Nordstrom closure hits hard in Alaska's biggest city | KNKX

Nordstrom closure hits hard in Alaska's biggest city

Jun 27, 2019

Seattle-based Nordstrom is closing stores as it – and other brick-and-mortar retailers – face big challenges in a world that’s turning more to online shopping.

The store at Northgate Mall is shutting down on Aug. 9. And in Anchorage, Alaska, the company will close a 97,000-square-foot store at the city’s Fifth Avenue Mall by September.

But in Alaska’s largest city, where Nordstrom arrived 44 years ago, the news hit particularly hard.

“People were devastated,” said Michelle Theriault Boots, who wrote about the closure for the Anchorage Daily News.

Anchorage is Alaska’s biggest city – in 2017 the population was 294,000. But even here, connections to the Lower 48 are important, especially among the many who move in from other places.

The paper asked readers for stories about Nordstrom. Theriault Boots got more than 40 emails, with “people recounting getting their prom makeup done there, buying a suit for their loved one’s funeral, so many stories about mothers taking daughters to lunch,” she said. “That just isn’t available anywhere else in Anchorage in that same way.”

For many, she says, the store was an oasis of luxury.

She talked about the closing with KNKX All Things Considered host Ed Ronco. Hear the conversation above.