Nordstrom To Close Last Of Its Place Two Stores

The last of Nordstrom's Place Two stores will close in Bellevue on April 1, making way for The Gap to put one of its popular Old Navy Clothing Co. discount stores on the site.

The Place Two at Crossroads Shopping Center was scheduled to close in May 1996, when its lease was to expire. But the center management let Nordstrom out of the lease when it appeared that Old Navy wanted the 18,000-square-foot space.

Old Navy hopes to open by fall.

The Gap's newest successful retail concept offers fashion-forward clothing for men, women, children and infants at prices about 30 percent less than those in regular Gap stores.

The Old Navy stores feature simple, Gap-style designs and casual, specially designed, private-label clothing including jeans, sweatshirts, sweatpants and khakis. More than 80 percent of it is priced in the $7 to $22 range.

The Old Navy division was started in 1994 and already has 51 stores nationwide. The company is expanding Old Navy rapidly and plans to add another 50 stores this year.

Although a contract with Old Navy has not yet been signed, Crossroads managing partner Ron Sher said it was "very close to a deal with" the retailer.

"We're sorry to lose Nordstrom, but we're delighted that we have someone like this to fill the opening," Sher said.

Nordstrom announced last spring that it was dismantling the Place Two division. Place Two stores were scaled-down versions of Nordstrom's full-line stores.

The division was started in the mid-70s as a way to bring stores to small towns and college communities in the Northwest. At its peak in the mid-80s, Nordstrom had 10 Place Two stores. By the time Nordstrom announced the division's demise in the spring, only three remained.

The Crossroads Place Two store employs about 75 people, Nordstrom spokeswoman Kellie Tormey said.

Crossroads Shopping Center, three miles east of State Route 405, at the intersection of 156th Street and Northeast Eighth, has about 75 tenants.