Nordy’s (the US nickname for Nordstrom retailer) is heading north of the border. The Seattle-headquartered company has spent nearly two years prepping for the opening of a flagship store in Calgary, Canada. Nordstrom’s has been cautious with their new market entry and taken lessons from Target’s recent opening of 140 stores in Canada. Instead of an expedited presence that may leave shelves empty of products, Nordstrom will opt for a 6 store expansion strategy over the next 36 months. With high luxury comes the high price of expansion. Red ink will flow with Canada operating losses expected to be at 35million in 2014. Once fully operational with 10 department stores and 20 of its Rack outlets the bottom line predicts 1 billion in annual revenue.
Who is spearheading this expansion? The President of Nordstrom Canada is Karen McKibbin. Alongside her are five seasoned “expat” Nordstrom veterans that will open the store in Calgary. Other managers will be Canadian and have recently had homegrown HQ training in the greater Seattle area. It’s yet to be seen how the Canadian market will respond to a retailer obsessed with customer service as the selling-point rather than frequent discounting of prices. Nordstrom’s is banking on the higher spending habits per Canadian consumer and appreciation of quality will have locals calling them ‘Nordy’s’ in no time.