Nordstrom Has 100 Year History - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Nordstrom Has 100 Year History

Brooke White Brooke White
Brian Tatsumura Brian Tatsumura

By Beth Hillyer

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Adding Hawaii to the list, Nordstrom now has 103 stores across the U.S. But this retail giant had humble beginnings.

Nordstrom started out more than a century ago as a simple shoe store in Seattle. Sure they still focus on shoes. In fact, the new store has five shoe departments, plus a whole lot more.

It's' a rags to riches story.

"We were founded in 1901 in Seattle by John W. Nordstrom. He was a Swedish immigrant who came to America in the late 1800's with 5 dollars in his pocket," said Spokeswoman Brooke White.

He made a fortune in the Alaska gold rush and started a shoe store.

"We love shoes and we know our customers and since we were founded as a shoe store in 1901 we have always had a very big commitment to it we try to have a lot of stock."

In 1963, Nordstrom expanded it's merchandise.

"At that point in time we decided we need to add clothing and accessories to the shoes we were carrying," said White.

Nordstrom ran the shoe department at Liberty House in 1966.

"Liberty House was the premiere retailer in the 70;s and that was a fun place to work always really busy," said Honolulu Store Manager Brian Tatsumura.

Then Nordstrom went out on it's own.

"We consolidated our two free standing shoe stores into one there at Ward and also opened Nordstrom rack in the year 2000."

Shopping for shoes at Nordstrom runs in the family.

"Maybe I may help you then, I may help your daughter, then I may help your grandchild so it's really a legacy of helping."

"We've been committed to trying to offer the customer great service since we opened our doors as a shoe store in 1901 so it's something you have to work hard at every single day," said White.

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