Nordstrom to open regional office in Merrick Park
By Sherri C. Ranta
Fashion retailer Nordstrom Inc. plans to create a 30-person regional office in its newest Florida store set to open Sept. 27 at The Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables.
Buyers and support personnel in Texas and Georgia are preparing the 200,000-square-foot Coral Gables store, but the company plans to eventually add a southern regional office, said Nordstrom spokesman Amy Jones.
"As we only had two stores in Florida until now, the regional buying positions were not in Florida. They were supported by other offices. With the expansion in Florida and the South, it makes sense that we would need a regional office there," Ms. Jones said.
Merrick Park will be the chain's third store in Florida, with other openings planned for October in Orlando and fall 2003 in Palm Beach County's Wellington Green. Nordstrom already has stores in Boca Raton and Tampa.
Nordstrom veteran employee Geevy Thomas, executive vice president and manager of the southern region, will relocate from the Boca Raton store to Coral Gables, she said.
A regional office provides a base for store buyers, support teams and human resource personnel, Ms. Jones said.
In April, Nordstrom officials named veteran company employee and store manager Vicki Lopez manager for the Coral Gables outlet.
Ms. Lopez and other Nordstrom managers will be hiring about 500 people for store positions from the local community, Ms. Jones said. Interviews are expected to begin in early August.
At 200,000 square feet and three-stories high, the Coral Gables store will be among Nordstrom's largest in the nation, Ms. Jones said. She said it would have two restaurants run by the company, five shoe departments and provide personal shopping services and live piano music daily.
Nordstrom will be joined by Nieman Marcus as retail anchors for Merrick Park, a mixed-use development being built by the Rouse Co. The firm also developed Miami's Bayside Marketplace.
"We wanted to have a really complete offering for Coral Gables," Ms. Jones said. Company officials are "extremely satisfied" with the location, she said. "The Rouse Co. has done a good job of bringing in a good mix of retailers."
One of the nation's largest fashion specialty retailers, Nordstrom, has 137 US stores in 26 states. In 2002, the company plans to open eight new full-line stores and four Nordstrom Rack locations.
Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, the chain operates 83 traditional stores, 47 Nordstrom Racks, four Faconnable boutiques, one free-standing shoe store and one clearance store. The company also operates 24 international Faconnable boutiques primarily in Europe.
Details: Nordstrom's telephone job hot line, (877) 543-7746.