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EXCLUSIVE: Nordstrom Rack Hires Lori Marten as EVP as It Gears Up for Growth

The Rack off-price division is a priority growth vehicle for Nordstrom Inc. and planning 22 store openings this year on top of the 19 opened in 2023.

EXCLUSIVE: Nordstrom Rack Hires Lori Marten as EVP as It Gears Up for Growth

Inside Nordstrom Rack

Nordstrom Rack, the off-price division of Nordstrom Inc. and a critical growth vehicle for the Seattle-based retailer, has named Lori Marten executive vice president and general merchandising manager.

Marten, a 25-year veteran of retailing, will lead Rack’s merchandising team and drive the merchandise strategy for the Nordstrom Rack stores and NordstromRack.com. Marten starts her new job on April 21 and will report to Gemma Lionello, president of Nordstrom Rack. Lionello moved into the role of Rack president last fall.

Nordstrom Inc. chief executive officer Erik Nordstrom last year announced that Rack’s strategy would be to focus on “great brands at great prices” that are more recognizable to customers, and to expand the Rack with new stores in key markets. 

The Rack had been slumping for several seasons but in the fourth quarter showed marked improvement with sales increasing 14.6 percent to $1.43 billion. For all of last year, Nordstrom Rack generated nearly $4.8 billion in sales.

Rack’s recent performance helped Nordstrom Inc. report fourth-quarter net earnings of $134 million compared to earnings of $119 million in the year-ago period. Earnings before interest and taxes were $215 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared with $187 million during the same period in fiscal 2022.

Last month, when Nordstrom Inc. reported its fourth quarter, Nordstrom said the company is “laser-focused on efforts we know will drive growth and profitability across the business over the next few years, including new Rack store openings, Nordstrom digital growth and increasing comp-store sales and accelerating momentum at Rack, with 22 store openings planned on top of the 19 opened in 2023.”

A Nordstrom spokeswoman on Monday told WWD that the EVP GMM position is a new role at Rack. “Previously, Rack merchandising was supported by Nancy Mair, senior vice president of Rack Merchandising, who departed Nordstrom last month,” the spokeswoman said.

“Throughout her impressive career at Nordstrom, Lori has consistently delivered results, identified and developed new business categories, and led teams with a focus on both short-term objectives and long-term strategic goals,” Lionello said in a statement Monday. “Lori’s deep understanding of our business and our customers will help fuel the momentum for Nordstrom Rack as we continue to expand our store fleet and improve the customer experience, both in-stores and online.”

Lionello added, “Lori will also help us deepen relationships with our brand partners so we can continue to offer customers everyday deals on the brands they love and want.”

EXCLUSIVE: Nordstrom Rack Hires Lori Marten as EVP as It Gears Up for Growth

Lori Marten

Marten most recently held the position of senior vice president and divisional merchandise manager of our men’s and women’s specialized, active and performance outerwear categories, at the full-price Nordstrom division. Earlier, she served in merchandising roles across various areas of the Nordstrom business including accessories, home, specialized and men’s.

EXCLUSIVE: Nordstrom Rack Hires Lori Marten as EVP as It Gears Up for Growth

Nordstrom Rack in Los Angeles.