Nordstrom Is Opening a Store That Has No Inventory

With its newest concept, Nordstrom is betting on small—in a big way.

The Seattle-based department store chain announced yesterday that it’s debuting a brand new, slim-sized concept called Nordstrom Local. The store will bow Oct. 3 in the West Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The 3,000-square-foot concept will have plenty of clothes and accessories—but no inventory.

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).

The store will have one styling suite and eight dressing rooms, surrounding a central meeting space.

Nordstrom’s press release on the new concept says the store will offer conveniences including the ability to buy online and pick up in store (local on the same day, if ordered before 2 p.m.), curbside pickups, and on-site alterations and tailoring.

The shop will also host manicure stations offering eight different manicure services and a bar that serves California-sourced beer and wine, cold-pressed juices from Pressed Juicery, and espresso drinks.

Stylists will be offering shoppers the option of creating a Style Board—essentially a digital cork board where looks and fashion inspirations for a special occasion are saved (and can be accessed online).

The concept is an interesting one. But I wonder if it will turn off consumers who like the “hunting” aspect of shopping or dislike being handheld through the shopping process.

Shea Jensen, Nordstrom’s senior vice president of customer experience who led the Nordstrom Local initiative, said in the same statement, “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.”

(Top: The outside of the new Nordstrom Local store in L.A., courtesy of Nordstrom)


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JCK Magazine Editor