Nordstrom Closing Downtown Anchorage Location

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Nordstrom Closing Downtown Anchorage Location

Post by bm11k » June 28th, 2019, 2:15 pm


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Re: Nordstrom Closing Downtown Anchorage Location

Post by buckguy » June 28th, 2019, 2:33 pm

Even when there was more oil money, I can't imagine Anchorage having the population base to support a Nordstrom well.

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Re: Nordstrom Closing Downtown Anchorage Location

Post by Super S » June 28th, 2019, 3:30 pm

I really don't think Nordstrom is doing as well as they want you to believe. They are gradually scaling back in many markets. I can see a point where the whole business model could eventually transition into their discount "Rack" format. Given that they started as a shoe retailer, it's not really that far-fetched of an idea.

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Re: Nordstrom Closing Downtown Anchorage Location

Post by storewanderer » June 28th, 2019, 3:55 pm

Nordstrom seems to be a victim of the times. The customer expectation for a Nordstrom store is high and the costs to operate the stores at the level that fits the image they have built, does not work, because the customers simply do not want to pay for it.

So rather than differentiate and successfully operate a better store and expand the Nordstrom concept (with high prices, and frankly at this point such a concept may or may not even be possible with the direction retail has taken at this point) they are faced with dumbing down the Nordstrom concept to a promotional mess like Macy's or just focusing more and more on the "Rack" format with lower standards, lower pricing, way less overhead, etc. It appears they have opted to join the race to the bottom that the rest of retail is involved in and keep closing Nordstrom stores and keep expanding Rack stores.

Personally Nordstrom is one of the few stores that I don't think I've ever actually bought anything from... I've been to many Nordstroms and many Racks and Nordstrom was simply out of my price range and the Racks I found to be unappealing, overpriced for what they had, and just overall lousy (but I also don't like Ross or Marshalls...). I prefer to go dig through clearance racks at Dillard's or Macy's or even Kohl's. Dillard's 65%+extra 50% off is my favorite.

But I have been with others who have bought from Nordstrom. Years ago they offered a free shipping service and I observed co-workers drop $200+ on something there then they would offer to ship it home for free so it did not have to be carried back on a plane. The service in the stores was/is clearly better than most stores. Personally I like efficient service that leaves me alone unless I need help or want to pay, so having someone help me select items is not an appealing concept. Perhaps if I were buying a suit I would be interested in a high level of service, but there are specialty stores for that.

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Re: Nordstrom Closing Downtown Anchorage Location

Post by klkla » June 28th, 2019, 8:13 pm

There are currently 119 full-line stores and 249 Racks.

There are still areas with the demographics to support the full line stores but maybe they should be proactive about closing the stores that aren't a good fit for them in the long term. I think about a third of the stores would fit into this category.

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Re: Nordstrom Closing Downtown Anchorage Location

Post by storewanderer » June 28th, 2019, 11:19 pm

klkla wrote:
June 28th, 2019, 8:13 pm
There are currently 119 full-line stores and 249 Racks.

There are still areas with the demographics to support the full line stores but maybe they should be proactive about closing the stores that aren't a good fit for them in the long term. I think about a third of the stores would fit into this category.
This seems to be the route they are taking. I think they are being proactive at closing stores at least in the NW, specifically in Oregon. These closures so far have been core, long time Pacific Northwest markets where they were represented in B and C type malls. They clearly only belong in the A type malls with the demographics to make their format work at the present time. And there are just not many of these malls left.

I don't know if it is as much of a reflection on Nordstrom as it is on the state of retail at large.

This could create an opening for Dillard's in some of these places. Dillard's seems to be benefiting greatly from Macy's ongoing downscaling.

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Re: Nordstrom Closing Downtown Anchorage Location

Post by marshd1000 » July 11th, 2019, 12:44 pm

I believe that Alaska was the first market outside of their core Washington and Oregon stores. Even before California. Before expansion to California, Nordstrom, while nicer than some stores was not as high end in those days. It is hard to fathom that they had stores in Fairbanks and Kenai, Alaska. Here in Washington, there was a store in Yakima. Even though it is fairly new, I wonder if the Spokane store is next when the lease on Riverpark Square comes up?! If that happens, Downtown Spokane will have no traditional department stores left in downtown. I remember Downtown Spokane used that have JCPenney, The Crescent/Frederick and Nelson, The Bon Marche/Macy's, and Lamont's in addition to Nordstrom!

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Re: Nordstrom Closing Downtown Anchorage Location

Post by buckguy » July 11th, 2019, 2:04 pm

Dillard hasn't been benefiting from anything. Their sales did a little better in the last quarter they reported than the year before but have been flat or declining for years and their profits have been dropped sharply overtime. Their service has been non-existent for years and they rely a lot on house brand merchandise that seems pretty undistinguished. The company has been repeatedly buying back shares so that the Dillard family can keep their dividend income. That doesn't sound like a sustainable business model, although it illustrates how family control can be just as destructive as vulture capital.

