Sipping on some sparkling water or wine in a comfortable sitting area, surrounded by dressing rooms but not any racks of clothing, shoppers might not quite recognize that they have entered a Nordstrom store. But the Nordstrom Local innovation aims to alter that view, in an effort to ensure that customers receive the convenience, pleasant experience, and stellar service that will bring them back, again and again.

The Nordstrom Local concept invites customers in to the inventory-free locations, where they can interact with personal stylists and perhaps try on a few (not-for-sale) items. If they find something they like, they can order it through the stylists or online, then have them delivered to a nearby Nordstrom store, the Local outpost, or their homes. If they place the order before a certain time, they are guaranteed the ability to pick up their clothing the same day.

The only version thus far is in West Hollywood, Calif., so it is surrounded by nine nearby Nordstrom stores. Accordingly, staffers at the 3000-foot Nordstrom Local store can readily run out to pick up items that a customer might want to try on. In addition to this service, it will provide alterations as needed, curbside pickup, and a manicure station.

Before visiting Nordstrom Local, if consumers plan to consult with a stylist, they can call or go online to make an appointment. If they simply walk in, there will be some shop attendants available to assist them too. Then these visitors are encouraged to adopt Nordstrom Style Boards, a digital tool that shoppers can use to ask direct questions of their stylists or that stylists can use to post recommendations for the shoppers they have come to know.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How will the strategic profit model ratios for Nordstrom Local differ from a traditional Nordstrom department store?
  2. How is Nordstrom Local’s business model different from Bonobos’?

Source: George Anderson, Retail Wire, September 12, 2017