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Nordstrom Human Resource Paper

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Nordstrom’s employees and management are the company’s most valuable resource. An article written in the Seattle PI describes exactly why this is true. It states that, “Nordstrom salespeople make decisions as if managing their own business; they are trusted to do what is right.

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Everyone else in the company is there to help the sales staff make the sale and please the customer” (Mulady, 2009). The way the employees are treated and valued is a perfect portrayal of the company’s mission of providing the best possible customer service and value to the customer.Even though the salesperson is the front man for the company, the human resource and management team act as the glue that holds the company together.

The president of the company, Blake W. Nordstrom, says that people in support positions “like myself or someone in human resources that isn’t on the floor manning a register,” needs to understand that their job is to use the “energy and the activities they’re doing contribute to a better customer and employee experience” (HR Magazine, 2006).It is, therefore, extremely important that the workers in the human resource department stay connected to the selling process in order to stay connected with the employees, as it is this connection that helps the employees provide the best service to their customers. Company History and Background In 1887, 16-year-old boy named John W. Nordstrom left his home country, Sweden, for the city of New York City. He arrived with only five dollars in his pocket, unable to speak a word of English and started working in gold mines.One morning in 1897, he picked up a newspaper and read the front-page headline “Gold Found in the Klondike in Alaska.

” Although the labor was hard he managed, in two years, to earn $13,000 in a gold mine stake and returned to Seattle. Back in the Northwest, John was eager to invest his money. In Alaska John became best friends with Carl Wallin, who owned a shoe repair shop in downtown Seattle and it was not long before the two decided to go into partnership and open a shoe store together. In 1901, the two opened their first shoe store, Wallin & Nordstrom, in downtown Seattle.This was the start of what would become the retail legend of Nordstrom, Inc. From the beginning, John’s business philosophy was based on exceptional service, selection, quality and value. The company built a devoted customer base; and in 1923, the partners added their second store.

In 1928, John Nordstrom retired and sold his share of the company to his sons, Everett and Elmer. Carl Wallin retired a year later and also sold his share of the company to the Nordstrom sons. The third son, Lloyd, joined the team in 1933.The company soon grew to become the largest independent shoe chain in the United States. By 1960, Nordstrom had eight stores in Washington and Oregon, and the downtown Seattle store became the largest shoe store in the country. By the early 1960s, the company was looking for new ways to spread its wings. Venturing into the clothing market, Nordstrom purchased Best Apparel, a Seattle-based clothing store, in 1963.

Three years later, Nordstrom purchased a Portland, Oregon fashion retail store and merged it with their existing Portland shoe store.For the first time, customers were greeted with a selection of both shoes and fine apparel under a new store name: Nordstrom Best. Men’s clothing and children’s wear were added in 1966, expanding the store to meet the wardrobe needs of the entire family. Business prospered and within two years, two new stores opened in Washington. In 1968, the three brothers decided to retire and hand the company over to the third Nordstrom generation. The company was now led by Bruce, James and John Nordstrom along with Jack McMillan and family friend Bob Bender. The company went public in 1971.

Just two years later, Nordstrom sales passed the $100 million mark and the company was recognized as the largest-volume West Coast fashion specialty store. This same year, the name was formally changed to Nordstrom, Inc. By 1975, the company had expanded into Alaska, and the first Nordstrom Rack was opened in Seattle as a clearance center for full-line store merchandise. Three years later, the company moved into the competitive California market; and by 1988, Nordstrom had made the big move to the East Coast with the opening of a stunning new store in Virginia.Organizational and Individual Relations and Retentions Nordstrom is a dynamic place to have a career because of the multitude of characteristics and backgrounds. Of the Company’s total employment, 42. 2 percent are people of color and 72.

1 percent are women. On top of that, 31. 9 percent of the management population is comprised of people of color and 73 percent are women. Nordstrom empowers its employees to set their sights high and blaze their own trails. This is a place where the employees’ future success and growth are truly a result of their own efforts and achievements.They strongly believe in promoting from within, because this offers employees a unique opportunity to learn the company’s business from the ground up. Hard work, loyalty, competitive spirit and commitment to the customer are important factors employees need in order to grow within the company.

