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Nordstrom Will Cut Up To 400 Jobs, Mostly In The Seattle Area

Mike Mozart

Nordstrom said it's planning to cut 350 to 400 jobs, mostly in the Seattle area, as it makes changes to its business model. That represents about 5 percent of the company's Seattle workforce. 

A Nordstrom spokeswoman, Tara Darrow, said in an email that the job cuts are in addition to previously announced plans to eliminate about 130 technology positions. The fashion retailer employs a total of 70,000 people. 

Nordstrom shares have dropped more than 30 percent in the past year. In the most recent fiscal year, Nordstrom's net earnings fell 17 percent to $600 million. 

Morningstar analyst Bridget Weishaar said part of the problem is fashion trends. Athletic clothes have been really popular but that’s starting to reach a limit. 

"There comes a point where everybody’s closet is saturated with yoga pants and they just don’t need anymore, and I think we’re at that point now," she said. "So you’ve got to see another trend come through so that people feel they have to buy something."

She said consumer spending in general has been weak, especially in apparel. In January, Macy's announced plans to eliminate more than 4,000 positions. 

The company said in a statement that it will first look at options such as not filling open positions as a way to reduce its headcount. Workers who do lose their jobs will receive separation pay and benefits. Nordstrom said the cuts are expected to save about $60 million in the fiscal year that ends next January. 

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.