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Now What for Nordstrom?

Now What for Nordstrom?

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Keith McCord ReportingLast night the Salt Lake City Council rejected Nordstrom's proposed move to The Gateway, ending a long, and at times contentious debate, on the future of the downtown business district.

So, now what? Nordstrom officials are still in town and spent part of the day meeting with disappointed employees. But basically, it's business as usual for Nordstrom, its employees and its customers--at least for two more years.

Nordstrom employees did not hide their tears at city hall last night after council members voted six to one against allowing the store to move. Today many were back at work, taking care of their customers, taking care of business.

Brooke White, Nordstrom Spokeswoman: "We had an inkling that it would not go our way, but it still didn't take the sting away, unfortunately."

Nordstrom Spokeswoman Brooke White began the day meeting with the 280 employees of the Crossroads store. She said the mood was somber, but added that no one is of the opinion that they are working in a "lame duck" type of atmosphere.

Brooke White, Nordstrom Spokeswoman: "They're really re-committing themselves to giving great service over the next two years. Nobody wants to give up or lower their standards."

And they'll try to keep that attitude until August of 2005 when Nordstrom's lease at Crossroads expires. After that, it's an uncertain future. Some employees will transfer to other stores both in and out of state.

Brooke White, Nordstrom Spokeswoman: "We're going to do our best to find work for all our people, but sadly, that might not come to pass."

Nordstrom wanted to move to The Gateway because it liked the mixture of retail, residential and entertainment outlets there -- something they don't feel exists at Crossroads Plaza now. New plans were outlined recently about the future of Crossroads. Nordstrom commends the idea, but without specifics, Nordstrom says it cannot commit.

Brooke White, Nordstrom Spokeswoman: "There's some very serious hurdles for us to overcome. And we're not sure there's a solution out there that can overcome those hurdles, but the phone line is open."

The phone line is open! And she expects that discussions will continue. One of the big concerns that Nordstrom has is the time of construction of the proposed new Crossroads Plaza -- several years at least. It’s a slight glimmer, but very very slight.

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