The shakeup continues at Nordstrom's off-price unit. Rack President Geevy Thomas is retiring after 39 years at the company, Nordstrom said Monday. Jamie Nordstrom, previously president of stores, has taken on the newly created role of chief stores officer and will assume oversight of the business, supported by recently appointed executives Nancy Mair, Kelley Wotton-Gantner and Stacy Lippa.
The department store is making other changes as well. Nordstrom Chief Marketing Officer Scott Meden is retiring after 37 years there, according to a company press release.
Ken Worzel, most recently serving as Nordstrom's chief operating officer, is taking on the newly created role of chief customer officer, per the release. He will be responsible for customer strategy across all touchpoints and oversee e-commerce, digital operations, marketing, credit and the Nordy Club loyalty program.
Nordstrom continues to make good on its promise to overhaul its off-price operations, after Rack posted a series of disappointing results — departing from what had previously been a consistent bright spot.
Rack has played in the off-price space since the 1970s, but lately has also failed to keep up with rivals like TJX Companies, Ross and Burlington, which have regained much of their strength despite being shaken by the pandemic. Some observers believe that running both a full-line and off-price business puts Nordstrom in a quandary, where Rack steals sales from the Nordstrom banner when merchandise overlaps, but alienates brands if it goes too far downmarket.
A move last year to introduce goods to attract more value-minded customers backfired and the company has backtracked. At the end of 2021, it was rumored that it was mulling a spinoff of the Rack business. While Nordstrom hasn't addressed that idea directly, CEO Erik Nordstrom months ago revealed that consultants had been hired to help figure out what to do.
"We are not satisfied at all with our Rack business, as, clearly, our recovery is lagging what we think it should be," he said in November.
Last month the company brought on three executives with merchandising and supply chain expertise and steeped in off-price. Now Thomas, who Nordstrom said Monday oversaw growth of Rack's sales from about $1.4 billion to $4.8 billion, is exiting.
"Geevy has been a dynamic force and helped create the close-knit culture for which Nordstrom is known," Pete Nordstrom, the retailer's president and chief brand officer, said in a statement. "Few leaders have made such a meaningful impact on so many distinct aspects of our business."
Centralizing the customer strategy under Worzel and consolidating responsibility for store operations across Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack "will better align operational oversight with the company's Closer to You strategy, which remains focused on delivering customers a more convenient and interconnected experience across its stores and digital platforms," the company said in its release.