Nordstrom Strategies Recognizing any success Nordstrom enjoys basic quality of their relationships with customers, employees, vendors and communities. Striving to be a socially responsible company and know that the trust of the customers is to have is not to be taken lightly.Making responsible business decisions is something Nordstrom has done for a long time. Nordstrom was one of the first retail companies to offer profit sharing to its employees in 1952, and each year donated millions of dollars to nonprofit partners across the country. Nordstrom was also the first among their direct peers in fashion-specialty retail to print on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper with 30 percent recycled content. Recruitment, Selection and Training The company’s goal is to attract the best talent, so it makes good business sense to recruit from a diverse population.They achieve this by utilizing targeted media, job fairs, community organizations and college placement centers.

Each of these methods helps the company find the individuals who support Nordstrom’s goals and values. The recruiting process is typically done online, where candidates can apply for job opportunities. Depending on the position, one will either start the online application process or be asked to submit a resume. Than the individual, whom skills and abilities match an open position, will be contacted by a recruiter, department manager or human resources assistant.After an initial conversation, a decision will be made. If there is a potential fit the person will set up an additional interview time where they will meet physically. Diversity Training forms an important part of Nordstrom’s diversity efforts.

The company had an Executive Vice President who looked after Human Resources and Diversity Affairs. In addition, Nordstrom had another Vice President who addressed issues regarding Corporate Diversity Affairs at the company. Equal Employment and Diversity The business of fashion is international, multi-cultural and diverse by nature.At Nordstrom, this makes for an exciting retail environment and value the richness it brings to our Company. One of the best ways Nordstrom has found to provide excellent customer service is by ensuring what reflects the communities it serve: “having a workplace that attracts and supports diversity, benefits both customers and employees. ”(Nordstrom, 2009) Nordstrom believes each of their employees has the opportunity to realize their potential and contribute to the success of their Company. This philosophy is reflected in the company understanding that success comes from people.

The broad range of experiences, backgrounds and cultures the employees bring to the company creates a unique atmosphere. At Nordstrom, ongoing efforts to encourage a diverse environment are found throughout the Company, from hiring and promotion to their Supplier Diversity Program. Nordstrom believes that one of the best ways to be a socially responsible business is to create a workplace where people can be financially successful and grow a rewarding career. Throughout their history, Nordstrom has created a workplace where people feel valued, outstanding performance is rewarded, and entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged.In the spirit of entrepreneurship, Nordstrom authorize its employees to run their own business within the company’s four walls. Although Nordstrom has been fortunate to have been recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the best places to work, there is always room for improvement. Employees at Nordstrom are most valuable resources and as a company Nordstrom is committed to support them through upholding diversity, offering workers with benefits and opportunities for career growth.

Supplier diversity seeks out and develops relationships with qualified women-and minority-owned businesses are the keys to the Nordstrom Supplier Diversity Program. In 1989, Nordstrom launched the Supplier Diversity Program to help attract qualified vendors that might not otherwise consider Nordstrom as a potential client. Nordstrom recruits a wide range of women and minority owned vendors in three categories: merchandise, supplies and services, and construction. Since the program began, Nordstrom has spent more than $8 billion with minority and women-owned businesses. Legal Framework of Equal EmploymentAs Nordstrom contracts to manufacture products in various countries, it has an opportunity to address a wide range of factory issues throughout the world, especially workers rights. To address these concerns, Nordstrom created a Social Responsibility team in 1994. This team works closely with company’s product group vendors to see that Nordstrom label products are made in accordance with applicable laws and ethical labor practices.

Additionally, as a buyer of merchandise from around the world, Nordstrom expects the companies that they work with to do business by acting responsibly.Through the Partnership Guidelines, focusing on social responsibility in manufacturing, and by forming strong alliances with non-profit organizations the company can better protect the human rights of those in the companies supply chain. Nordstrom’s partnership guidelines cover topics such as forced labor, child labor, health and safety, harassment and abuse. The company social responsibility in manufacturing gives an overview of how the business upholds responsible relationships with vendors.Over the years, Nordstrom has formed strong alliances with third party organizations including Business for Social Responsibility, the Fair Labor Association and Fair Factories Clearinghouse. These partners, among others, act as checks and balances for Nordstrom in its efforts to protect human rights. Forced Labor: Nordstrom will not conduct business with any Partner that uses involuntary labor of any kind; including prison labor, indentured labor, or forced labor.

