Nordstrom will permanently close 16 stores while reopening others with new rules

Nordstrom has announced that it will be permanently closing 16 stores while restructuring during the coronavirus pandemic.

The luxury department store chain said in a release Tuesday that it will shutter 16 of its 117 full-line stores, which are its largest department stores. It does not apply to the 250 Nordstrom Rack locations and smaller boutiques.

Nordstrom announced it will be permanently closing 16 stores.  (Getty Images)
Nordstrom announced it will be permanently closing 16 stores. (Getty Images)

The closures are "based on the needs of each market," the company said in the release. The company is also restructuring its regions, support roles and corporate organization for an expected savings of $150 million.

Nordstrom did not specify which locations are slated to close, but the decision will most likely impact malls, where the department stores are often anchor locations.

The company's stores have been temporarily closed since March 17, when many stay-at-home orders went into effect in states across the country. Erik Nordstrom, the company's CEO, said that the changes aren't all due to the pandemic.

“We’ve been investing in our digital and physical capabilities to keep pace with rapidly changing customer expectations. The impact of COVID-19 is only accelerating the importance of these capabilities in serving customers,” he said.

As the biggest mall operator in the country plans to reopen 49 malls in 10 states and large retailers like Best Buy reopen their doors, Nordstrom said in its release that it will be reopening stores in a phased approach in each market when allowed by local authorities.

The company tweeted a video outlining the safety precautions it will be taking as it reopens its stores.

Nordstrom's protocol will include health screenings for employees, providing face coverings for employees and customers, limiting customers and employees in the store in order to follow social distancing guidelines, increased cleaning, modifying fitting rooms, altering hours of operation, curbside service and keeping merchandise that has been tried on or returned off the sales floor for a period of time.