Nordstrom closes stores amid protests: 'We strive to be a positive force for change'

The department store announced its plans in a letter to customers Monday.
U.S. Cities Clean Up Damage As Riots Continue Across The Country
Several Nordstrom stores across the country were damaged during protests. Mario Tama / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Nordstrom is taking steps to keep customers and employees safe after several of its stores were damaged during a series of protests over the death of George Floyd. In a candid letter posted to the brand's website on Monday, the retail giant announced that it will be temporarily closing all of its store locations and and also shared a much-needed message of hope.

"Some of our stores were impacted by gatherings in our cities this weekend, and we wanted to take the time to assess the damage, repair and reopen those stores so we can continue serving customers as soon as possible," the statement reads. "We can fix the damage to our stores. Windows and merchandise can be replaced. We continue to believe as strongly as ever that tremendous change is needed to address the issues facing Black people in our country today. We strive to be a positive force for change in every community we serve."

Like other retailers, Nordstrom recently began the process of reopening some of its stores across the country after closing them for several weeks during the coronavirus pandemic. And the company was quick to assure its employees that they would be taken care of during this new set of store closures: "We'll also pay employees for any shifts they may have missed as a result of these unexpected closures."

Over the weekend, protesters looted Nordstrom stores in Seattle and Los Angeles. Luckily, no employees were injured. Although the company offered no specific timeline on how long temporary store closures will last, it said the "situation is evolving quickly" and encouraged shoppers to monitor its website for information.

Nordstrom addressed the events of the past week in an open letter to its team, sharing the following statement: "We owe it to our employees, our customers and our communities to be very clear in condemning these acts of violence. They represent a disregard for basic human rights that has no place in our communities or country, and certainly not at Nordstrom."

The company also shared its commitment to diversity and applauded its Black Employee Network for running a "Courageous Conversation" forum that allows team members to discuss important, and sometimes difficult, topics.

"These conversations aren't easy, but they've never been more important. We're grateful for the courage of our employees as they share their stories. We are proud to stand with them. We welcome your feedback as we work to make meaningful change together."