Overtime must be voluntary. Employees shall not be required to lodge ‘deposits’ or identity papers upon commencing employment with the company or as a condition of employment.Child Labor Partners will not employ anyone under the age of 15, and or younger than the age for completing compulsory education, or under the minimum ages established by applicable law in the country of manufacturer, if higher than the age of 15. Furthermore, Partners of any kind must comply with all local laws pertaining to the restrictions on “young workers” under the age of 18, including restrictions on their exposure to situations in or outside of the workplace that are hazardous, unsafe, or unhealthy, and Partners will provide adequate protection from such exposure. Nondiscrimination:Nordstrom firmly believes people are entitled to equal opportunity in employment. Although the company recognizes cultural differences exist, Nordstrom will not pursue business relationships with Partners who discriminate in employment practices (including hiring, wages, benefits, assigned duties, advancement opportunities, discipline; termination or retirement on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, national origin, marital or maternity status, work or personal affiliations, political opinion or social or ethnic origin, or physical, mental or sensory disability).Harassment and Abuse: Nordstrom expects its Partners to treat every employee with respect and dignity.

No employee will be subject to any harassment, which includes any physical, verbal, sexual or psychological harassment or abuse. Partners will not use monetary fines as a disciplinary practice. Furthermore, workers must be free to voice their concerns to Nordstrom or Nordstrom appointed staff, and must be allowed to participate in the Nordstrom audit process, without fear of retaliation by factory management. Health and Safety:Nordstrom seeks Partners who provide written standards for safe and healthy work environments and the prevention of accident and injury to the health of their workers, including adequate facilities and protections from exposure to hazardous conditions or materials. These provisions must include safe and healthy conditions for dormitories and residential facilities, and they must comply with local health and safety laws and standards. Wages and Benefits Partners shall set wages, overtime pay and legally mandated benefits and allowances in compliance with all applicable laws.Workers shall be paid at least the minimum legal wage, or a wage that meets applicable local industry standards, whichever is greater.

Documentation and Inspection: Nordstrom intends to monitor compliance with our Partnership Guidelines and to undertake on-site inspections of Partners’ facilities. Partners will maintain, on file, all documentation necessary to demonstrate compliance with these Partnership Guidelines, and will authorize Nordstrom and its designated agents (including third parties) to engage in announced and unannounced monitoring activities to ensure compliance, including confidential employee interviews.Nordstrom will review and may terminate its relationships with any Partner found to be in violation of the Partnership Guidelines, including denying access to approved monitors. Freedom of Association: Partners will respect workers rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Lawsuits: Nordstrom to Pay $292,500 to Settle EEOC Harassment Lawsuit On April 17, 2009 the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that Nordstrom will have to pay $292,500 to 10 former employees and furnish other remedial measures to settle a harassment lawsuit.

EEOC had charged that the department store manager harassed Hispanic and African-American employees based on their national origin, race, and color, and retaliated against those who complained about the harassment. According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, a manager harassed the Hispanic and African-American staff at the Palm Beach Gardens and Wellington Florida’s stores. Even though the employees complained about the harassment, the company only did the minimum to help them. The alteration’s manager retaliated against those who complained by continuing the racially offensive comments, unfairly berating mployees and citing them for alleged performance problems. Under the terms of a consent decree Nordstrom will have to pay for the damage and distribute its policy addressing unlawful harassment to all employees in the Wellington and Palm Beach stores; provide harassment training, post a notice on the resolution of the lawsuit, and submit a semi-annual report to EEOC on all harassment complaints received during the next two years. Working at Nordstrom Nordstrom has believed in promoting from within.The promote-from-within policy offers employees a unique opportunity to learn the business from the ground up and grow a rewarding career with Nordstrom.

It’s not uncommon for people who started on the sales floor or in the stockrooms to stay with the company for 20 years or more, taking on new assignments as they grow. The majority of executives began their careers with Nordstrom as salespeople or in the stockroom. Generally, Nordstrom looks for great sellers who love fashion and are passionate about helping customers.The idea of corporate social responsibility is not new to the company. Since the beginning Nordstrom has made every effort to run an ethical business where people want to work and shop. The social responsibility efforts help the company connect with customers and employees and help drive results. Striving to offer its customers the best possible customer service, social responsibility is a subject that requires continuous improvement, and is something that Nordstrom can always get better at.

Jobs and Job AnalysisWhen one works at Nordstrom, each day is full of new challenges, friends and goals. At Nordstrom employees are encouraged to try new things and share their passion. This is a place to build a rewarding, lifelong career. Nordstrom Retail Internship Opportunities: Nordstrom is looking for individuals with a passion for retail who is motivated achievers and hardworking team players. As a Nordstrom Retail intern, the intern will receive mentoring and training in the exciting world of fashion through experiences that a person will not find in the classroom.During the internship the intern will have the opportunity to learn from the experienced people who bring the Nordstrom experience to life, gain hands-on experience by serving Nordstrom’s customers, participate in sales and customer service events, gain exposure to a variety of management responsibilities, earn a competitive wage and receive an employee merchandise discount. Upon completion the intern will be offered an Assistant Manager or salesperson position, depending on availability and intern preferences.

