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Linda Thomas
photo, a shopper checks a shoe as she walks down an aisle in a Nordstrom rack in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
A shopper checks the shoe department at a Nordstrom rack store, the Seattle-based retailer's discount chain. Nordstrom stock has increased 17 percent since June of 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Where are the women of Nordstrom? One is a billionaire

John, Lloyd, Everett, Elmer, Bruce, Blake, Erik, Peter - are all Nordstrom men who've helped the luxury retailer grow despite economic downturns since the company was founded in 1901. Where are the women of Nordstrom?

One of them, the company's largest shareholder, has just become a billionaire, according to Bloomberg News.

Anne Gittinger is the company's largest shareholder after her brother and fellow billionaire Bruce Nordstrom. Bloomberg's Billionaires Index reports the two have a combined net worth of $2.5 billion.

Gittinger owns 20.9 million shares of Nordstrom, about 9.6 percent of the company's stock. She owns about 13 million shares directly with the remaining held in trusts. Bloomberg's index indicates she's collected almost $120 million in dividends.

Gittinger serves as Nordstrom's Contributions Director.

Even with the name Nordstrom it wasn't always easy having a job there. Bruce Nordstrom is with the company's third generation.

Nordstrom tells the UW alumni magazine, "Columns," he started with Nordstrom when he was 9-years-old. World War II had just begun and he was working in the stockroom for 25 cents an hour. Good money in those days, he thought. Then he heard one of the secretaries talking about how his father, Everett Nordstrom, actually paid Bruce's salary out of his own pocket. He took that to mean he wasn't worth 25 cents an hour.

Bruce ended up being instrumental in growing the company, now with about 52,000 employees around the country. Nordstrom reported fiscal 2011 revenue of $9.7 billion. Bruce's sons, the fourth generation, run the company today.

The company operates 240 stores in the U.S. and its most recent earnings report shows it generated $2.81 billion in revenue during the third quarter.

By LINDA THOMAS

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About Linda
Linda is the morning news anchor and features reporter for KIRO Radio. This is her local news blog, with an emphasis on social media, technology, Northwest companies, education, parenting, and anything else that grabs her attention.

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