<PAGE>
 
                                                  ----------------------------- 
                                                  OMB APPROVAL
          UNITED STATES                           OMB NUMBER    3235-0145
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION                EXPIRES:  DECEMBER 31, 1997
      WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549                      ESTIMATED AVERAGE BURDEN
                                                  HOURS PER RESPONSE . . . 14.90
                                                  ------------------------------

                                 SCHEDULE 13G


                   UNDER THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
                             (AMENDMENT NO. ____)*

                                Nordstrom, Inc.
- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               (Name of Issuer)

                                    Common
- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        (Title of Class of Securities)

                                   655664100
                  -------------------------------------------
                                (CUSIP Number)


Check the following box if a fee is being paid with this statement [XX]. (A fee
is not required only if the filing person: (1) has a previous statement on file
reporting beneficial ownership of more than five percent of the class of
securities described in Item 1; and (2) has filed no amendment subsequent
thereto reporting beneficial ownership of five percent or less of such class.)
(See Rule 13d-7).

*The remainder of this cover page shall be filled out for a reporting person's
initial filing on this form with respect to the subject class of securities, and
for any subsequent amendment containing information which would alter the
disclosures provided in a prior cover page.

The information required in the remainder of this cover page shall not be deemed
to be "filed" for the purpose of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 ("Act") or otherwise subject to the liabilities of that section of the Act
but shall be subject to all other provisions of the Act (however, see the
Notes).

           PAGE 1 OF 4 PAGES

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- -----------------------                                  ---------------------
  CUSIP NO. 655664100                 13G                PAGE 2 OF 4 PAGES
- -----------------------                                  ---------------------
 
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      NAME OF REPORTING PERSON
 1    S.S. OR I.R.S. IDENTIFICATION NO. OF ABOVE PERSON
      Dodge & Cox
      94-1441976

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      CHECK THE APPROPRIATE BOX IF A MEMBER OF A GROUP*
 2                                                              (a) [_]
                                                                (b) [_]
      N/A                                           
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      SEC USE ONLY
 3
 

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      CITIZENSHIP OR PLACE OF ORGANIZATION
 4    
      California - U.S.A.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          SOLE VOTING POWER
                     5   
     NUMBER OF            4,158,045  
 
      SHARES       -----------------------------------------------------------
                          SHARED VOTING POWER
   BENEFICIALLY      6
                          -0-
     OWNED BY
                   -----------------------------------------------------------
       EACH               SOLE DISPOSITIVE POWER
                     7    
    REPORTING             4,158,045   
 
      PERSON       -----------------------------------------------------------
                          SHARED DISPOSITIVE POWER
       WITH          8
                          -0-
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      AGGREGATE AMOUNT BENEFICIALLY OWNED BY EACH REPORTING PERSON
 9  
      4,158,045

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      CHECK BOX IF THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT IN ROW (9) EXCLUDES CERTAIN SHARES*
10                  
 
      N/A
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      PERCENT OF CLASS REPRESENTED BY AMOUNT IN ROW 9
11    
      5.1%

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      TYPE OF REPORTING PERSON*
12
      IA

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                     *SEE INSTRUCTION BEFORE FILLING OUT!


                               PAGE 2 OF 4 PAGES

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   Item 1(a) Name of Issuer:
             -------------- 
             Nordstrom, Inc.

   Item 1(b) Address of Issuer's Principal Executive Offices:
             ----------------------------------------------- 
             1501 Fifth Avenue
             Seattle, WA  98101-1603

   Item 2(a) Name of Person Filing:
             --------------------- 
             Dodge & Cox

   Item 2(b) Address of the Principal Office or, if none, Residence:
             ------------------------------------------------------- 
             One Sansome St., 35th Floor
             San Francisco, CA  94104

   Item 2(c) Citizenship:
             ----------- 
             California - U.S.A.

   Item 2(d) Title of Class of Securities:
             ---------------------------- 
             Common

   Item 2(e) CUSIP Number:
             ------------ 
             655664100


   Item 3    If the Statement is being filed pursuant to Rule 13d-1(b),
             ----------------------------------------------------------
             or 13d-2(b), check whether the person filing is a:
             ------------------------------------------------- 

             (e) [X]  Investment Advisor registered under section 203 of
                      the Investment Advisors Act of 1940

   Item 4    Ownership:
             --------- 
             (a)  Amount Beneficially Owned:
                  ------------------------- 
                  4,158,045

             (b)  Percent of Class:
                  ----------------       
                  5.1%

                               PAGE 3 OF 4 PAGES

<PAGE>
 
             (c)  Number of shares as to which such person has:
                  ---------------------------------------------

             (i)  sole power to vote or direct the vote: 4,158,045

            (ii)  shared power to vote or direct the vote: -0-

           (iii)  sole power to dispose or to direct the
                  disposition of:  4,158,045

            (iv)  shared power to dispose or to direct the
                  disposition of: -0-


   Item 5    Ownership of Five Percent or Less of a Class:
             -------------------------------------------- 
             Not applicable.

   Item 6    Ownership of More than Five Percent on Behalf of Another Person:
             ---------------------------------------------------------------
             Not applicable.

   Item 7    Identification and Classification of the Subsidiary Which
             --------------------------------------------------------- 
             Acquired the Security Being Reported on By the Parent
             -----------------------------------------------------
             Holding Company:
             ---------------  
             Not applicable.

   Item 8    Identification and Classification of Members of the Group:
             --------------------------------------------------------- 
             Not applicable.

   Item 9    Notice of Dissolution of a Group:
             -------------------------------- 
             Not applicable.

   Item 10   Certification:
             ------------- 
             By signing below I certify that, to the best                
             of my knowledge and belief, the securities referred to      
             above were acquired in the ordinary course of business and  
             were not acquired for the purpose of and do not have the    
             effect of changing or influencing the control of the issuer 
             of such securities and were not acquired in connection with 
             or as a participant in any transaction having such purpose  
             or effect.                                                   


                                   SIGNATURE

   After reasonable inquiry and to the best of my knowledge and belief, I
certify that the information set forth in this statement is true, complete and
correct.

Dated:  February 8, 1996
        -----------------
                                            DODGE & COX

                                            By: /s/ W. TIMOTHY RYAN
                                                --------------------------------
                                            Name: W. Timothy Ryan
                                                --------------------------------
                                            Title:  Senior Vice President
                                                --------------------------------

                               PAGE 4 OF 4 PAGES