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Nordstrom Taps New Tech to Digitize Its Wholesale Buying

In an effort to upgrade its wholesale buying and assortment selection process, Nordstrom has partnered with e-commerce buyer-to-buyer platform NuOrder, and the retailer is urging its suppliers join the platform, too.

The arrangement enables Nordstrom to use NuOrder’s cloud-based platform to interact with suppliers. According to NuOrder, its platform helps buyers by allowing them to benefit from an aggregated look at current and future orders, and it helps suppliers, who can use the platform to bring their products to market with greater speed.

Proclaiming that “printed linesheets have no place in a dynamic buying experience,” NuOrder said it will help facilitate collaboration between Nordstrom and its suppliers by providing “enhanced visibility” into the range of products available. It will allow both sides of the process to “upload product catalogs, take notes and capture purchase intent,” and offer buyers an automated product intake system with the ability to see a unified view of products when making purchases.

“We’re excited to partner with NuOrder and leverage their capabilities such as a digital market tool,” Teri Bariquit, executive vice president of merchandise planning, inventory and solutions at Nordstrom said in a statement. “Having a tool with shared visual information allows buyers and brands to work much more effectively together.”

After a solid first quarter, Nordstrom reported better-than-expected results in its second-quarter earnings report thanks to higher sales volume and lower taxes. A significant portion of the gains came from e-commerce and digital sales, which grew by 23 percent in Q2. Nordstrom said its online sales now account for 34 percent of its total business—an increase of 5 percent over the same period last year.

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Nordstrom’s partnership with NuOrder signals the retailer’s intent to take its digital dominance to the supplier side.

“Nordstrom shares similar values to NuOrder. Both companies lead with an innovation-first mindset, care deeply about our customers and leverage technology to help advance the industry,” said Olivia Skuza, co-founder and co-CEO of NuOrder. “It’s been incredibly exciting to see the impact we have made in such a short amount of time and we’re looking forward to delivering value to the entire Nordstrom brand ecosystem.”

Nordstrom’s inclusion in NuOrder’s platform brings the tech service to a network of more than 900 vendors and brands, used by more than 400,000 buyers driving more than $15 billion in gross retail merchandise volume, according to NuOrder. Its existing brand lineup already includes Asics, Coach and Levi’s, among others.

In June, the platform displayed its range and partnered with activewear retailers and fitness studios to create NuOrder’s Immediate Marketplace, a system that offered specific non-traditional retailers a method to purchase in-stock merchandise from activewear suppliers at-will to help prevent stock outages.