Fashion retailer Nordstrom Inc. remained mum on when it will reopen its only store in Puerto Rico, which a company spokeswoman confirmed experienced “extensive damage” from Hurricane María last September.
At the time, the retailer had some 200 employees, who were all “safe and accounted for” after the Category 4 hurricane ripped through Puerto Rico.
“Our store experienced extensive damage from the storm, and it’s going to take a significant amount of time before we’re able to reopen. As a result, we made the difficult decision to eliminate the majority of roles until we’re able to reopen,” said Emily Sterken, spokeswoman for Nordstrom.
“We’re still working through next steps and hope to be able to reopen and resume serving our customers soon. When we have more specifics to share, we’ll let our customers know,” she said.
Although Nordstrom eliminated its local employee base, it paid them for an extended period of time while the store remained closed, and offered each a separation package, she said.
“We’ve worked to find opportunities to transfer employees who wanted to stay with Nordstrom, and offered some relocation assistance to any employee who needed it, regardless of whether they were moving for Nordstrom,” Sterken said.
“We also supported our people through our Employee Relief Fund, which is a resource we make available to those who need financial support during times of crisis,” she added.
Furthermore, through Nordrom’s charitable giving efforts, the retailer made a $100,000 donation to the island’s United Way, and matched any donation its employees made to organizations supporting the recovery and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico.
Nordstrom is one of two anchor tenants at The Mall of San Juan. The other store, Saks Fifth Avenue, is also working to repair the damages to its two-story location, and expects to open later this year.