• Retail Dive

Nordstrom brings supply chain talent into the C-suite

By A.B. Brown

Published Dec. 22, 2020

Dive Brief:

  • Alexis DePree, Nordstrom's executive vice president and chief supply chain officer, will become the newest member of the company's executive team on Jan. 3, 2021, after joining the retailer in January, the company announced last week.

  • DePree came to the fashion retailer from Amazon where she was the vice president of sort centers and planning for the Americas. She is one of the five female executives on the company’s 12-member executive team.

  • "With the acceleration of digital sales to 54 percent this year, our supply chain network must be ready to serve our customers across every aspect of our business — from full-price and off-price to online and in-store," Pete Nordstrom, chief brand officer and president of Nordstrom, said in a release. DePree's expertise in supply chain transformation and retail will serve the company in getting product to customers, Nordstrom added.

Dive Insight:

Nordstrom's move to add its supply chain leadership to the C-suite emphasizes how critical the supply chain is to retailers in serving customers and maintaining margins. This year's pandemic-induced capacity constraints and high demand for omnichannel and e-commerce drove retailers to adjust to keep up and pushed the supply chain to the forefront.

In October, Nordstrom expanded the merchandise available in top markets for two-day delivery and next-day pickup. Online order pickup is available at all Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores in the U.S. as part of its omnichannel strategy.

Nordstrom invested to grow its omnichannel fulfillment capabilities before the pandemic to figure out how to best leverage its brick-and-mortar locations for e-commerce. And while the retailer experienced financial losses earlier this year due to decreased sales, the early investment in omnichannel infrastructure may have helped the company transition to the changing buying habits and boom in e-commerce.

Companies across the retail industry have had to try and fulfill orders as quickly as possible — though not always succeeding — to compete for consumers amid the challenges of the pandemic and endless capacity constraints through peak season.

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