A little more than five years after making its debut in Puerto Rico, luxury retailer Nordstrom will close its only store at The Mall of San Juan, as it downsizes in response to the impact the COVID-19 has had on its operation.
“Our goal is to best position ourselves to serve customers in each market where we operate. Because of the impacts COVID-19 has had on our business, we need to take a critical look at the physical footprint of our stores to determine which we will continue to operate,” company Spokeswoman Emily Sterken confirmed to this media outlet in an exclusive statement.
“To respond to the impacts of COVID-19 and ensure we’re able to continue serving customers well into the future, we will be closing 16 of our fleet of full-line stores, including Nordstrom The Mall of San Juan, she said.
“We selected these 16 stores based on a variety of factors, including the unique needs of the market, the current state of our business and real estate agreements,” she added.
The retailer will not reopen these stores to the public and anticipate all 16 of these stores will be closed by August 2020.
“These types of decisions are never easy because we realize what this means for our employees,” she said, without revealing how many people will be affected by the local closure.
“We’re committed to taking care of them as best we can, including providing support and resources through this transition,” Sterken said.
Nordstrom opened its first and only store in Puerto Rico in March 2015, moving into a 138,000 square-foot, two story space at the shopping center. It was one of two anchor tenants, along with Saks Fifth Avenue, which pulled out of the mall in October 2019.
Nordstrom suffered the wrath of Hurricane María in September 2017, reporting extensive damage to the its store.
While The Mall of San Juan remained closed for about a month after the storm, Nordstrom did not reopen its doors until November 2018, when it said it would hire 90 local employees for sales, support and restaurant roles, as this media outlet reported.