Nordstrom had quite a few (relatively speaking) smaller stores in smaller or less upscale markets in the NW as legacies of their early days. It's not surprising that they would close these stores, perhaps as leases end. The Racks sell a lot of mediocre stuff that's never been in a regular Nordstrom, but a lot of outlet retail is like that, anyway. I still find the Racks worth a look once in awhile and the regular stores during a sale. As for Dillard's--haven't been tempted to buy anything ages, but I do the occasional "anthropologic" visit.

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Re: Nordstrom Closing Downtown Anchorage Location

Post by storewanderer » July 11th, 2019, 11:28 pm

buckguy wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 2:04 pm
Dillard hasn't been benefiting from anything. Their sales did a little better in the last quarter they reported than the year before but have been flat or declining for years and their profits have been dropped sharply overtime. Their service has been non-existent for years and they rely a lot on house brand merchandise that seems pretty undistinguished. The company has been repeatedly buying back shares so that the Dillard family can keep their dividend income. That doesn't sound like a sustainable business model, although it illustrates how family control can be just as destructive as vulture capital.

Nordstrom had quite a few (relatively speaking) smaller stores in smaller or less upscale markets in the NW as legacies of their early days. It's not surprising that they would close these stores, perhaps as leases end. The Racks sell a lot of mediocre stuff that's never been in a regular Nordstrom, but a lot of outlet retail is like that, anyway. I still find the Racks worth a look once in awhile and the regular stores during a sale. As for Dillard's--haven't been tempted to buy anything ages, but I do the occasional "anthropologic" visit.
Well, at least family control is keeping Dillards afloat and keeping them going. They have closed few stores, own most of their real estate, and seem to be running a profitable business that is a lot more stable than their peer group. Their stock is up 170% in the past 5 years, Macys stock is up 10% in the past 5 years, and Nordstrom stock is down 10% in the past 5 years. So I think Dillards seems to be doing something right. Or maybe it is that family control that is allowing them to make decisions that keep the business stable, vs. the competitors that are having to pay too much attention to analysts who often do not have the best advice and keep blowing money online, on "off price" concepts, and closing stores.

Maybe the wheels will fall off at some point soon, but based on how the Dillards in my area here in Reno looks now vs. how it looked a few years ago, as well as the increase in customer traffic I've been observing the past few years, I don't think so. Compared to the local Macy's which looks like a trash dump (literally, store is full of trash- used cups, wrappers, other junk) and is very confused from a merchandising standpoint, oddly sized departments to fit in things like "at your service" which marked a huge cut to women's handbags, or "backstage" which marked a huge cut to childrens and to women's intimates, movement of mattresses from the freestanding furniture store across the street (which is still open) up to 1/5 of the floor of housewares resulting in a significant cut to housewares which was very successful before, or "last act" which marked a huge cut to women's juniors... this Macy's Reno has historically been a very high performing store since its opening in 1978; the decisions made in the past few years have been anything but positive and have not improved performance. The Macy's men's store is a dump and the wood flooring seems to be original to when it was a Liberty House, all scratched up and looks terrible; the JC Penney is in better condition.

I expect Dillards to go private at some point and outlive these other publicly traded retailers that are busy getting overly leveraged, selling real estate, and constantly changing direction/restructuring. But that is not to say a new crop of retailers may pop up that could threaten Dillards.

Oddly enough right about when Nordstrom Rack opened in Reno was when Macy's started to do silly things to the local store. I am not sure if it was a coincidence or just confusion at a national level. Reno was very excited to get Nordstrom Rack but the excitement went away quickly because the store did not deliver what people were expecting. I do think people had somewhat unrealistic expectations for the store here. Nordstrom Rack has done okay here, but if you go look at Google/Yelp etc. the store has lower reviews than both Macy's (middle of the pack) and Dillards (the best).

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Re: Nordstrom Closing Downtown Anchorage Location

Post by buckguy » July 12th, 2019, 9:01 am

Given Dillard's overall financial performance over quite a few years, I'd say Reno is an outlier. They have closed a lot of stores in other markets and have done particularly poorly in their more northerly markets. Their neglect has been much greater than Macy's--Its only in the last decade that they've updated many stores they bought in the 80s which had opened in the 60s or 70s. Owning real estate in an era when malls are dying probably isn't the smart investment it would have been 25 years ago. I suspect that the Dillards will ultimately sell out to private equity which will run what's left of the chain into the ground. The obviously have no talent for merchandising and were very late to online retail. It's just a matter of time.

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