Nordstrom Tries an Extreme Makeover With Topshop

To rev up apparel sales, the U.S. retailer pairs with Britain’s edgy Topshop
Illustration by Sophia Martineck

Nordstrom, the upscale department-store chain, navigated the recession and its aftermath better than its peers. Yet even a company that has posted 10 consecutive quarters of double-digit sales growth isn’t immune to today’s fast-changing retail environment. At a time when wary U.S. consumers obsessively comparison-shop online and open their wallets only for must-have products, retailers are falling over themselves to lock up merchandise shoppers can’t find anyplace else. “For a time, you had the same four department stores as mall anchors, and they had the same four brands,” says Deborah Weinswig, a Citigroup analyst. “They needed to spice things up.”

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