SWOT Analysis Of Nordstrom – A Leading Fashion Department Store

Nordstrom SWOT

by Shamsul
Nordstrom SWOT analysis
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SWOT Analysis of Nordstrom


Nordstrom is the most popular luxury department store chain in America. It offers plenty of products such as clothes, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, fragrances, handbags, accessories, and household items. It is one of the leading names in the retail and lifestyle sector. This SWOT analysis of Nordstrom will help to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.


Company Name: Nordstrom, Inc.

Founders: John W. Nordstrom, Pete Nordstrom

Founded: 1901 (as Wallin Nordstrom), 1971 (as Nordstrom, Inc.)

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington

Parent Company: 

CEO: Erik B. Nordstrom

Type: Public

Sector: Lifestyle and Retail

Tagline: A Passionate Drive to Exceed Expectations, Topshop and Topman

Unique Selling Proposition: Upscale department store chain in the US

Customers: Men, Women, and Kids

Target Consumers: Upper Middle and Upper-Class People

Revenue: 10715 million dollars (2021)

Net Income: 200 million dollars (2021)


Strengths of Nordstrom | SWOT analysis of Nordstrom

Broad Portfolio:

The product portfolio of Nordstrom is really broad. It includes Haute Look, Nordstrom Rack, Bevy Up, Trunk Club, and more. They are fulfilling the needs of shoppers through these services and offers.

High-End Brand:

The company’s offers are unlimited when it comes to household goods. They sell everything at competitive prices from clothes to footwear, eyewear, cosmetics, jewelry, and other accessories.

Successful Partnerships:

The company has made various successful partnerships with brands like Reformation, Glossier, Dot, Stella, Allbirds, and much more. These brands help the company to provide services at the digital level. With the help of these partnerships, Nordstrom has increased its sales and growth by more than 30 percent.

Strong Financial Position:

Despite the impact of various disasters like pandemics, recession, and more, the company’s financial position is still strong. Its annual revenue has been increasing continuously, and they are giving tough competition to competitors. They are earning significant income from both offline and online channels.

Better Customer Service:

Nordstrom tries to offer better customer service. It is one of the major strengths of the company. They have a qualified workforce that helps you explore the products you are looking for. You will get an amazing shopping experience when you enter the store.

Excellent Return Policy:

The return policy of Nordstrom is really awesome and they help you in this matter without asking any question. As a result, the shoppers feel more comfortable and confident while purchasing items.

A Leader in Innovation:

In order to give a better shopping experience to shoppers, Nordstrom is the first retailer in the United States who exploit digital technologies. They have opened flagship stores in New York that allows users to try-on products virtually. Isn’t it great? Of course, it is.

Attractive Services:

As the number of online customers increases, it will give the company a competitive edge over competitors. Apart from many great services, the company also offers free shipping without any order limit. As compared to competitors, they charge a specific amount for delivery.

Strong Ecommerce Presence:

The most of revenue of Nordstrom is generated through a digital platform. They have strong ecommerce penetration. You can call it a giant when it comes to online sales.

BOPIS Strategy:

BOPIS (buy online, pick in-store) is a wonderful strategy of Nordstrom. It is not only a profitable strategy but also very convenient for shoppers. It is a core strength of the company.

Nordy Club Membership Program:

The company’s customer reward/loyalty program has been increasing at a very fast pace. Through this program, shoppers can earn points and get rewards in the form of discounts, exclusive deals, and services. More than 13 million people are a part of this program and it is still growing.

Corporate Responsibility:

Nordstrom also contributes to various social programs. They donate millions of dollars to NGOs, welfares, and trusts every year. It helps the company to connect with people very closely. For this reason, customers love the company.


Weaknesses of Nordstrom | SWOT analysis of Nordstrom

Slightly Costly Retailer:

The overall brand image of Nordstrom is that it is a bit expensive. There is no doubt that it is a high-end fashion retailer so its prices are a bit costly. It is a sign of weakness for the brand and they must address it in order to retain its customers. Middle and lower-middle-class people can’t afford its products.

