For customers, little should change. The Seattle retailer will still manage customer service for the cards.
Nordstrom agreed to sell some $2.2 billion in credit-card receivables to Toronto-based TD Bank Group, which will also have the exclusive right to issue its branded Visa and private-label credit cards in the U.S.
For customers, little, if anything, should change, as the Seattle retailer will still manage customer service for the cards.
For Nordstrom it means getting out of the business of financing its customers in order to focus on building more stores and selling more stuff online. But the company will still get what it calls a “substantial” cut of the credit cards’ often-substantial profits, which last year represented one-sixth of Nordstrom’s before-tax earnings.
Nordstrom will continue to run and manage its Nordstrom Rewards loyalty program, as well as the debit cards it issues. Terms for the rewards program will remain unchanged, the company said.
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The move is not a surprise. Executives have been talking about selling the credit-card receivables, and in an earnings call earlier this month hinted that news was coming.
Nordstrom says the deal, expected to close in the second half of 2015 pending regulatory approvals, should streamline its use of resources. The company is in the midst of a big ramp-up in spending as it beefs up its online business, expands its discount franchise and renovates flagship stores.
Credit-card revenue is expected to increase about 5 percent in 2015.
The price and other terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Nordstrom said it is still mulling how to use the proceeds.
Analysts with KeyBanc said the deal was “a strong positive,” because it provides a cash boost while the company still gets a revenue stream from the credit cards in order to fund its Nordstrom Rewards program. Shares were down 0.7 percent at $74.41 on Tuesday.
The credit-card business accounts for a relatively small part of Nordstrom’s revenues — but that small part is pretty profitable. In the fiscal year that ended last January, credit cards brought the company some $396 million in revenues, or about 3 percent of Nordstrom’s total. After expenses, that meant $184 million in profits before tax.