“NORDSTROM is coming to Sarasota, FL”

Well, we are already here!
With our last name being Nordstrom we often get the question: “Are you related to the owners of the famous store NORDSTROM? ” Truthfully, we don´t know and probably not. Nordström is a fairly common Swedish name. However, we did some research about the store and its founder, John W Nordstrom. We realized that we do have one important thing in common, not just the name: we share the same approach to business. We both strive to offer our clients exceptional service, quality and value!

In 1887, 16-year-old Johan Nordström left his home in Alvik, a village outside Luleå in the northern part of Sweden for the promise of New York City. He arrived with $5 and the first years in the land of opportunity were hard.  He worked his way across the continent taking jobs on railways and in mines, lumber camps and shipyards, eventually arriving in Seattle, Washington in 1896 and changed his name to the more Anglicized John W. Nordstrom.
One morning in 1897, he saw a newspaper headline: “Gold found in the Klondike in Alaska”; he made the decision to leave for Alaska and the very next day he bought his ticket. With the hard labor, rough terrain and overabundance of eager workers, things were no easier there. John persevered and within two years earned $13,000 from a gold-mine stake.
John returned to Seattle eager to invest his money. He reunited with Carl Wallin, a Swedish friend from his Alaska days who owned a shoe-repair shop in downtown Seattle. In 1901, they opened Wallin & Nordstrom, a small downtown shoe store and the humble beginning of what was to become NORDSTROM, Inc.

From the start, John’s approach to business was to provide exceptional service, selection, quality and value. The idea resonated with a devoted customer base, and in 1923 the partners added a second store. In 1928, John 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 to the Nordstrom sons. John’s third son, Lloyd, joined the team in 1933.

By 1960, the downtown Seattle shoe shop had become the largest shoe store in the country, and the company was the largest independent shoe chain in the United States. Looking for new ways to spread its wings, Nordstrom ventured into the women’s clothing market with the purchase of Seattle-based Best Apparel in 1963. With the purchase of a Portland, Oregon, fashion retailer three years later, Nordstrom now offered Northwest customers a selection of shoes and apparel under the new name Nordstrom Best. Men’s and children’s wear were added in 1966; business prospered and two new Washington stores followed soon after. In 1968 the three Nordstrom brothers handed the company over to the third generation: Everett’s son Bruce, Elmer’s sons James and John, Lloyd’s son-in-law Jack, and family friend Bob Bender. Going public in 1971, the company was formally renamed Nordstrom, Inc.

Today, a fourth generation of the Nordstrom family, along with an executive team, helms the company in partnership with a talented team of innovators and fashion leaders. From one tiny shoe store, Nordstrom has grown into a fashion specialty chain with global reach. In 2011, the company achieved an all-time record for total net sales at $10.5 billion.

Nordstrom currently operates a total of 252 stores located in 34 states, with 117 full-line stores, 132 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques and one clearance store. Looking ahead, the company plans to open three new full-line stores in 2014, followed by the opening of its first Manhattan store in 2018. Nordstrom expects to reach a total of 230 Rack stores by 2016. Plans are under way to open Nordstrom’s first full-line stores in Canada at premier shopping centers in Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. In October 2014 the Sarasota store, NORDSTROM Rack is scheduled to open in The Mall at University Town Center.


By Helena Nordstrom, Sept 2013 – TEAM NORDSTROM, sales associate,
Premier Sotheby´s International Realty, Sarasota, FL


Per & Helena Nordstrom

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