During its recent fourth quarter analyst call, Nordstrom executives said they plan to open a third ecommerce fulfillment center in Pennsylvania that will put half of its customers within reach of two-day ground delivery.
The move is part of Nordstrom’s overall omnichannel strategy that integrates its mainline stores, its Rack outlets stores, the flash site HauteLook and Rack.com, an ecommerce site. The company is regularly recognized for its omnichannel maturity and execution.
“Several years ago we began our path to accelerate growth in multiple channels as we evolve with the changing needs of our customers,” said Blake W. Nordstrom, president and director of the company. “In 2014 we delivered tangible results in executing our strategy over the last several years.”
Nordstrom said the company is seeing an ongoing evolution of retail as ecommerce accelerates, but not at the expense of stores. “Customers increasingly expect a personalized experience that merges the richness of stores with the convenience of online,” he said. “We’re uniquely positioned to serve customers through our focus on service, product and capabilities.
The new Pennsylvania fulfillment center, Nordstrom said, will allow the company to offer free two-day shipping for more customers. He said it wasn’t as much about free shipping as it was about proximity to a large part of the company’s customer base.
“Almost half of our customers are within a two-day ground delivery of that Pennsylvania fulfillment center,” he said. “And so a big chunk of our orders for both customers will be one to three days faster for them than currently. We will still ship some orders from our Cedar Rapids, IA fulfillment center to the Northeast … but the long-term strategy is to have a fulfillment network that gets over 90% of our customers in the United States within two-day ground, and this is one step in that direction.”
The company’s other ecommerce fulfillment center is in Chicago.