Technology is a major focus for Nordstrom this year according to Blake Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom. After installing Wi-Fi in all full line stores in November 2010, the retailer plans to deploy 6,000 handheld computers in these stores by July as well as make enhancements to its mobile and e-commerce channels.
"We should have roughly 5,000 to 6,000 handhelds in our full line stores by July," explains Nordstrom. "We will learn from these efforts and quickly add to this functionality with plans to have significantly more of these devices in our stores by year-end."
The retailer will also launch a mobile-optimized version of its e-commerce website in June that will allow customers to shop and make purchases from their smartphones.
Nordstrom is also expanding its online presence with the recent purchase of HauteLook, a "private sale" site offering discounts on designer items to its four million-plus members for short periods of time (generally 36 to 48 hours). Nordstrom paid $180 million for the site, which will operate as an independent wholly owned subsidiary.
"We're excited about our prospects in mobile and e-commerce," says Nordstrom. "Our efforts are becoming less about behind-the-scenes enterprise projects and more about customer-facing functionality, providing a compelling online experience and putting new technology in front of our customers as quickly as possible. Ultimately, we want to be our customers' store of choice."