Nordstrom Scion Dies at 90

Bruce Nordstrom helped transform his family's business into an upscale nationwide chain
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 20, 2024 11:26 AM CDT
Bruce Nordstrom, of Eponymous Store Chain, Dies at 90
From front right, Bruce Nordstrom, his wife Jeannie, and John and Sally Nordstrom clap at the Nordstrom annual shareholders meeting, May 7, 2014, in downtown Seattle.   (Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times via AP)

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, reports the AP. "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 the leadership reins in 1968. They brought the company public in 1971 and expanded its footprint across the US 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. (More Nordstrom stories.)

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