Blake Nordstrom, company co-president, dies unexpectedly at 58

Blake Nordstrom, the 58-year-old co-president of his family’s retail company, died on Wednesday.

Nordstrom (JWN) said in a statement “it is with deep sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of Blake Nordstrom.”

The company revealed last month that Blake Nordstrom had been diagnosed with lymphoma. At the time, he described his condition as “treatable” and said he planned to “continue to work throughout this process as normal.”

“My heart goes out to the Nordstrom family and everyone at the company during this difficult time,” chairman Brad Smith said in a statement. “Everyone who worked with Blake knew of his passion and deep commitment to employees, customers and the communities we serve.”

Blake Nordstrom served as co-president with brothers Pete Nordstrom and Erik Nordstrom. The company said Pete and Erik will continue as executive leaders of the company.

Nordstrom’s role at the company included “supporting the Nordstrom Rack brand” — including the company’s roughly 235 off-price Nordstrom Rack stores and He was also involved in other sectors at Nordstrom, including finance, technology, credit, legal and human resources, the company said.

Blake, a lifelong employee of his family’s Seattle-based company, began his career working in a stockroom in the early 1970s. He worked his way up through the ranks, holding various positions in buying and regional management, before becoming president of Nordstrom in 2000. He also served on Nordstrom’s board of directors since 2005.

Nordstrom department stores became prolific in the American shopping landscape in the 20th and early 21st centuries. But, like many other traditional brick-and-mortar stores, the company has struggled with the advent of online shopping. The high-end retailer has turned its attention to online growth, reporting in August that digital revenue now accounts for more than a third of its overall sales.

Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail, told CNN Business that he thinks Nordstrom has a “solid long-term future.”

As of March 2018, Nordstrom operated 363 stores across 40 US states, including Nordstrom and discounted Nordstrom Rack locations, as well as six Nordstrom full-line stores in Canada. It employed about 72,500 as of 2017.

— CNN Business’ Paul La Monica and Nathaniel Meyersohn contributed to this report.