SEATTLE — A day after Nordstrom’s flagship store in Seattle was vandalized and looted, the two brothers leading the company are speaking out.
Erik Nordstrom, who became CEO in March and Pete Nordstrom, the company’s president and chief brand officer, both signed the letter.
It said they were saddened and angered recent events and mentions the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. The company is pledging to amplify its efforts toward diversity and inclusions and said, “We welcome your feedback as we work to make meaningful change together.”
Here’s the full letter below:
"This is a painful time for our country and for us. The events going on around all of us are heartbreaking and we want to share a few thoughts with you.
"Like so many of you, we have been deeply saddened and angered by recent events in our country. The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others reflect the deeply ingrained racial prejudice and injustice that still exists in our communities today.
"It is stirring many emotions, which it should. The unnecessary and unjust killing of anyone must not be accepted. The issue of race and the experiences of too many people of color cannot be ignored. We owe it to our employees, our customers and our communities to be very clear in condemning these acts of violence. They represent a disregard for basic human rights that has no place in our communities or country, and certainly not at Nordstrom.
"We've long believed we are all made better by the diversity that exists within our communities. Our values are centered on the notion of creating a place where every customer and employee is welcome, respected, appreciated and able to be themselves.
"We need change. As a company, we know we have the opportunity to makes things better, which is why over the past several years we've amplified our efforts when it comes to diversity, inclusion and belonging at Nordstrom. It begins not only by speaking out, but by listening. Listening to our employees, customers and neighbors as they share what it's like to be a person of color in our country today. It's working to ensure our teams and leaders represent the diversity we seek. It's providing each and every customer who walks in our door the service and experience they expect and deserve to receive at Nordstrom.
"Our employees, particularly through our employee resource groups, are critical voices as we continue to have conversations about these important topics. Our "Courageous Conversation" forums set up by our Black Employee Network have made a big impact on both of us. These conversations aren't easy, but they've never been more important. We're grateful for the courage of our employees as they share their stories. We are proud to stand with them. We welcome your feedback as we work to make meaningful change together.”
Nordstrom has made major adjustments during the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 8, the company announced that it plans to permanently close 16 full-line stores nationwide and restructure its operations. KIRO 7 contacted Nordstrom, and the company confirmed no stores in Washington are closing.
Six California locations won’t reopen -- Santa Barbara, Riverside, Escondido, Sacramento, Pleasanton and Montclair. The other 10 stores are San Juan, Puerto Rico; Hurst, Texas; Happy Valley, Ore.; Broomfield, Colo.; Chandler, Ariz.; Freehold, N.J.; Annapolis, Md.; Richmond, Va.; and Miami and Naples, Fla.
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