Nordstrom at Waterside in North Naples will close permanently

Nordstrom at Waterside Shops will close by August.

The Nordstrom store at Waterside Shops in Naples will soon close for good.

It’s one of 16 full-line department stores that are on the chopping block nationwide.

The luxury retailer announced the closures Tuesday afternoon in a news release, saying they’re part of the actions it’s taking to “strengthen its business for the long-term,” as it looks to adapt to the new normal spawned by the coronavirus pandemic.

Full-line stores offer Nordstrom’s full assortment of merchandise, as well as personalized services, from alterations to bra fitting.

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While Nordstrom didn’t readily provide a list of the affected stores, The Forbes Co., owners of Waterside, confirmed the store in their popular, upscale shopping center is one of the locations the retailer will shutter by August.

“Over the years, The Forbes Co. has enjoyed a great partnership with Nordstrom at Waterside Shops, and we are pleased that the brand will continue to serve our customers at Palm Beach Gardens in Florida,” said Nathan Forbes, a managing partner for the company, in a statement.

The Forbes Co. also owns The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens. 

Nordstrom opened the store at Waterside in November 2008. The anchor store stretches roughly 80,000 square feet over two stories, offering a wide assortment of clothing, accessories, cosmetics and shoes. It includes a cafe and a coffee bar.

The store was the retailer’s first location in Southwest Florida — and its ninth full-line store in Florida when it opened.

“In the retail industry, the departure of a beloved brand is hard, but we will be nimble and continue to evolve Waterside Shops with great new retail, restaurant and entertainment offerings that are sure to delight the residents of Naples, as well as the city’s significant tourists,” Forbes said.

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Nordstrom has about two dozen locations in Florida counting its Nordstrom Rack off-price department stores, which aren’t part of the announced closures.

There is a Nordstrom Rack store at Mercato in North Naples, only a few miles from the Waterside Shops, which will remain open.

Business Insider, an American business and financial news website, obtained and published a full list of the stores that will be closed. It includes locations in multiple states, but only one in Florida — at Waterside.

Nordstrom stores have been temporarily closed since March 17, due to the coronavirus crisis. Select stores have been repositioned to offer curbside pickup only, including the one at Waterside. 

The retailer won’t reopen any of the stores on the chopping block to the public and they’ll all close for good in August 2020, said Emily Sterken, a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based company.

“These types of decisions are never easy because we realize what this means for our employees,” she said. “We’re committed to taking care of them as best we can, including providing support and resources through this transition.”

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Asked how the retailer chose the stores that will close, Sterken said they were selected “based on a variety of factors, including the unique needs of the market, the current state of our business and real estate agreements.”

Nordstrom at Waterside in North Naples will close by August.

Nordstrom plans to gradually reopen the rest of its stores over the coming weeks, taking what it describes as a market-to-market approach. 

In a business update Tuesday, Erik Nordstrom, CEO of Nordstrom, said the company is taking multiple actions to deal with the “accelerating changes in customer expectations,” including rightsizing its fleet of stores.

“We’ve been investing in our digital and physical capabilities to keep pace with rapidly changing customer expectations,” he said. “The impact of COVID-19 is only accelerating the importance of these capabilities in serving customers.”

The Nordstrom Ebar coffee shop was open daily at Waterside before the coronavirus hit.

He added: “More than ever, we need to work with flexibility and speed. Our market strategy helps with both, bringing inventory closer to where customers live and work, allowing us to use our stores as fulfillment centers to get products to customers faster, and connecting digital and physical experiences with services like curbside pickup and returns.”

Nordstrom is also “restructuring its regions, support roles and corporate organization for greater speed and flexibility,” which is expected to result in expense savings of about $150 million, according to the update.

While stores have been temporarily closed, the company reports that it has been generating “solid online traffic and conversion and clearing excess inventory through increased marketing and promotional efforts.”

Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, Nordstrom now operates 378 stores in 40 states, including 116 full-line stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. 

Avi Adkins

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

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