retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Seattle Times reports that "Nordstrom has laid off more than a hundred staffers in its technology operations as the company steps off the investment pedal in the midst of a surprisingly tough retail environment ... The move comes in the wake of the recent cutback of 14 managers, the person said. In total the layoffs represented about 7 percent of the tech department’s staff."

In addition to facing what is called an unexpected slowdown in its bricks-and-mortar sales, the story says, Nordstrom is facing "more competition from Amazon.com, which is betting big on the fashion business." The Times notes that "this week the South Lake Union-based giant launched a free daily show geared to fashion shoppers, and it is investing in private-label brands for apparel. Cowen, an equity-research firm, predicts that Amazon will surpass Macy’s as the top apparel retailer in the U.S. by next year."
KC's View:
Nordstrom is generally perceived as one of the stars of the retailing world, and the idea that it is being squeezed on both ends ought to make less accomplished retailers sit up and take notice.