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Nordstrom store closures affect more than 300 employees

by: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Nordstrom Inc. officials said Wednesday that the company planned to close stores at Lloyd Center and in Vancouver early next year. About 380 jobs will be affected by the closures.Nordstrom Inc. announced Wednesday that it will close its stores at Lloyd Center and in Vancouver early next year.

The closures will affect about 220 non-seasonal employees at Lloyd Center and about 164 non-seasonal employees in Vancouver. The Lloyd Center store has been open since 1960. The Vancouver Mall store has been opened since 1977.

“This was a tough decision to make because we’ve been doing business at Lloyd Center and Vancouver Mall for a long time and we care a great deal about the community, our customers and our employees here,” said Erik Nordstrom, president of stores for the company. “These two locations just haven’t performed to the level we need them to and investing in remodels to possibly make them more successful doesn’t pencil out. We never like to close a store, but we came to the difficult conclusion that it doesn’t make good business sense to continue operating them after our agreements end. We’re disappointed that we couldn’t meet our own expectations to keep these stores open.”

The company said most of the two stores’ employees may be able to find a job at nearby Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores.

“We’re making these announcements with plenty of advance notice to our people so we can do our best to take care of them and find them positions at Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack if they choose to stay with us,” Nordstrom said. “We also hope it gives the mall owners time to find a great solution for the spaces that will best serve these communities.”

The company has three Portland-area Nordstrom stores (downtown Portland, Washington Square and Clackamas Town Center), four nearby Nordstrom Racks (Clackamas, Tanasbourne, Portland and Cascade Plaza) and a distribution center that will continue to serve customers.

Nordstrom Inc. began in 1901 as a Seattle shoe store. Today, the company operates 260 stores in 35 states, including 117 full-line stores, 140 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques and one clearance store.

Lloyd Center renovation

Cypress Equites, the management company that operates Lloyd Center, announced Wednesday that the center's 130,000-square-foot space Nordstrom store would be remodeled as part of the mall's renovation.

“As one of the first Nordstrom locations in the country, we recognize the great history that the renowned retailer established at Lloyd Center," said Todd Minnis, chief investment officer for Cypress Equities Real Estate Investment Management. “We have reached an agreement with Nordstrom to reclaim the space so that Cypress will have complete control of the future of this prime real estate. We anticipate making an exciting announcement regarding our plans later this year.”

“We believe the Nordstrom building might better serve Lloyd Center shoppers if it featured alternative uses,” said Chris Maguire, chief executive officer for Cypress Equities. “Our leasing team is exploring other retail and service options that will not only complement the mall’s existing merchant mix, but provide our shoppers with unique offerings not available at other Portland-area shopping centers.”

Lloyd Center, which opened in 1960, is a 1.2 million-square-foot mall with six anchor stores, more than 150 specialty shops, a 900-seat food court, plus an indoor ice-skating rink and an eight-screen movie theater.