Limited Worldwide Reach:

The company has a strong presence in the US and Canada. Such a limited global presence makes it a weak brand as compared to others. They must target other regions of the world in order to increase their sales. It is necessary for the sustainability and profitability of the brand.

Lack of Diversification:

Nordstrom mostly deals in luxury clothing, footwear, cosmetics, eyewear, and fragrances. It leads to a lack of diversification in its offerings. They are just putting all their eggs in one basket, which can be harmful to Nordstrom.

Risky Investments:

The footprint of store shopping is declining and we are experiencing a boom in online sales. Nordstrom has invested more than 500 million dollars to buy the flagship Manhattan store, a 7-story building. Such unnecessary investments can disrupt the revenue of the company. These investments are a bit risky and they should avoid such expenses.


Opportunities for Nordstrom | SWOT analysis of Nordstrom

Utilize More Online Platforms:

Nowadays, every customer loves to buy online products. In this regard, they should exploit ecommerce or online platforms to boost their sales. They should invest in this segment to gain the attention of tech-savvy shoppers.

Target Younger Shoppers:

Nordstrom should diversify its customer base by targeting younger shoppers. They can make effective strategies to attract Gen Z. They can make fashionable clothes and accessories to increase their consumer base.

Focus on Emerging Economies:

The limited global presence of Nordstrom is one of the major weaknesses. It will aid the company in diversifying its reach. They can expand their presence by focusing on emerging markets such as Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

Make Acquisitions:

The brand has made several successful acquisitions in the past, but they need to make more acquisitions to enhance their versatility. They can acquire smaller brands or stores to increase their growth. It is a great opportunity to attain maximum growth and immense popularity within a short period of time.

Diversify Product Portfolio:

Most of its offerings are only limited to clothing, shoes, cosmetics, and accessories. There are so many other things that they can add to their product portfolio in order to attract more shoppers. It will diversify its product portfolio and expand its customer base. They are focused on home décor items, sports apparel, and other sectors.


Threats to Nordstrom | SWOT analysis of Nordstrom

Retail Destruction:

According to reports, the retail fashion industry has faced some financial crises for many reasons. It is an alarming situation for retailers, especially Nordstrom. On the other hand, the outbreak of Covid-19 and economic recessions are also big problems for companies.

Intense Competition:

The retail fashion industry is highly dense due to the presence of giants and competitors. From Kohl to JC Penney, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Amazon, TJ Maxx, or you name it. Every retailer tries to deliver convenience to its customers. In the presence of these retailers, Nordstrom can lose its profitability and market share.

Presence of Amazon:

Amazon is one of the biggest online retailers in the market with a strong global presence. Nearly every luxury brand is available at Amazon, which can hurt the business of other retailers like Nordstrom. Moreover, Amazon also offers discounts, exclusive deals, and great customer service. So, it is a big threat for the company.

Rental Clothing Subscription:

Some services like rental clothing subscriptions and online social marketplace from competitors are one of the major threats for the brand. People prefer rental clothes when it comes to expensive clothes.

Counterfeit Items:

The growing presence of counterfeit products and brands has been threatening the demand for original products because they are expensive compared to counterfeit products. These products continuously damage the market share and profitability of authentic brands like Nordstrom. Governments should make policies to ban counterfeit products.


The world is facing a severe economic crisis due to several factors. It disturbs the purchasing power of customers. This situation is all because of oil price, taxation, foreign exchange, and other factors. It is hard to grow in such economical conditions. These factors are one of the biggest threats for the company and can harm its business performance in the future.


Recent events such as the pandemic have impacted many businesses, including Nordstrom. The economic rate and stability are decreasing due to the disruption in travel restrictions, distribution, supply chain, etc.

Conclusion | SWOT analysis of Nordstrom

It is very clear from this SWOT analysis that Nordstrom is a leading luxury fashion retailer in the market. Nordstrom has been in the business for over 100 years and is one of the most reliable retailers due to its amazing customer service, return policy, and customer-centric strategies. There are some areas they need to fix in order to boost sales and profits.


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