Seattle-based Nordstrom, Inc. announced on Thursday that, effective June 2, Anne Bramman will replace retiring Mike Koppel, an 18-year Nordstrom veteran who has been Chief Financial Office since 2001, according to a company press release.
Bramman most recently served two years as senior vice president and CFO at consumer goods and packaging manufacturer Avery Dennison Corporation. She has previously held CFO positions at Carnival Cruise Line and Henri Bendel, a subsidiary of L Brands Inc., according to the press release.
Koppel announced his departure last October (and officially retired May 1), giving the department store retailer months to find his replacement. "After a thorough search for a CFO, we're excited to have Anne join our team," co-president Blake Nordstrom said in a statement. "Anne's breadth of financial expertise and background as a strong business leader will serve us well as we continue to invest in our growth strategy."
Nordstrom has seen a lot of changes in its top ranks of late, especially in its technology teams. Early in the year, Chief Information Officer Dan Little announced his retirement after three years in that role and 15 years at the company, an announcement that came just two weeks after the departure of Kumar Srinivasan, a former Amazon executive who had been tapped to become Nordstrom’s chief technology officer a year before.
Last fall, the department store also shuffled its e-commerce ranks, part of an effort to square its e-commerce merchandising and operations with the higher costs of online sales. And after the poor performance of its Trunk Club online concierge unit, in January the startup's CEO/founder Brian Spaly left, two months after the company took a $197 million write-down on the effort (more than half of the $350 million Nordstrom paid to purchase the startup in 2014).
Bramman’s appointment is less of a shakeup, but she has her work cut out for her, as department stores face bleak prospects in a challenging retail landscape. For that segment, in addition to a 1% decline in sales, Moody’s Investors Service forecasts a 7% to 8% decrease in operating profits, not even counting struggling Sears. Department stores have been hard hit by shifts in shopping habits, slowing mall traffic and competition from e-commerce and off-price retailers, according to the report.
Although Nordstrom enjoys many strengths that are out of reach of its rivals — including a top-notch reputation for customer service, a well established and well performing off-price unit and a more rational physical footprint — the company hasn’t escaped the challenges in the space described by Moody’s.
"I've always admired Nordstrom and am excited to join the company during a time of transformative change in the industry," Bramman said in a statement. "Nordstrom has been an industry leader in strategically investing for the future and I look forward to supporting their commitment to operating excellence."