Nordstrom Inc. announced that Ken Worzel, its executive vice president of strategy and development since 2010, has been promoted to president of its Nordstrom.com unit, part of an executive shuffle to jumpstart the department store chain's e-commerce efforts.
Brothers Erik, Blake and Pete Nordstrom, who serve as co-presidents of the company, have also changed up their duties. Erik Nordstrom will now be responsible for the Nordstrom brand (including Nordstrom stores, Nordstrom.com and Trunk Club) as well as customer care, marketing and supply chain duties. Blake Nordstrom will be responsible for the Nordstrom Rack brand, including Rack stores and NordstromRack.com/HauteLook, alongside other corporate functions including finance, technology, legal and human resources.
Pete Nordstrom will continue to support all of Nordstrom's merchandising functions and store planning initiatives. He will also remain closely involved in all areas impacting the Nordstrom brand, including marketing.
For a while there, Seattle-based Nordstrom, which has 329 stores in 39 states and Canada (including 121 full-line stores and 200 Nordstrom Racks stores), escaped the trouble that has been visited upon other department stores. Earlier this year, several experts told Retail Dive that there is indeed something different about Nordstrom, citing its design thinking and superb customer service, and said those differentiators give the company a good chance of thriving, even within the embattled department store niche.
But that was before Nordstrom began mirroring its rivals with disappointing sales and store traffic results, and before it announced in April that it was eliminating some 400 jobs in a cost-cutting effort. The company has also grappled with the high cost of e-commerce, and in May executives announced it would be selective about what it sells online and was taking steps to make its supply chain more efficient.
Nordstrom joined in the summer’s retail rally, reporting Q2 same-store sales that dropped 1.2% but handily beat a consensus estimates of a 3.3% decrease. Q2 revenue reached $3.65 billion, barely missing analysts’ expectations of $3.68 billion. The off-price Nordstrom Rack unit, which includes Rack stores, the Rack website and flash-sales site HauteLook, was even more impressive, logging an 11.2% net sales increase and same-store sales growth of 5.3%.
The elevation of Worzel is another sign that Nordstrom is serious about getting a grip on e-commerce.
"Through his six years as a leader at Nordstrom and many years prior to that working alongside our executive team, Ken has gained a deep understanding of how our e-commerce, digital and mobile efforts play an integral role in providing customers a differentiated experience through service, personalization and convenience," Erik Nordstrom said in a statement. "Ken comes into this position with expertise around Nordstrom.com's current position and a strong vision for its future potential that will continue to bring the company a tremendous amount of value as we evolve our strategy and build on our success."