Nordstrom is proud to be named to Fortune magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For. Nordstrom’s believes this recognition comes from their desire to empower their employees to set their sights high and blaze their own trails. Nordstrom is a place where its employees’ future success and growth are truly a result of their own efforts and achievements. Nordstrom Stores and Merchandising: Nordstrom wants to be the ultimate fashion destination for its customers and provide a superior experience. From meticulous tailors to knowledgeable salespeople to innovative merchants who bring the latest trends and fashion to Nordstrom stores, their teams are comprised of talented people who work hard to delight the customer.The rewards for working at Nordstrom are many, employees find recognition for their unique talents and energies, they also work in an environment that gives individual freedom to excel and create their own career path, employees develop gratifying one-on-one relationships with customers and are able to choose from satisfying positions in commissioned sales, merchandising, Nordstrom restaurants, operations, support and Nordstrom Spa. Restaurants and Specialty Coffee:When employees work in one of Nordstrom’s restaurants or specialty coffee bars, they become an important part of a team that delivers professional and enjoyable dining and coffee experiences for Nordstrom customers.

The employees will enjoy working with stylish, comfortable setting with outgoing co-workers who share the same passion for great food, coffee and service, also employees are able to bring their own personal passion for food and service to Nordstrom concepts featuring casual and classic dining alternatives and regional menus designed to suit Nordstrom customers.By working at the restaurant or coffee bars employees choose from an assortment of career possibilities, including line and prep cooks, cashiers, servers, hosts, bussers, dishwashers, chefs and management. Nordstrom Rack: Nordstrom Rack is where customers go for top-of-the-line fashion and accessories. An employee working on the Rack team has the opportunity to enjoy flexible hours, a friendly atmosphere and competitive pay along with benefits. Nordstrom’s created a fun, fast-paced, self-service environment that gives its employees the opportunity to grow.The employees learn the ins and outs of fashion retailing and customer service. They can choose their title from a range of positions in non-commission sales, customer service and stock.

In addition, employees are encourage to choose the best position fit, full time or part time, in order to find their inspiration. Compensation, Variable Rewards, and Executive Pay It is very important for a company to control what the executives collect in comparison to what a normal employee does. This has been an issue in business and politics because higher management have more rewards and more income than others such as; sales associates.For this matter Nordstrom has a compensation committee. The Committee “is responsible, subject to approval of the board, for establishing and maintaining a broad compensation program for the president and executives of Nordstrom in order to attract, retain and motivate key contributors to the success of Nordstrom and its affiliated companies, for reviewing and discussing with management Nordstrom’s compensation discussion and analysis, and for preparing an annual report on executive compensation to be included in the Nordstrom proxy statement”.Below are the list of duties and responsibility of the committee: •“Annually review and approve the corporate goals and objectives relevant to the president and executive’s compensation, and evaluate their performance •Salary paid to the President and Executives The grant of any cash-based bonuses and equity compensation to the president and Executives •The award of any benefits or perquisites to the President and the Executives •To review management’s annual performance evaluation of the Executives and to monitor the annual performance process for executives not evaluated by the Committee •To prepare an annual report on executive compensation to Nordstrom shareholders for inclusion in its proxy statement or annual report on Form 10K in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission •To recommend to the Board where it deems appropriate that an employment separation, or change in control agreement be established with any Executive and the terms of such agreement •To review, approve, administer, amend, and/or make recommendations to the Board relating to all Nordstrom cash-based and equity-based incentive compensation plans •To review management’s recommendations for, and approve as it deems appropriate, long-term incentive award levels or other incentives to non-Executive key contributors to the success of Nordstrom and its affiliates •To review and approve any benefit plans, retirement and deferred compensation or other perquisites offered to Executives, including eligibility and the level and types of benefits or perquisites provided •To consult with the President regarding significant organizational structure changes and to advise the Board regarding the implications on any Executive compensation or benefit programs concerning such changes •To undertake such other responsibilities, tasks or projects as the Board of Directors may delegate or assign to the Committee from time to time •To conduct an annual self-evaluation of the Committee’s performance to determine whether the Committee and its members are functioning effectively in adherence to this Charter •To review and approve management’s recommendation for contributions attributable to the profit sharing portion of Nordstrom’s 401(k) Plan and Profit Sharing, and additional profit sharing payouts, if any •To review and discuss with management Nordstrom’s CD;A and based on that review and discussion, recommend to the Board that the CD;A be included in Nordstrom’s annual proxy statement •To receive periodic reports upon request by the Committee on Nordstrom’s compensation programs as they affect all employees •To periodically review and make recommendations to the Board with respect toNordstrom’s stock ownership guidelines applicable to Nordstrom employees and directors and to monitor compliance with the stock ownership guidelines by those individuals •The Committee shall establish such rules, regulations and procedures as it determines appropriate and reasonably necessary for it to undertake its duties and responsibilities as set forth in this Charter •The Committee shall maintain appropriate procedures to ensure accurate meeting agendas and minutes are prepared and filed in draft form as soon as practicable, with such Meeting Minutes presented to the Committee for approval at the next regularly scheduled Committee Meeting.Such meeting agendas and minutes shall be filed in the Committee Minute Book upon approval •The Committee shall have the sole authority to engage any consultants, legal counsel or advisors to provide services the Committee deems necessary and advisable to carry out the foregoing responsibilities, to approve all of the terms of such engagement including compensation, and to terminate any such engagement” (Nordstrom, 2008) While talking about compensation, here is an example of how much Blake W.

