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Nordstrom Rack closing in Huntington Station after nine years

Nordstrom Rack in the Huntington Shopping Center, seen

Nordstrom Rack in the Huntington Shopping Center, seen here, will close May 28, a store employee said Friday. Credit: Tory N. Parrish

Nordstrom Rack in Huntington Station will close this spring after nine years there.

The department store, an off-price version of high-end Nordstrom, is at 350 Walt Whitman Rd. in the Huntington Shopping Center.

The store will close May 28, a store employee said Friday.

The store’s parent company, Seattle-based Nordstrom Inc., did not respond to Newsday's requests for comment. But the company’s Nordstrom Rack business has been struggling. And the issues began before the COVID-19 pandemic led to months of government-mandated temporary store closings, starting last March.

The Huntington Station store was to employ about 70 people when it opened in fall 2012 in a space that had been vacated by Toys R Us, Newsday reported in March 2012.

The off-price department store occupies 35,834 square feet, according to the website of the landlord, Federal Realty Investment Trust.

The North Bethesda, Maryland-based real estate firm directed media inquiries to Nordstrom.

There are two other Nordstrom Racks on Long Island — at The Gallery at Westbury Plaza in Garden City and Manhasset Center. There is one full-price Nordstrom on the Island,, at Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City.

Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, Nordstrom Inc. sells merchandise online and at its 358 stores in the U.S. and Canada, including 100 Nordstrom stores, 249 Nordstrom Rack stores and two clearance stores.

In May, Nordstrom announced it would permanently close 16 of its full-price stores because of the pandemic.

Department stores in general already were struggling with competition from online and discount retailers before the pandemic shutdown last March, but off-price stores overall were faring well before the health crisis.

Nordstrom Rack, however, was performing below its competitors, such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Ross, before the pandemic, which worsened the picture.

In the third quarter that ended Oct. 31, Nordstrom Inc.’s net sales fell 15.8% to $3 billion, compared to the same period a year earlier. But within that, sales at the company’s off-price stores fell more than sales at full-price stores, 32% compared to 6.6%.

Aside from some temporary closings because of the pandemic, Nordstrom Rack’s other issues include its lack of a good selection of home goods, a merchandise segment that has drawn high consumer spending at competitors, Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, a Manhattan-based market research firm, wrote in comments about the company in November.

Also, Nordstrom Rack didn't focus enough on comfortable, casual apparel, which is what helped Ross perform well, he wrote.

"We also believe that the merchandise mix at Rack has looked increasingly shabby over the past few months and there are nowhere near enough interesting, compelling pieces to tempt consumers to part with their money," Saunders wrote.

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