Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Spring 2003


Dragan Milosevic

Course Title

Strategic Planning in Engineering Management

Course Number

EMGT 525/625



The following case study describes a strategic planning process at Nordstrom, Inc., one of the most wellknown fashion specialty stores in the U.S.A. Their primary philosophy is to offer customers the best possible service, selection, quality and value. In contrast with their primary corporate strategy, which is continued growth, they have recently experienced decreasing sales due to factors such as slowing demand, high operating costs and new store openings in markets the company already occupies. The goal of this case study analysis is to assess Nordstrom's current situation and recommend strategies, which the strategy team believes, will bring the company back to historic growth and profitability levels. In the first part we address Nordstrom's strengths and weaknesses, which are results of their internal operations and also opportunities and threats that they are facing from the external environment. Next, we determine the industry key success factors. Based on the success factors we evaluate Nordstrom's performance and how they are standing with respect to the industry standards. Combining critical issues and the company's weaknesses we derive gaps and present them in the gap analysis. Eventually, we examine their current strategies and assess whether or not they address the critical issues. In the second part of the analysis we suggest strategies and describe their advantages and disadvantages. We also explain how each either deals with Nordstrom's critical issues and weaknesses or minimizes their gaps. Derived from evaluation of the cons and pros of each recommended strategy we either choose to pursue with the strategy or reject it. At the end, we develop a timeline for the strategy implementation. We conclude by presenting the expected results of strategic implementation.


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