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Company > Nordstrom: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Nordstrom: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Jan 04, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article, we will delve into the business model, SWOT analysis, and competitors of Nordstrom, a leading fashion retailer. Nordstrom has established itself as a prominent player in the retail industry, known for its high-quality products and exceptional customer service. By examining its business model, we can gain insights into how the company operates and maintains its competitive edge. Additionally, conducting a SWOT analysis will shed light on Nordstrom's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the ever-evolving retail landscape. Finally, we will explore the key competitors that Nordstrom faces in 2023, providing a comprehensive overview of the company's position in the market.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Nordstrom and the significance of understanding the ownership structure of a company
    • The mission statement of Nordstrom and how it guides the company's actions and goals
    • The various ways in which Nordstrom generates revenue and sustains its business model
    • An in-depth explanation of the Nordstrom Business Model Canvas and its key components
    • An overview of Nordstrom's competitors in the retail industry and the challenges they pose
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of Nordstrom, highlighting its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

    Who owns Nordstrom?

    Nordstrom Family

    Nordstrom, the upscale fashion retailer, has deep roots in the family that bears the same name. The company was founded over a century ago, in 1901, by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin. From its humble beginnings as a small shoe store in Seattle, Washington, Nordstrom has evolved into a prominent player in the fashion industry.

    The Nordstrom family has played a significant role in the company's growth and success over the years. Even today, members of the family continue to be actively involved in the business. The fourth generation of the Nordstrom family, including brothers Erik, Peter, and Blake Nordstrom, have held executive positions within the company.

    Public Ownership

    While the Nordstrom family has a strong presence in the company, Nordstrom is also a publicly traded company. In 1971, Nordstrom went public and started trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "JWN." This move allowed the company to raise additional capital and expand its operations.

    As a publicly traded company, Nordstrom has attracted a diverse range of shareholders. Institutional investors, such as mutual funds and pension funds, own a substantial portion of the company's shares. Additionally, individual investors can purchase shares of Nordstrom through brokerage accounts.

    Significant Shareholders

    As of the most recent data available, the Nordstrom family remains one of the largest shareholders in the company. Their ongoing involvement and ownership stake demonstrate their commitment to the business's long-term success.

    In addition to the Nordstrom family, other significant shareholders include various institutional investors. These institutional investors often hold large positions in the company and may have a considerable influence on its strategic direction. Some well-known institutional shareholders of Nordstrom include The Vanguard Group, BlackRock, and State Street Corporation.


    In conclusion, Nordstrom is owned by a combination of the Nordstrom family and public shareholders. The Nordstrom family's involvement in the company's leadership and ownership highlights their dedication to the business and its legacy. At the same time, public ownership allows for a broader base of shareholders to participate in Nordstrom's growth and success.

    What is the mission statement of Nordstrom?

    Nordstrom's Mission Statement

    Nordstrom's mission statement is centered around providing exceptional customer service and delivering the best shopping experience to its customers. The company's mission statement is as follows:

    "To give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible."

    This short but powerful mission statement highlights Nordstrom's commitment to focusing on the needs of their customers and ensuring that they have a memorable and enjoyable shopping experience.

    Customer Satisfaction and Experience

    Nordstrom's mission statement emphasizes the importance of customer satisfaction. The company strives to go above and beyond to meet and exceed customer expectations. They understand that a positive shopping experience leads to customer loyalty and repeat business.

    To achieve their mission, Nordstrom invests heavily in training their employees to provide exceptional customer service. They believe that each interaction with a customer is an opportunity to create a lasting impression. Whether it is through personalized recommendations, prompt and efficient service, or going the extra mile to resolve any issues, Nordstrom aims to ensure that every customer feels valued and cared for.

    Innovation and Adaptability

    Nordstrom's mission statement also reflects their commitment to innovation and adaptability. They understand that the retail landscape is constantly evolving, and they strive to stay at the forefront of industry trends.

    By continuously exploring new technologies, embracing e-commerce, and implementing innovative strategies, Nordstrom aims to provide customers with a seamless and convenient shopping experience. They are not afraid to experiment and adapt their approach to meet the changing needs and preferences of their customers.


