In May, NYU professor and brand expert Scott Galloway made a prediction on the Recode Decode podcast that Amazon would buy Whole Foods. We know how that turned out. Now Galloway has returned to the broadcast to make a similar guess about the tech giant’s next potential acquisition.
Galloway told Recode’s Kara Swisher that the “logical next one” would be Nordstrom, the Seattle-based retailer founded in 1901.
“It would be cheap, it’s in Seattle, they’re operationally very sound, it’s a great company and they’re [Amazon is] trying to establish relationships with high-end brands, which they have been unable to do,” Galloway said. “Nordstrom has those and a lot of credibility, and a lot of wealthy households have a Nordstrom credit card.”
But Galloway said the family owned company might not be as sure a bet as Whole Foods because of that family component, saying, “You don’t know what happens at Thanksgiving dinner.”
Nordstrom is valued at about $7 billion, and its stock has fallen 11 percent in the past year, in part due to Amazon’s boosting its presence in the apparel and fashion world.
As brick-and-mortar stores struggle to keep up with the changing dynamics of retail and the e-commerce dominance fueled by Amazon, rumors have been swirling that Nordstrom could be looking to go private. CNBC reported in August on a Women’s Wear Daily report that time could be running out this season for Nordstrom to lock in a deal.
Meanwhile, a story in NPR on Monday showcased Nordstrom’s latest effort to keep up: a retail concept involving personal stylists — and no clothing in stock. The store is set to open Oct. 3 in West Hollywood, Calif., and “Nordstrom thinks the streamlined experience reflects how many people want to shop now,” NPR said.
In the Recode podcast, Galloway waxed further about Amazon’s ambitions, predicting a service called “Amazon Prime Squared” that would lead to even more purchases from its highest-value customers.