Nordstrom announced it will close stores at Westfield Vancouver mall and at the Lloyd Center in Portland by January 2015 as recessionary pressures continue to hammer department store retailers.

A written corporate press statement Wednesday confirmed poor performance prompted the decision to close the Vancouver store, which employs 164 people, and the Lloyd Center store, which employs about 220 people. The company has operated its store at Westfield Vancouver mall since the state Highway 500 venue opened in 1977. It has done business at the Lloyd Center since 1960.

“This was a tough decision to make,” said Erik Nordstrom, president of stores for the Seattle-based company.

He said the announcements were timed to give advanced notice to employees who may be eligible for positions at other area Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores.

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The company intends to continue operating its three Portland-area Nordstrom stores in downtown Portland, and at the Washington Square and Clackamas Town Center malls. It also plans to continue doing business at nearby Nordstrom Rack stores in Portland and outlying malls at Clackamas, Tanasbourne and Cascade Plaza, and at a Marine Drive distribution center in Portland.