Nordstrom makes out of Nordstrom’s sales. Blake W. Nordstrom has been CEO of Nordstrom for eight years and has been with the company for 34 years. He is 47 years old and ranks 11 within retailing. Blake W. Nordstrom’s total Compensation is 8. 15 million dollars; thus his five-year compensation 21.

21 million dollars. 6-Year Annual Total Return20% 6-Year Return Relative to Industry112 6-Year Return Relative to Market118Blake W Nordstrom’s Compensation Vs. Retailing Medians Salary $0. 70 mil $1. 01 mil Bonus NA $0. 84 mil Other $0. 07 mil $1.

06 mil Stock Gains $0. 71 mil $0. 00 mil Total Compensation$1. 47 mil $4. 39 mil Nordstrom has different types of compensation for its employees. For example, when someone works at Nordstrom they get 40 percent off on all store merchandise. They also do recognitions such as; employee of the month.

Since Nordstrom is a retail store, employees get special incentive programs and they also work for commission which gives employees an “incentive” to work harder and sell more; resulting in them earning more money.Employees also get recognition awards that recognize individual employees for their performance or service. Benefits Nordstrom is a respectable company to work for because an employee receives a strong benefits package. In addition, they ranked 72nd in the list of the top companies to work for, and use to be at the 36th place. Even with the bad economy, no cuts were made in pay or benefits for their employees. Nordstrom state, “as a Nordstrom employee, you should feel confident that your health and well-being are among our highest priorities. To that end, Nordstrom offers comprehensive, flexible benefits to our employees and their families.

” Below is a list of the different benefits offered at the company: Health Benefits:Medical/Vision – medical, vision and prescription drug coverage Dental – basic preventive dental services and orthodontia Employee Assistance Program – confidential consultations, information and referrals, 24 hours a day Income Protection: Life Insurance – financial protection in the event of a covered family member’s death Disability Program – income replacement to assist you if you are unable to work due to disability Long-Term Care – financial protection for you or an enrolled family member who can no longer perform covered everyday activities Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance – financial protection for you and your eligible family members in the event of accidental death or dismemberment Retirement Benefits: 01(k) Plan – defer a percentage of your pay as pretax deferrals, post-tax Roth deferrals or a combination of both. Nordstrom matches your deferral, dollar for dollar, up to 4% Profit Sharing – share in the Company’s success through Company contributions to your retirement account Flexible Spending Accounts: Set aside pretax dollars to pay for eligible health care, dependent care and commuter expenses Time off: Leave or Absence Program – time away to recover from an illness, care for a family member or serve in the military Paid time off – time off with pay for your personal and family needs Sabbatical program – six week of unpaid time off to use any way you like Life/Work Benefits:Merchant Discount – a 20% or 33% discount of regular employees and eligible dependents Group Legal Services – access to local legal assistance for a wide range of services Group Home/Auto Insurance – group, discounted insurance rates for auto, home, renters, and other personal property Discount and services/Work Stream Rewards – discount on high-quality goods and services Resources and Referrals/Life Care – counseling, education and referral services to help you make life decisions on everything from childcare and academics to financial services and retirement Employee Stock Purchase Plan: Purchase Nordstrom stock at a discount Additional Benefits and Services: Direct Deposit Jury Duty Pay Nordstrom Bank Nordstrom Federal Credit Union U. S. Savings Bonds Supporting the Environment In 2007, Nordstrom recognized the need to centralize existing efforts and created a multi-divisional group of leaders to come up with a comprehensive social responsibility strategy.In order to do so, they talked to the employees and some of the best customers to learn more about what’s most important to them when it comes to social responsibility. They focus on the following areas: Supporting Communities, Sustaining the Environment, Protecting Human Rights, and Caring for their people. Nordstrom hopes to develop stronger relationships with their customers and be a better global steward with this strategy.

