Nordstrom (JWN) said on Monday it would cut up to 400 corporate jobs, becoming the latest company to slash jobs in order to be more agile in a tough retail environment.
The upscale department store chain said the job cuts, mostly at headquarters and in regional offices, would be done by the end of July and save the company $60 million.
The move comes after a bumpy patch for Nordstrom, which has invested billions in recent years on building up its leading e-commerce business but seen sales at its physical stores suffer.
In February, Nordstrom forecast profit per share would fall 30% in the first half of the current year and announced it would pull back on tech spending growth.
Nordstrom now gets 20% of sales online, up from 8% just five years ago. That growth, spurred by investments in new distribution facilities, computerized systems and equipping stores to help fill online orders way before it became the industry standard, has come at a cost. So the retailer’s executives announced a plan to rein that it in by focusing on the most essential initiatives, rather than working on countless projects of only margin benefit.
In the key holiday quarter, comparable sales fell 3.2% at its namesake department stores, dropping for the 2nd quarter in a row. Meanwhile at the Rack, its chain of discount stores, comparable sales fell 3%, and questions remained as to whether it is opening too many of those discount stores too quickly.
“We see opportunities to create a more efficient and agile organization that ensures we’re best positioned to achieve our goals,” said Blake Nordstrom, co-president, Nordstrom in a statement on Monday.
Nordstrom is only the latest retailer to cut jobs in a choppy climate for retailers. In January, Macy’s (M) said it would cut 4,000 jobs after a dismal holiday season. In the last year, stores from J.C. Penney (JCP) and Walmart (WMT) to Neiman Marcus and Target (TGT) have each said they would eliminate hundreds jobs at headquarters.