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Nordstrom Delays West Coast Fulfillment Center

Online sales may account for more than 20 percent of Nordstrom’s business, but the Seattle-based retailer is steering its e-commerce plan off course for now.

News came out late last year that Fresno and Visalia, two cities in central California, were in the running for a one-million-square-foot packaging and distribution center for purchases made on the West Coast.

But media reports Wednesday revealed that officials had notified Fresno’s economic development director, Larry Westerlund, and Visalia Mayor Steve Nelson to say that the company had decided to delay any decision to build a new DC until market conditions had improved.

Eric Nordstrom, co-president of Nordstrom, said the project was being postponed until 2020.

“Since our teams first met a year ago, the pace of change in retail has continued to increase. What’s most important to us is to evolve our business to best serve our customers. We will continue to invest across our business to competitively position us for long-term success and to deliver the products and experiences our customers want,” Nordstrom wrote in a letter sent to Nelson and published by Internet Retailer.

He continued, “While we feel confident that a West Coast fulfillment center will continue to be a part of our longer-term plan, as we look at the broader needs of our business in the current environment we have re-evaluated the timing of this potential project.”

Nordstrom’s profits fell from $128 million to $46 million in the most recent quarter, compared to last year. The retailer also cited the accelerating “pace of change in retail” as the reason why sales were below expectations.