Nordstrom recognizes that the stores facilities make an environmental impact and for many years it has been involved in recycling, energy and water conservation and overall waste reduction. In 2008, Nordstrom formalized a commitment to the environment with the creation of social responsibility strategy.It’s the company goal to reduce the impact on the environment by focusing on resource conservation, waste management, packaging and product innovations and organic cotton development, as well as incorporating sustainable options throughout their restaurants. The company is trying to increase recycling and decrease use of harmful chemicals and toxins. Across the stores and operations, Nordstrom is taking a closer look at how to reduce impact on the environment through innovations in sustainable merchandise, eco-friendly bags and boxes, and organic cotton development. As a fashion specialty retailer, Nordstrom sells branded merchandise from vendor partners and contract to manufacture private label products. The company has decided to focus on one issue directly related to what it does, and it now funds an organization that increasing the world’s supply of organic cotton.

In addition, Nordstrom restaurants and coffee bars are finding ways to have a healthy impact on their customers, employees and the planet. From organic teas and Fair Trade coffee to nutritional labeling. Supporting Communities Although the environment is an important component of social responsibility, Nordstrom recognizes that social responsibility goes beyond just being “green. ” The company’s financial support and involvement is important to the diverse communities it does business with. Therefore, its social responsibility strategy encompasses some of its existing practices in community giving, the United Way and international development.Overall, the company wants to give back to the communities that believed in them. As outlined in its Contributions Guidelines, its community giving takes the form of cash contributions, community partnerships and volunteerism.

The selected areas of focus are the arts and culture, education, health, community development and the environment. Each year, Nordstrom donates millions of dollars to non-profits organization across the country. They also implemented the “Nordstrom Scholarship Program,” which supports education in most of the communities where it does business. In addition, Nordstrom has been a strong supporter of the United Way for almost six decades.It also supports several global organizations and projects including the HER Project, Organic Exchange, and vendor education programs. Current Financial Summary Nordstrom operates outlet stores in addition to department stores. Nordstrom Rack outlets appeal to customers who like the department store and the labels it carries but not necessarily the prices.

Outlet shoppers visit to take advantage of bargains on items that did not sell at the department store or did not make it as far as the sales floor when a product line was discontinued. Recent financial results suggest that, in the recession, outlets may be giving shoppers who are not inclined to indulge at their favorite luxury department stores an alternative where they can shop and still feel financially responsible.In March, Nordstrom’s beat analyst comparable store sales predictions, a relatively positive development despite the fact that those sales, generated in stores open for a year, were off by 13. 5 percent. Outlets helped mitigate greater softness elsewhere with comps at Nordstrom rack up 0. 1 percent versus down 16. 9 percent at department stores.

In the recession, Nordstrom has been adding rack locations not just to satisfy bargain hunters but also to take advantage of good real estate deals that have been emerging. The rack has been a great vehicle to offer Nordstrom products at an off price as well as other products that consumers buy. Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN) reported net earnings of $81 million, or $0. 7 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended May 2, 2009. For the same quarter last year, Nordstrom reported net earnings of $119 million, or $0. 54 per diluted share.

Included in the 2009 first quarter results was a benefit of approximately $12 million, or $0. 06 per diluted share, related to the closure of the company’s 2007 federal tax return audit. Excluding this benefit, 2009 first quarter net earnings were $69 million, or $0. 31 per share. Net sales in the first quarter were $1. 71 billion, a decrease of 9. 2 percent compared with sales of $1.

88 billion during the same period in fiscal 2008. First quarter same-store sales decreased 13. 2 percent compared with the same period in fiscal 2008.

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