- Nordstrom last week announced the appointment of three off-price retail vets to support efforts at its Rack banner, according to a company press release. Nancy Mair, who worked at Burlington for 26 years and later as a consultant specialized in off price, will serve as senior vice president of Rack merchandising.
- Kelley Wotton-Gantner, Nordstrom senior director of merchandising since 2020, was named Rack divisional merchandise manager. Wotton-Gantner, who previously worked at Macy's Backstage and TJX Companies, among other retailers, will broaden the scope of her work to buying for Nordstrom Rack.
- Stacy Lippa was named vice president of Rack supply chain and will "work across the organization to drive store growth by aligning stakeholders and resources to support Rack supply chain needs." Lippa previously worked in distribution and fulfillment at Five Below, and with Target for 17 years in imports, transportation and distribution, among other leadership roles.
To accelerate growth at its stumbling Rack banner, Nordstrom is pulling talent with a depth of off-price experience to lead merchandising and supply chain efforts there.
In its announcement of the three new hires, Nordstrom emphasized the synergies of its banners by stating how customers shop at both its namesake and Rack brands.
"Many customers are choosing to pick up their Nordstrom.com orders at our Rack locations," the retailer said in a statement. The company said one-third of its next-day Nordstrom online orders were picked up at a Rack location in the most recent quarter.
Nordstrom is tying those efforts to its Closer To You campaign, which it introduced in the fall of 2020, and is referred to as a "brand promise" rather than solely a marketing strategy. It focuses on an integrated approach to bring customers "closer to the things they need and want through convenience and connection" by highlighting services like order pick-up, returns, and tailoring and curated product selection.
During a fourth quarter earnings call earlier this month, CEO Erik Nordstrom addressed the company's missteps at Rack, including problematic changes last year, and rolled out plans for improvements. That includes bringing in additional premium brands, boosting marketing efforts and bolstering leadership.
"To be clear, we are confident in our ability to profitably grow our Rack business and won't be satisfied until we do," Erick Nordstrom told analysts.
Last December, the company reportedly hired consulting firm AlixPartners to explore possible improvements for its Rack business. Nordstrom did not comment on rumors that could include exploring a Rack spinoff. However, a month earlier Erik Nordstrom did say during the company's Q3 earnings call, "We are not satisfied at all with our Rack business, as clearly our recovery is lagging what we think it should be."