Nordstrom To Lay Off Up To 400 Employees

Nordstrom Inc. said today that it expects to slash between 350 to 400 jobs in order to address shifts in consumer shopping habits.

The Seattle-based fashion-specialty retailer said it would cut the positions, most of which are in its corporate center and regional support teams, using a phased approach that it expects to complete by the end of the second quarter.

We will never change our commitment to serving customers, but recognize how they want to be served has been changing at an increasingly rapid pace,” said Nordstrom co-president Blake Nordstrom in a release. “Meeting our customers’ expectations means we must continually evolve with them. We see opportunities to create a more efficient and agile organization that ensures we’re best positioned to achieve our goals.

In an effort to minimize impacts on current employees, the company said it plans to first look at options such as closing unfilled open positions.

The layoffs, Nordstrom noted, are estimated to generate savings of $60 million in fiscal 2016.

Nordstrom said it is in the process of implementing a wave of initiatives that are centered around digital and technological improvements. The company has a new operating model in its technology group “focused on strengthening its ability to deliver on e-commerce and digital initiatives, and proactively addressing opportunities to improve supply chain and marketing effectiveness,” according to the release.

Nordstrom joins a growing list of department stores that are shifting more resources online.

In January, Macy’s Inc. said it would lay off up to 3,000 employees after feeling the pressure from dismal holiday sales, sluggish store traffic and competition from e-commerce players. Prior to that, the department store chain announced its plans to close up to 40 stores, in early 2016, in order to focus more on its digital efforts.

Nordstrom reports Q1 earnings on May 12.

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