Nordstrom will meet with investors Tuesday in Los Angeles to share its vision for how it moves forward as a public company.
Earlier this year, the Nordstrom family fought to take the department store chain private, as it was looking to make critical investments outside of the public eye. The deal talks fell through, however, when a price couldn't be agreed upon.
For now, Nordstrom faces similar scrutiny as Macy's and J.C. Penney. The retailer's challenge is to make the investments needed to compete against Amazon, while continuing to keep shareholders happy — this is no easy task, as more shopping heads online and mall traffic dwindles.
The Seattle-based retailer has long been considered the best of its peer group — for touting a healthier, slimmer real estate footprint, inking deals with popular apparel brands like Topshop for stores within its stores, and running a lucrative off-price business, Nordstrom Rack.
But there are growing concerns that even best-in-class Nordstrom can't keep up. During the latest quarter, the company's online business blossomed, but same-store sales growth at both its full-line and off-price locations wasn't as strong as expected.
Nordstrom shares are up nearly 13 percent since the start of the year. Rivals like Macy's have seen larger gains in recent months. In the case of Macy's, its stock is up 31 percent year-to-date. This partly reflects how beaten down department store stocks were in 2017. But finding growth could also become a challenge for Nordstrom.
Earlier this month, Cowen & Co. lowered its rating on Nordstrom shares to market perform from outperform, and dropped its price target to $51 from $56. Nordstrom shares closed Monday at $53.52.
Cowen analyst Oliver Chen has warned that the retailer may need to close up to 10 percent of its physical stores. He's also concerned about the Rack division losing momentum and struggling to compete with the likes of TJ Maxx and Ross Stores.
Here are four areas investors are focused on, ahead of Tuesday's meeting: