Interview recorded May 21, 2020
There are few companies as synonymous with Seattle business as Nordstrom. The quality, service and experience established a foundation for other industry-leading retailers based in the Pacific Northwest. By the same token, generations of people-centered leadership from the company’s namesake family have inspired innovation and reinvention along with continuity and a friendly familiarity that instills uncommon customer loyalty.
So how does one lead through a global pandemic that shuts all stores for the first time in a storied 119-year history? What can be done with inventory that evolves as quickly as it does in the fashion industry where last season could just as well be last century? UW Foster Alumnus and Nordstrom, Inc. CEO Erik Nordstrom will talk about the challenges and opportunities he sees moving forward. He shares his expertise on the changing definition of customer service and the massive acceleration of this change brought about by the events of 2020. To this end, the company is finding ways to remain personal in the digital world. Nordstrom also gives his opinion on the most important way a board can help position the enterprise for success while remaining committed to the well-being of its teams. There’s no question that Nordstrom sees his company as a long-term winner in an industry that has lost some notable household names in recent year, though it will require a commitment to, rather than acceptance of, change.
Chief Executive Officer, Nordstrom, Inc.
Erik Nordstrom currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Nordstrom, Inc. Since joining the company in 1979, Erik has held various other management and sales positions of increasing responsibility. Mr. Nordstrom’s positions within the company over more than 35 years, including executive and operational roles, give him a customer-centric perspective in retail and within the family-run company.