John W. Nordstrom was a Swedish emigrant who arrived in the United States in 1887. He struck gold while prospecting and used this money to open a shoe store, Wallin & Nordstrom with co-founder Carl F. Wallin in 1901.
When the company opened its second store in 1923 Nordstrom’s son, Elmer J. Nordstrom, was put in charge of it. Elmer’s brother Everett, joined the business in 1928 when he and Elmer bought the co-founders shares when they reached retirement. A third brother, Lloyd, joined the business in 1933. The three brothers ran the business together for 40 years.
In 1958 Nordstrom’s had eight shoe stores.
In 1971 the company went public, trading on the NASDAQ. The shares were changed to the NYSE in 1999.
From 1978 to 1995 Nordstrom opened 46 full-line department stores.
Today Nordstrom, Inc. is an upscale fashion retailer that has 252 stores in 34 states, 52,000 employees, and had $8.7 billion in revenue in 2012.