Commentary: Blake Nordstrom 'never afraid to take risks'

Blake Nordstrom was, first and foremost, a retailer. [Blake Nordstrom, 58, died on Jan. 2] His instinct was always to make decisions based on what customers wanted, with one eye on how demand was changing.

This, along with his view that the business should be run on a long-term basis, meant that Nordstrom was usually one step ahead of rivals on big retail trends like omnichannel, own-label development, and the creation of an off-price spin-off.

Blake was never afraid to take risks and was always happy to be personally associated with them. Fortunately, he was most often on the right side of trends. This style of management and his vision is why Nordstrom has always been innovative and has, on occasion, shunned short-term gains in favor of doing the right thing for the long run.

His legacy is a strong, respected retailer that has a positive long-term future.