Bruce Nordstrom, retail exec who helped grow department store chain, has died

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The retail executive helped expand his family’s Pacific Northwest department store chain into an upscale national brand.

SEATTLE — Bruce Nordstrom, a retail executive who helped expand his family’s Pacific Northwest department store chain into an upscale national brand, has died.

Seattle-based Nordstrom Inc. said its former chairman died at his home on Saturday. He was 90.

“Our dad leaves a powerful legacy as a legendary business leader, a generous community citizen and a loyal friend,” said a statement from his sons, Nordstrom CEO Erik Nordstrom and Pete Nordstrom, the company’s president.

The chain traces its roots back to a Seattle shoe store opened by Swedish immigrant John Nordstrom and a partner in 1901.

Bruce Nordstrom and other members of the third generation took leadership reins in 1968. They brought the company public in 1971 and expanded its footprint across the U.S. while also launching the lower-priced Nordstrom Rack stores.

Bruce Nordstrom retired from his executive role in 1995 as the third generation handed over leadership to the fourth. He retired as chairman of Nordstrom’s board of directors in 2006.

He was one of several Nordstrom family members who in 2017 made a push to take the company private, proposing to buy out the 70% of the department store’s stock they didn’t already own. Those talks failed in 2018 but earlier this year, his sons started another series of buyout negotiations.

In addition to two sons, Nordstrom’s survivors include his wife, Jeannie, his sister and fellow philanthropist Anne Gittinger, and seven grandchildren.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.