Nordstrom is growing its fleet of stores that sell hardly anything at all - here's what they're like to visit
Bethany Biron/Business Insider
- Nordstrom debuted its first Nordstrom Local hub in New York on Monday, in advance of the retailer's massive seven-story flagship store coming to Manhattan in October.
- The mostly merchandise-less shop serves as a venue to pick up online orders and make returns. It also features on-site tailoring and personal styling services, as well as philanthropic efforts like clothing donations.
- We visited Nordstrom Local and were impressed by the shop's ability to merge digital and physical retail, while also catering to the community.
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Nordstrom is taking its localized mini-store model to the East Coast.
The luxury retailer opened its first Nordstrom Local hub in New York City on Monday, in advance of its forthcoming Manhattan flagship store, which is slated to make its much-anticipated debut in October.
Unlike the massive seven-story, 320,000-square-foot store currently in the works on West 57th Street, Nordstrom Local is a merchandise-less concept focused on online orders, personalized styling and tailoring, and specialty pop-ups.
Far from a traditional department store, Nordstrom Local is designed to function as a multipurpose hub where shoppers can pick up online apparel orders, try them on, and reorder new sizes as needed. They can also meet with on-site tailors and personal stylists, as well as drop off clothing donations as part of a new partnership with Housing Works, a New York City-based nonprofit that fights homelessness and AIDS.
The store is also unique in that it accepts returns from other retailers, including competitors Kohl's and Macy's, regardless of whether Nordstrom carries the same item. The effort mirrors similar programs launched in recent months, like Kohl's accepting Amazon returns.
Nordstrom first tested the Local model in Los Angeles in 2017, subsequently opening two additional locations in the area. The store on the Upper East Side of Manhattan is its first in New York City, with another location opening in the West Village on September 27.
We visited the new store a few days after it opened and saw how the experimental hub managed to seamlessly merge digital and physical retail.