Speciality fashion retailer Nordstrom is planning to nearly double the size of its direct business distribution centres, creating more than 500 jobs in the process.

Due for completion in spring 2008, the multi-million dollar expansion will increase the square footage at the company's Iowa fulfillment and contact centres from 320,000sq ft to 578,000sq ft.

It marks the second expansion at the site since Nordstrom opened its Cedar Rapids facility in 1997, and is set to coincide with the company's updating of its direct business' inventory systems. Nordstrom Direct catalogues and the company's store catalogues were merged last year.

Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom Direct, said: "Our online business has experienced rapid growth and we are committed to building a billion-dollar business within four to six years."