Nordstrom plans to close its department store in Pleasanton's Stoneridge Shopping Center, corporate officials confirmed to the Weekly on Thursday, two days after the company announced it would be shuttering 16 unspecified stores nationwide.
One of the more recognizable department store chains in the country, the Seattle-based retailer had temporarily closed its full-line Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom Rack sites in California and elsewhere in the nation amid the COVID-19 pandemic since mid-March.
When Nordstrom brand stores begin to reopen once shelter orders are lifted in the Bay Area, the same will not be said for the Pleasanton location -- which has been a longtime anchor store at the mall on Stoneridge Mall Road. Employees at the Stoneridge store were informed of the move during a conference call Thursday.
"To respond to the impacts of COVID-19 and ensure we're able to continue serving customers well into the future, we will be closing 16 of our fleet of full-line stores, including Nordstrom Stoneridge," Nordstrom PR officials told the Weekly.
"We selected these 16 stores based on a variety of factors, including the unique needs of the market, the current state of our business and real estate agreements," they said, adding:
"We will not reopen these stores to the public and anticipate all 16 of these stores will be closed by August 2020. These types of decisions are never easy because we realize what this means for our employees. We’re committed to taking care of them as best we can, including providing support and resources through this transition."
The forthcoming Nordstrom closure represents a second major retail departure at Stoneridge in a year and a half, following Sears' exit at the end of 2018.
"Like many in our community, we’re disappointed to learn that the Nordstrom at Stoneridge Shopping Center is among the stores that will be closed by the company as it trims its number of stores," Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho told the Weekly.
"Nordstrom would have continued as an excellent anchor in Simon Property Group’s plans for enhancements to the center. The City will continue to work with Simon on its plans as we collaboratively work to ensure Stoneridge remains a competitive retail location," Fialho added.
Simon, majority property owner at Stoneridge, has been advancing applications with the city of Pleasanton to redevelop some of its mall land south and east of the Nordstrom building, including with 486 apartments on one parking lot and a new entertainment, retail and lifestyle hub after tearing out the old Sears building and parking garage.
The status of the redevelopment plans in light of the Nordstrom departure and the COVID-19 pandemic -- which has closed mall operations except for certain exterior restaurants -- remains unclear.
The pending closure will leave the Tri-Valley with one remaining Nordstrom brand store, the Nordstrom Rack in Dublin's Persimmon Place. The nearest full stores will be in Walnut Creek or Fremont.
"Losing an amazing retailer like Nordstrom at Stoneridge Mall in the short term will be felt throughout our community," said Steve Van Dorn, president and CEO of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce. "Knowing how attractive our region is to their customer base, I’m sure they will reopen once Alameda County loosens their retail restrictions and the market begins to shift positively."
The 16 closures represent 13% of the 117 full-line Nordstrom stores open in the U.S. and Canada. National news reports indicate Puerto Rico's lone Nordstrom is on the closure list, with the remaining 15 in U.S. states.
"Our goal is to best position ourselves to serve customers in each market where we operate," Nordstrom PR said. "Because of the impacts COVID-19 has had on our business, we need to take a critical look at the physical footprint of our stores to determine which we will continue to operate."
Nordstrom first announced the closure plan -- without naming specific locations -- in a press release on Tuesday.
The in-store experience remains core to Nordstrom's business model and internet-based sales have been "generating solid online traffic and conversion" during the COVID-19 crisis, but the 16 store closures and other restructuring strategies are needed and will result in an estimated $150 million in expense savings, the company said.
"We’ve been investing in our digital and physical capabilities to keep pace with rapidly changing customer expectations. The impact of COVID-19 is only accelerating the importance of these capabilities in serving customers," CEO Erik Nordstrom said in Tuesday's statement.
"More than ever, we need to work with flexibility and speed," he added. "Our market strategy helps with both, bringing inventory closer to where customers live and work, allowing us to use our stores as fulfillment centers to get products to customers faster, and connecting digital and physical experiences with services like curbside pickup and returns."
The company is looking toward phased reopening of its other stores -- including the Nordstrom Rack in Dublin -- market by market based on local authorities' regulatory decisions and "with the health and safety of employees, customers and communities as a priority," officials said.