How Nordstrom Plans to Help Increase Voter Participation

Nordstrom wants to help get out the vote.

Today, the department store announced the launch of a nationwide nonpartisan voter participation initiative dubbed Make Your Voice Heard. The effort — a result of feedback that the company heard from more than 50,000 employees across the country — aims to galvanize both its workers and customers to cast their votes in the 2020 United States election.

Nordstrom has also partnered with nonprofits When We All Vote and the National Urban League to offer a virtual learning series, digital volunteer opportunities, curbside voter registration and a suite of online resources related to the 2020 Census, as well as voter registration, education and participation.

“We believe every voice matters and our country is stronger when we all participate in the democratic process,” president and chief brand officer Pete Nordstrom said in a statement. “[Our employees] told us they want to be actively engaged in their communities and help find solutions to the challenges we’re facing. Enabling them to make their voices heard by voting is a meaningful and productive way we can support our people and our communities.”

Another way Nordstrom seeks to support employee participation in the voting process is through a partnership with Civic Alliance, a coalition of businesses including Amazon, Gap Inc., Kenneth Cole Productions, Target and Urban Outfitters. The chain said it was connecting employees with the nonpartisan group to explore volunteer opportunities.

What’s more, the retailer is offering time off for all of its U.S.-based workers on Nov. 3, or Election Day, to ensure that they have the time to vote. Although its stores and operations centers will remain open, Nordstrom said it would work with employees to set schedules that will enable employees to get to the polls. It will also provide store, fulfillment center, distribution center and call center employees discounted rides to the polls through ride-sharing app Lyft.

For customers, Nordstrom is launching an exclusive collection of Nordstrom Made “VOTE” T-shirts and sweatshirts for men, women and children, priced from $19 to $60. A portion of every product purchase will be donated to When We All Vote and the National Urban League.

Other brands are also engaged in efforts to get out the vote: Keds and Birdies are among those that have launched consumer-facing initiatives through product to whip up excitement ahead of November, while Birkenstock, Steve Madden and Nike have pledged to close their offices on Election Day to give employees an opportunity to head to the polls. The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America has also launched online education center ShoeVoter.info to offer members of the shoe industry a range of information, including their state’s registration rules and deadlines, absentee ballot guidelines, voting locations and requirements, plus a list of candidates in their district.

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