Work Progresses On A $4.5 Million Update At Nordstrom’s

Shannon Nordstrom & Jerry Zwak

Big improvements at Nordstrom’s Automotive, Inc., in Garretson, S.D., are progressing. The company’s $4.5 million in updates are in the next stage. One year ago Nordstrom’s celebrated the opening of the business’ new paved road and now, the company is laying foundation for its first new building and readying for other facility upgrades.

Plans call for the demolition of some older facilities, remodeling of some other buildings and 57,000- square-feet in new construction. Ultimately, improvements will include new dismantling facilities with state-of-the-art fluid-handling systems, additional warehouse space, a new shipping and receiving center, an expanded parking lot for customers, and new sales and corporate offices. Work is expected to be finished by mid-2017.

The immediate challenge is to keep the business operating smoothly while construction is underway, Vice President Shannon Nordstrom said. Work presently takes place in about 80,000 square feet of building space. When improvements are finished in 2017, there will be about 125,000 square feet of building space.

“I look at this as Nordstrom’s taking the next, big step to secure the long-term future of the business,” he said.

Executives with Nordstrom’s Automotive Inc. got advisory help from a representative with the South Dakota Small Business Development Center and other experts about the $4.5 million in improvements.

 “As the business has grown, we’ve added on piecemeal to the buildings and infrastructure,” said Nordstrom. “In my opinion, we’ve stretched the infrastructure to the maximum.”

Nordstrom was steered to the SBDC office in Sioux Falls, S.D. for help while planning improvements. Marc Ford, a business consultant with the SBDC, assisted Nordstrom and Jerry Zwak, the company’s chief financial officer and treasurer.

“They came to me looking to use a loan program,” Ford said. “We put together some loan projections that they took to the bank, and they were able to get some financing to expand their facility.”

Nordstrom’s Automotive was started in 1969 by Shannon Nordstrom’s parents, Art and Marie Nordstrom, who remain active in the company. Today, the company has 71 full-time employees. Operations are concentrated in nearly 20 buildings - some of which have been expanded more than once. Major divisions within the company include Nordstrom’s Full Service Auto Recycling, which sells new as well as used parts, and Ewe Pullet, a self-service lot. Nordstrom’s also has an Installation and Diagnostic Center in Garretson and a national radio show, “Under the Hood,” which airs on more than 100 stations. Another division, Nordstrom’s Repairables, sells vehicles that buyers fix up themselves.

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