December 26, 2000, 9:55 AM

Nordstrom spins off its web site

Analysts often criticize department store chains for moving too slowly. But that’s certainly not the case with Nordstrom Inc.

On Aug. 25 Nordstrom stunned analysts-and its online competition-by spinning off its Web store into a separate business unit. Other Web merchants have formed separate units, but Nordstrom is only the second chain retailer to do so.

“The apparel market on the Internet is projected to total billions of dollars,” says Nordstrom.com CEO Dan Nordstrom. “We intend to capture a significant share.”

Under the spin-off plan, Nordstrom will pump $10 million into its e-commerce site with an additional $15 million in capital coming from Benchmark Capital. The company’s first priority is building the Web’s biggest shoe store-offering more than 20 million pairs-in time for the holiday shopping season.

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