    Nordstrom's mission statement encapsulates their dedication to delivering exceptional customer service and creating a memorable shopping experience. By prioritizing customer satisfaction, investing in employee training, embracing innovation, and staying adaptable, Nordstrom continues to be a leader in the retail industry.

    How does Nordstrom make money?

    Sales Revenue

    The primary source of revenue for Nordstrom is through the sale of merchandise. Nordstrom operates numerous department stores and also has a strong online presence, allowing customers to shop for a wide range of products, including clothing, accessories, beauty products, and home goods. The company offers a curated selection of high-quality and fashionable items, catering to a diverse customer base.

    Nordstrom Rack

    Another significant contributor to Nordstrom's revenue is Nordstrom Rack, the company's off-price retail division. Nordstrom Rack offers customers discounted prices on a variety of products from Nordstrom's regular stores. This division allows Nordstrom to target price-conscious shoppers who are looking for deals on well-known brands. Nordstrom Rack operates both physical stores and an online platform, providing customers with convenient access to discounted merchandise.

    Online Sales

    With the rise of e-commerce, Nordstrom has successfully expanded its online presence. The company's website serves as a platform for customers to browse and purchase products from the comfort of their homes. Nordstrom has invested heavily in its online infrastructure, including user-friendly interfaces, efficient delivery services, and customer support. Online sales have become a significant revenue stream for the company, attracting customers from all over the country and even internationally.

    Nordstrom Rewards Program

    Nordstrom's loyalty program, known as Nordstrom Rewards, plays a crucial role in generating revenue. The program offers various benefits to its members, including early access to sales, personalized recommendations, and exclusive events. The rewards program incentivizes customers to shop more frequently and spend more money, leading to increased sales for Nordstrom. By fostering customer loyalty, Nordstrom can maintain a strong customer base and drive repeat purchases.

    Credit Card Partnerships

    Nordstrom has established partnerships with major financial institutions to offer Nordstrom-branded credit cards. These cards provide customers with additional benefits, such as rewards points, exclusive discounts, and special financing options. By encouraging customers to use their Nordstrom credit cards, the company not only boosts sales but also earns revenue through interest charges and transaction fees. This partnership strategy strengthens Nordstrom's customer relationships and enhances its overall revenue streams.

    Services and Experiences

    In addition to merchandise sales, Nordstrom generates revenue through various services and experiences it offers to customers. This includes personal styling services, alterations, beauty treatments, and even on-site restaurants in some locations. By providing these services, Nordstrom creates unique and memorable shopping experiences, attracting customers and increasing their spending. These additional revenue streams help diversify Nordstrom's income and contribute to its overall profitability.

    Nordstrom Business Model Canvas Explained

    Introduction to Nordstrom

    Nordstrom is a renowned American luxury department store chain that has been in operation since 1901. With its commitment to providing exceptional customer service and high-quality merchandise, Nordstrom has established itself as a trusted and respected brand in the retail industry. In this section, we will delve into the Nordstrom Business Model Canvas to gain a better understanding of how the company operates and maintains its competitive edge.

    Key Partnerships

    One of the key elements of Nordstrom's business model is its strategic partnerships with various suppliers and designers. By collaborating with well-known brands and designers, Nordstrom is able to offer a diverse range of products that cater to different customer preferences. These partnerships also enable Nordstrom to secure exclusive merchandise, giving them a competitive advantage in the market. Furthermore, Nordstrom's partnerships with suppliers and designers allow them to maintain a constant supply of high-quality products, ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty.

    Key Activities

    Nordstrom's key activities revolve around delivering exceptional customer service and curating a unique shopping experience. The company places a strong emphasis on training its employees to provide personalized assistance and build long-lasting relationships with customers. Nordstrom's sales associates are known for their expertise and ability to understand individual customer needs, which sets them apart from their competitors. Additionally, Nordstrom's commitment to innovation is evident in its efforts to integrate technology into its operations, such as implementing mobile POS systems and offering online shopping options.

    Value Proposition

    Nordstrom's value proposition centers around offering customers a superior shopping experience characterized by exceptional service, high-quality products, and a wide selection. By prioritizing customer satisfaction, Nordstrom aims to establish a strong emotional connection with its customers, leading to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Furthermore, Nordstrom's reputation for providing a seamless and personalized shopping experience creates a sense of exclusivity that appeals to its target market of affluent customers.

