The store that has over a hundred years of history, Nordstrom has firmly established itself in the fashion industry. Keeping the business within the family, Nordstrom swiftly grew to become a big multinational company.
The company was started by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin. They began a shoe retail store that functioned from a basement. The story is one that is worth being narrated.
The brains behind the name
John W. Nordstrom, then aged only 16, left his house to work in mining fields and loading houses. He worked odd jobs in the US all the way from California to Washington. After hearing of an opportunity, he left to Alaska. There he literally struck gold. Due to a dispute over ownership, he was offered a settlement of $13000. He came to Seattle to find a friend of his, Carl F. Wallin. Carl had a shoe repair shop of his own. John, who was looking for an investment opportunity, suggested a partnership. With this, the Nordstrom brand was born. He believed that customers would choose a product with the best service and quality. The later generations have lived up to this philosophy.
The family legacy
The company was passed on to John’s children in 1928. By 1929, Carl F. Wallin sold his share to the Nordstrom family. Once a member turns 65, the company is handed over to the next generation of the Nordstrom family. One after the other, they worked hard to expand the company. It is one of the biggest shoe store brands in the world today. Each generation has made its contribution to the brand.
The second generation introduced a line of clothing. They collaborated with a clothing line called Best Apparel. They sold women’s clothes.
The third generation was instrumental in making it an international brand. With expansion into men and children’s clothing and more accessories, the brand established itself all around the world. In 1971, the company went public.
By 1973, the company had sales that surpassed $100 million annually. They were recognized as the West Coast’s largest volume fashion specialty store. This was the year they changed the name of the company to Nordstrom, Inc. as we know it today.
The fourth generation is currently running the Nordstrom business. There are 3 presidents and several members of the Nordstrom family on the board of directors. This generation introduced their website, nordstrom.com, in 1998. Today their website is upgraded to include features that that are competitive. They ship their products all over the world with low shipping charges.
The current status
The family strives to maintain the legacy of John W. Nordstrom. They have collaborated with several brands over the years. Their main focus is still manufacturing shoes. They sell products in several other streams as well. They sell clothing, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and children. The quality of their products has made them famous with all their ventures. Moreover, the company has strived to sell products at affordable prices. They are known for their discounts and clearance sales.