Nordstrom confirmed Thursday that it will open four full-line department stores in Canada, its first move outside the United States.
Stores in Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver will begin opening in autumn 2014, a pace that President Blake Nordstrom said is "actually really fast. Each store is being remodeled, so there's a lot of work to do."
He said the Canadian market might eventually support six to nine full-line Nordstrom locations.
The Seattle-based department store chain, which has 229 stores in 31 states, will renovate former Sears stores at Chinook Centre in Calgary (opening fall 2014), Rideau Centre in Ottawa (opening spring 2015) and Pacific Centre in Vancouver (also spring 2015). A new store will be built at Sherway Gardens in Toronto to open in the fall 2016.
Its developer partner for the new stores is Cadillac Fairview of Canada.
Blake Nordstrom said the chain has more than 15,000 credit-card holders in Canada who shop online, by phone and in person when they travel across the border.
The company has not yet determined its product mix in Canada, he said.
The move into Canada will be led by Karen McKibbin, a longtime Nordstrom executive who most recently served as vice president and regional manager of Northern California and Hawaii.
She will "work with the merchandising team to listen to customers and ensure we have the right offering," Nordstrom said.
Retailers are flocking to Canada in large part because of its stronger economy.
J.Crew began opening stores there last year. Target plans to open at least 125 stores in Canada beginning next spring. And Bloomingdale's is reported to be in talks about opening in Canada.
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