    Customer Segments

    Nordstrom primarily targets affluent customers who value luxury, quality, and exceptional service. This customer segment is willing to pay a premium for the unique shopping experience and exclusive merchandise that Nordstrom offers. Additionally, Nordstrom caters to a diverse range of customer preferences by providing a wide array of product categories, including clothing, accessories, beauty, and home goods. This allows them to attract a broader customer base and maintain a competitive edge in the market.


    The Nordstrom Business Model Canvas provides valuable insights into the company's operations and what makes it successful. By prioritizing strategic partnerships, delivering exceptional customer service, and curating a unique shopping experience, Nordstrom has established itself as a leader in the retail industry. With its focus on customer satisfaction and commitment to innovation, Nordstrom continues to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing market.

    Which companies are the competitors of Nordstrom?

    The Retail Giants That Compete with Nordstrom

    Nordstrom, a renowned fashion retailer, faces fierce competition from other industry heavyweights. These companies have a similar market presence and offer customers a wide range of high-quality apparel, accessories, and beauty products. Let's take a closer look at some of Nordstrom's main competitors:

    1. Macy's

    Macy's, a long-established American department store chain, competes with Nordstrom across multiple fronts. Known for its extensive range of products, Macy's offers customers a diverse selection of clothing, home goods, and beauty products. With a strong presence in both physical stores and online, Macy's continues to be a formidable rival for Nordstrom.

    2. Bloomingdale's

    A subsidiary of Macy's, Bloomingdale's is another prominent competitor of Nordstrom. This high-end department store chain specializes in luxury fashion, accessories, and home goods. Bloomingdale's caters to a slightly different demographic, appealing to customers seeking upscale, designer brands. The store's emphasis on exclusivity and fashion-forward offerings gives Nordstrom a run for its money in the luxury segment.

    3. Saks Fifth Avenue

    Saks Fifth Avenue, an upscale luxury retailer, competes directly with Nordstrom in the high-end fashion market. Known for its designer brands and impeccable customer service, Saks offers a curated selection of clothing, accessories, and beauty products. The store's elegant ambience and focus on personalized shopping experiences make it a strong competitor for Nordstrom, particularly among affluent shoppers.

    4. Neiman Marcus

    Neiman Marcus is yet another competitor that operates in the luxury retail space, vying for Nordstrom's affluent clientele. Renowned for its high-end designer collections, luxury accessories, and beauty products, Neiman Marcus offers customers a meticulously curated shopping experience. With a strong emphasis on exclusivity and luxury, this retailer poses a significant challenge to Nordstrom's market share in the luxury segment.

    5. Amazon

    While not a traditional department store, Amazon competes with Nordstrom through its expansive online marketplace. As the largest online retailer globally, Amazon offers customers an extensive selection of clothing, footwear, and accessories from a multitude of brands. With its convenience, competitive pricing, and fast shipping options, Amazon poses a threat to Nordstrom's online sales and challenges the company's e-commerce strategies.

    These competitors, along with several other regional and specialty retailers, contribute to the dynamic landscape within which Nordstrom operates. As the fashion retail industry continues to evolve, Nordstrom must stay ahead of the game by providing exceptional customer experiences, unique merchandise, and innovative strategies to maintain its competitive edge.

    Nordstrom SWOT Analysis


    • Strong brand reputation: Nordstrom has built a strong brand reputation over the years, known for its exceptional customer service and high-quality products. This has helped them establish a loyal customer base and maintain a competitive edge in the retail industry.
    • Extensive product range: Nordstrom offers a wide range of products, including clothing, accessories, beauty products, and home goods. Their extensive product range allows them to cater to a diverse customer base, attracting shoppers with different preferences and needs.
    • Omnichannel presence: Nordstrom has successfully embraced an omnichannel approach, seamlessly integrating their physical stores with their online platforms. This enables customers to have a consistent shopping experience across various channels, making it convenient for them to browse and purchase products.
    • Personalized shopping experience: Nordstrom is known for its personalized shopping experience, with dedicated sales associates who provide personalized recommendations and assistance to customers. This personalized approach enhances customer satisfaction and fosters long-term relationships.


