Nordstrom’s New Retail Store Concept

Nordstrom Local is a new retail store concept, one that is service-focused and merchandise-free, launching in California’s West Hollywood on 3rd October, where customers a can walk in for a manicure or a chat with a personal stylist, check out garments, try them on, purchase online and then have them delivered.

Nordstrom Local will have one styling suite and eight dressing rooms surrounding a central meeting space where customers can sit comfortably, enjoy a glass of wine or beer at the in-store bar, and chat with their personal stylists. Customers will also find alterations and tailoring and order pickup at the entrance, and items can be hand-delivered to a customer’s car via Curbside Pickup.

The new 3,000 square foot store, dwarfed compared to the retailer’s 140,000 square foot flagship stores, will however carry no apparel to buy on-site. Instead, its personal stylists can fetch items from nearby stores or order them online. According to a company statement, online orders that are placed on Nordstrom.com by 2 pm can be picked up at the store that same day, and returns can be made online or at a Nordstrom store.

Nordstrom’s new store salepeople will use “Nordstrom Style Boards” – a new digital tool that enables personalised fashion recommendations for events like a summer vacation, or spring wedding, that shoppers can view on their mobile phone, and then purchase through Norstrom.com.

“As the retail landscape continues to transform at an unprecedented pace, the one thing we know that remains constant is that customers continue to value great service, speed and convenience,” said Shea Jensen, Nordstrom senior vice president of customer experience who led the Nordstrom Local initiative.

“We know there are more and more demands on a customer’s time and we wanted to offer our best services in a convenient location to meet their shopping needs. Finding new ways to engage with customers on their terms is more important to us now than ever.”

When it comes to the inventory-free store concept, Nordstrom is following in the footsteps of Bonobos and Warby Parker, which allow customers to check out new garments, try them on, then order online.

Bonobos made the merchandise-free store concept famous with its guideshops which were rolled out across locations in the US over the last couple of years. The stores don’t carry any stock, but allows customers to look at garments, try them on, order them online and walk away empty-handed, with goods delivered to their door.

Bonobos, which Nordstrom was an early investor of, was acquired by US retail giant Walmart earlier this year.

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