NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When you think of an e-commerce powerhouse, you probably wouldn't guess a 113-year old retailer is at the forefront. But that's exactly where luxury retail chain Nordstrom (JWN) is. Founded in 1901 as a simple shoe store, Nordstrom is transforming itself once again to expand beyond its brick-and-mortar origins. The company is embracing e-commerce and the strategy is paying off.
E-commerce is now the fastest growing part of Nordstrom's business. E-commerce sales jumped 22% in the second quarter and the company expects 50% of total sales will come from e-commerce and its discount Rack unit with the next five years.
"Nordstrom's strength in sales is coming from e-commerce and that's helping to camouflage the slowdown in sales from its full-line retail stores," said Britt Beemer, retail analyst at America's Research Group.
Nordstrom's strategy is a simple one: to use new technology to create a seamless shopping experience whether online, in stores or on mobile devices.
Among the most recent initiatives, Nordstrom partnered with Like2Buy to allow shoppers to buy products through its Instagram page. (Instagram is owned by Facebook (FB) .) Nordstrom also teamed up with Twilio to launch a service that allows salespeople to text customers about merchandise. And Nordstrom has expanded its online footprint with the purchase of flash-sales site Haute Look and online clothing service Trunk Club.
"Nordstrom is outperforming its department store competitors. In a ranking of online websites most visited by shoppers, they are now at number 7. Three years ago, they ranked at 19," Beemer said.