116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The day after Nordstrom sent emails to employees at its Midwest Fulfillment Center in Cedar Rapids saying the retailer planned to cut jobs there, its board in Seattle formally adopted a ”poison pill“ plan to block an outside takeover.
The board’s action Tuesday came after a large Mexican department store chain, El Puerto de Liverpool SAB, said it bought up 9.9 percent of Nordstrom stock — valued at some $294 million. The action was reported by Bloomberg News, Wall Street Journal and Seattle Times, among other news outlets, as well as by retail-sector publications.
The board’s move on Tuesday puts in place a so-called shareholder rights program, a “poison pill,” which would issue new shares in Nordstrom — and thereby diluting the value of the company’s stock — should anyone gain 10 percent or more, if not sanctioned by the board.
The Nordstrom family owns approximately 30 percent of the company, according to the news sources.
The Nordstrom move is similar to a poison pill plan instituted in November 2021 by the board of Davenport-based Lee Enterprises in its efforts to stave off a takeover by hedge fund Alden Global Capital.
The Gazette has a news-sharing agreement with the Lee newspaper group, which owns 10 newspapers in Iowa, including the Quad-City Times, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier and Sioux City Journal.
Nordstrom had filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, for 231 employees at its 7700 18th St. SW facility, dated Oct. 18.
Jason Bell, Nordstrom’s senior vice president of supply chain operations, in an email to employees Monday, wrote that, “Over the past several months, we've been working to evolve our supply chain network to more closely align with the needs of our business and customer. This includes our continued shift away from a national fulfillment model to a regional fulfillment model, which we know will get us closer to our customers and allow us to better serve them.
“We've also been working as a team to navigate a shifting macroeconomic environment, changes in consumer demand and the wind-down of our Trunk Club offering,” his email continued.
“Taken together, these factors have contributed to a reduction in volume for Midwest Fulfillment Center.”
Bell wrote that, “... we've made the difficult decision to adjust the size of our team to more closely align with the current needs of our business to ensure we have an appropriate number of hours for all team members.”
A Nordstrom spokesperson said Wednesday the fulfillment center employed more than 1,100 workers before the planned changes.
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