrom family members retired as co-chairmen. During this period, annual sales passed the $1 billion mark. By 2009, Nordstrom began shipping orders overseas and formed strategic alliances. The company acquired European apparel brand Façonnable; majority interest in luxury fashion boutique Jeffrey; LA-based HauteLook; minority stake in kids-wear brand Peek; and online personalised clothing service Trunk Club.

In 2012, Nordstrom became the only U.S. retailer to retail Topshop and Topman. From 2011 -2013, Nordstrom operated Treasure and Bond, a charity- theme store in Manhattan that donated all profits to New York kids’ charities and raised over $200,000.  In September 2014, Nordstrom expanded to Canada, with stores in Calgary, Ottawa, British Columbia and Toronto. The following year, Nordstrom opened a full-line store at Puerto Rico. At that time, Pete and Erik Nordstrom served as co-presidents of Nordstrom, Inc.

On March 3, 2020, Erik Nordstrom became the sole CEO of Nordstrom. However, later that month, the company announced that all locations would temporarily close during the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 5, Nordstrom began reopening stores and announced that sixteen locations would permanently close by August. In late September, Nordstrom announced that by end-2021, their stores and websites would no longer sell products made from fur or exotic skins. In October 2021, Nordstrom announced a partnership with 11 Honoré, a luxury e-retailer focused on plus-sized designer fashion, where the company’s clothing will be accessible in Nordstrom stores as well as on the retailer’s website.

Nordstrom Canada Retail

Nordstrom Canada Retail, Inc. is the Canadian division of Nordstrom and was announced on September 13, 2012. In this market, it competes with Canadian department stores including Holt Renfrew, Hudson’s Bay, and Simons. Four full-line Nordstrom stores were announced for the first phase of expansion, with nine full-line stores lined up. Most stores are located in vacated Sears Canada storefronts in Cadillac Fairview-managed shopping centers, including Chinook Centre in Calgary; Rideau Centre in Ottawa; Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto; and Pacific Centre in Vancouver. The stores at the CF-managed Sherway Gardens and the Oxford-managed Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto were new construction. The first Nordstrom Rack opened at Vaughan Mills on March 21, 2018; and then a second location in Deerfoot Meadows in Calgary and a flagship location at One Bloor in Toronto opened on May 3, 2018. Nordstrom Rack opened three additional stores in Fall 2018; one at Heartland Town Centre in Mississauga, one at Ottawa Trainyards, and another at South Edmonton Commons.

Mission Statement

“Our mission is to continue our dedication to providing a unique range of products, exceptional customer service, and great experiences.”


Nordstrom strives to give customers the exceptional value they expect when shopping at a Nordstrom store. A big factor in Nordstrom’s success and popularity the luxury and quality of the apparel and merchandise the retailer sells, often at better prices than other high-end retailers.

Products and Services

Department Store | full-line retail | clothing | footwear | handbags | accessories | jewellery | cosmetics | fragrances | home décor

Key Team

CEO Erik Nordstrom helms Nordstrom. Previously, Erik Nordstrom and his brothers had shared the co-president title until Pete Nordstrom stepped down to assume the titles of president and chief brand officer. The third brother, Blake, who also had been co-president, passed away the year before.