Nordstrom is finally coming to town — and it’s bringing nearly 1,200 jobs with it.
The retailer is set to open its first Manhattan flagship on Oct. 24, and in the meantime, it’s staffing up significantly. On Monday, it posted a slew of new job listings for roles including sales associates, visual merchandisers, styling assistants and customer service representatives. It is also hosting hiring events in New York City from August 15 to 17 and from August 26 to 28.
The store has been in the works for well over a decade, first while the company was searching for the right location for its Manhattan debut and later while it was building it from the ground up. The resulting space occupies seven stories at the base of Extell Development Co.’s Central Park Tower near Columbus Circle and reportedly cost more than $500 million to build.
And while that made seem like a risky bet at a time when many retailers are downsizing their brick-and-mortar footprints, Jamie Nordstrom, the retailer’s president of stores, explained the company’s reasoning in an interview with FN last summer: “We’re not opening the store for this year; we’re opening for the next 50 or 100 years,” he said. “We’re not economists; we’re retailers. We know what’s durable, which is great product and great service. And if we keep that as our focus — giving the customer a great value, being relevant to what they’re looking for and how they want to shop — then we’ll be successful.”
Last spring, the 118-year-old company opened its 47,000-square-foot men’s shop across the street, hiring 250 employees with a splashy recruitment campaign that included wraparound banners on the exterior of the store with messages like, “Desperately Seeking Sock Svengali,” “Now Hiring: Sneaker Obsessives,” and “People People Wanted.”
It may have to pull out the stops again ahead of the flagship opening: The tight labor market has led to the largest gap on record between job openings and unemployed Americans, with the former outnumbering the latter by 1.625 million in April, according to Labor Department figures.
This — combined with public pressure from labor groups and politicians — has pushed several major retailers to raise their starting wages. Since November, Amazon has paid a minimum wage of $15 per hour, while Walmart moved to $11 per hour in February and Target moved to $13 per hour in June. (Target has also said it plans to reach $15 per hour by the end of 2020.) Nordstrom’s job listings don’t include a mention of hourly pay, but New York City’s minimum wage for all businesses with more than 10 employees increased to $15 an hour in January. According to more than 1,000 reported salaries on the jobs website Glassdoor, Nordstrom’s typical wage for sales associates is $11 an hour.
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