    • High prices: One of the main weaknesses of Nordstrom is their relatively high prices compared to their competitors. While this may reflect the quality of their products and services, it can also deter price-sensitive customers who are seeking more affordable options.
    • Limited international presence: Nordstrom's physical stores are primarily located in the United States, limiting their reach to international markets. This puts them at a disadvantage compared to competitors with a global presence, as they miss out on potential customers from other countries.
    • Reliance on physical stores: Despite their efforts in building an online presence, Nordstrom still heavily relies on physical stores for their revenue. This reliance can be risky, especially considering the increasing popularity of online shopping and the shift in consumer behavior towards digital channels.


    • E-commerce growth: The growing popularity of online shopping presents an opportunity for Nordstrom to further expand their e-commerce presence. By investing in their online platforms, enhancing user experience, and adopting innovative technologies, they can tap into a larger customer base and increase their market share.
    • International expansion: Nordstrom has the opportunity to expand their physical store presence internationally, targeting new markets and reaching a wider audience. This expansion can help them diversify their revenue streams and reduce their reliance on the US market.
    • Collaboration with influencers: Partnering with influencers and leveraging their social media reach can be a powerful opportunity for Nordstrom to increase brand exposure and attract younger, digitally-savvy consumers. This can be done through influencer collaborations, sponsored content, and social media campaigns.


    • Intense competition: The retail industry is highly competitive, with both traditional brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers vying for market share. Nordstrom faces intense competition not only from department stores but also from e-commerce giants like Amazon. This competition can pose a threat to their market position and customer base.
    • Economic downturns: Nordstrom's high-end positioning makes them particularly vulnerable to economic downturns. During times of economic uncertainty, consumers may cut back on luxury purchases, which can impact Nordstrom's sales and profitability.
    • Changing consumer preferences: Consumer preferences and shopping habits are constantly evolving. Nordstrom needs to stay attuned to these changes and adapt their strategies accordingly. Failure to do so may result in a loss of customers to competitors who better cater to the changing needs and preferences of consumers.

    Key Takeaways

    • Nordstrom is a family-owned company, with the Nordstrom family being the largest shareholders. However, it is also publicly traded, meaning that other shareholders have ownership as well.
    • The mission statement of Nordstrom is to "provide outstanding service every day, one customer at a time." This reflects their commitment to customer satisfaction and personalized shopping experiences.
    • Nordstrom primarily makes money through retail sales of clothing, accessories, and beauty products. They also generate revenue through their online platform and various services like alterations and styling.
    • The Business Model Canvas helps to explain Nordstrom's overall strategy and how they create, deliver, and capture value. It highlights key elements such as customer segments, channels, revenue streams, and cost structure.
    • Nordstrom faces competition from various companies in the retail industry, including department stores like Macy's and Bloomingdale's, luxury retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, and online retailers such as Amazon and Zappos.
    • A SWOT analysis of Nordstrom reveals its strengths in customer service and brand reputation, opportunities in expanding its online presence, weaknesses in its high-end pricing, and threats from intense competition and changing consumer preferences.


    In conclusion, Nordstrom is a renowned luxury department store that has been operating for over a century. The company is privately owned by the Nordstrom family, who have maintained their commitment to providing excellent customer service and high-quality products. Nordstrom's mission statement revolves around creating a superior shopping experience for their customers and building long-term relationships. The company generates revenue through various channels, including sales from its physical stores, online platforms, and Nordstrom Rack outlets. By following a customer-centric business model, Nordstrom has been able to establish itself as a leader in the retail industry.

    However, Nordstrom does face competition from several companies, including Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Neiman Marcus. These companies also offer a wide range of luxury products and have a strong presence in the market. To stay competitive, Nordstrom continuously strives to differentiate itself by providing exceptional customer service and curating an exclusive, high-quality product selection.

    A SWOT analysis of Nordstrom reveals the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Some of its strengths include a strong brand reputation, a loyal customer base, and a well-established online presence. However, Nordstrom also faces weaknesses such as high prices and a limited international presence. Despite these challenges, Nordstrom has several opportunities to expand its business, including international expansion and further development of its online platforms. Additionally, the company faces threats from changing consumer preferences, economic downturns, and intense competition.

    Overall, Nordstrom's success lies in its commitment to providing an exceptional shopping experience and maintaining strong customer relationships. With its well-defined mission statement and unique business model, Nordstrom continues to thrive in the highly competitive retail industry.

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