Seattle-based department store retailer Nordstrom is scaling back its Innovation Lab, moving most of its employees to positions elsewhere in the company, according to reporting by GeekWire.
Several retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores, Target, and Macy’s, have established tech hubs designed to produce tech-based solutions in a variety of areas. Nordstrom established its Innovation Lab four years ago, among the earliest to do so.
Innovation Lab employees are being moved to the company’s Customer Experience Center, and elsewhere, with a few continuing to work on existing Innovation Lab projects, the company said.
Nordstrom’s Innovation Lab developed a series of technologies including fitting room apps, but had something of a free-wheeling approach, without much focus, according to GeekWire. That perhaps fostered a sense of unbounded creativity, but this move suggests that Nordstrom will be narrowing its approach to innovation.
“To utilize the CEC to its full potential and widen the impact of innovation, we are moving parts of the original Innovation Lab into tech/biz teams while continuing to run a core Innovation Lab focused of solving specific customer opportunities, in addition to continuing to foster the innovation practice where needed,” a Nordstrom spokesman told GeekWire. “Rather than just a team focused on innovation, it’s now everyone’s job.”