Thursday, 21 September, 2017

Nordstrom's New Inventory-Free Concept is Risky--But Just May Work

Nordstrom may reinvent itself — away from Wall Street Nordstrom may reinvent itself — away from Wall Street
Nellie Chapman | 13 September, 2017, 00:19

Once you find pieces you like (hey, velvet slides and brocade booties), the stylist will order them for same-day pick-up or delivery, with free alterations included.

The idea is that shoppers will collaborate with dedicated personal stylists who are able to rotate merchandise in and out (including from other Nordstrom stores in the area).

In June, the Nordstrom family said it is seeking a way to acquire the department-store chain that bears its name and would turn the publicly-traded company into a private venture.

Luxury department store chain, Nordstrom, yesterday announced that it will open a tiny 3,000 square foot store in Los Angeles that will not sell any clothing merchandise but instead offer services like personal stylists as also refreshments like beer and wine.

As traditional retailers continue to search for the keys to survival amid rapidly changing consumer tastes, Nordstrom is rolling out a new concept - a store that doesn't actually have any inventory.

When customers enter Nordstrom Local, they'll likely notice it's much smaller than a typical Nordstrom location. Nor will one store, a small one at that, move the needle.

Retailers across the country are trying to figure out how to make the best use of their vast swathes of physical store footage, when shoppers are buying more and more products online.

Other services like manicure appointments, easy returns at Nordstrom Local from Nordstrom stores, Nordstrom.com, and Trunk Club will be available. The company hasn't said if it will be opening any additional locations like this. It's just a single location for now, and not all new Nordstrom stores will follow the model.

The newest store in west Hollywood is slated to open on October 3 with eight dressing rooms, where shoppers can try on clothes and accessories, though the store won't stock them. It now has about 20 Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores in the Bay Area. Department stores in particular have too many stores, and those stores tend to be huge, making them costly to stock and maintain. "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", Shea Jensen, Nordstrom's senior vice president of customer experience, said in a statement.