Nordstrom debuts service-focused store with no inventory
As retailers consider how to best use their physical spaces in a digital world, Nordstrom is going "local," debuting a small-format retail concept that offers all sorts of personal services, but has no dedicated inventory.
The department store giant will unveil Nordstrom Local on Oct. 3, in West Hollywood, Calif. With a 3,000-sq.-ft. footprint, the new format is much smaller than an average 140,000-sq.ft. Nordstrom. It will offer such services as on-site tailoring, manicures, buy-online-pick-up in store, and easy returns. It will even boast a beverage bar.
In addition, customers will be able to consult with “personal stylists,” making an appointment online, over the phone or in person to take advantage of the free service. Along with giving styling tips, the associates can transfer requested merchandise from Nordstrom stores (or its website) to Nordstrom Local for shoppers.The rooms surround a central meeting space where customers can sit and chat with a stylist.
"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 VP 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."
The full list of services available at Nordstrom Local includes:
• Personal stylists;
• Alterations, with on-site tailors available;
• Manicure services;
• Same-day delivery for completed alterations or purchases, with items ordered by 2 p.m. delivered directly to a customer's home on the same day;
• Buy online, pick-up in store, with items ordered before 2 p.m. available for pick-up on the same day;
• Curbside pickup for items that are altered or for buy online, pick-up in-store orders;
• Customers can meet a Trunk Club Stylist, or pick up and/or return a trunk. On-site tailors will help customers select the right fabrics or create a Trunk Club Custom garment that suits their needs; and
• Refreshments, with a full-beverage menu that includes beer, wine, juices and coffee.
In addition, Nordstrom Local will debut "Style Boards,” is a new tool that allows salespeople and personal stylists to create digital boards filled with personalized fashion recommendations, which customers can view on their phone and purchase directly through Nordstrom.com. Customers can get the advice of a salesperson or personal stylist by having a conversation with them through the app.
Nordstrom Local is located at 8401 Melrose Place, on the corner of Melrose Place and Melrose.
Former Winn-Dixie exec takes helm of specialty grocer
The Fresh Market has ended its search for a new chief executive.
The grocer appointed Larry Appel as the company’s president and CEO, effective immediately. Appel brings nearly 30 years of experience in retail, legal and corporate strategy, and most recently served as CEO of Skeeter Snacks. From 2002 to 2012, he served at Winn-Dixie Stores in a variety of senior leadership roles including COO. Prior to that, he was senior VP of legal at The Home Depot.
In June 2017, Fresh Market CEO Richard Anicetti resigned after less than two years on the job. Brian Nicholson, CFO of Fresh Market, was appointed interim CEO. He will remain as CFO.
“Following an extensive search and review of both internal and external candidates, the Board believes that Larry is the best leader for The Fresh Market going forward," stated Andrew Jhawar, chairman, Fresh Market, and senior partner at Apollo Global Management, which acquired the grocer in April 2016. "We look forward to partnering with Larry and are confident in his ability to lead operationally and to execute strategies to ‘win’ with our customers."
Founded in 1982, The Fresh Market operates 176 stores in 24 states across the nation.
Online giant to open machine learning hub in Barcelona
Amazon is stepping up its commitment to machine learning.
The online giant plans to open a new research and development (R&D) hub in Barcelona, dedicated to machine learning. Amazon expects to open the lab in early 2018, according to The Verge.
Amazon plans to hire more than 100 engineers and scientists for the lab.
The R&D hub will be housed in the same building as the company’s recently announced Amazon Seller Support Hub. Scheduled to open around the same time, the support hub will help small online companies from Southern Europe sell on Amazon Marketplace, The Verge reported.
The news comes on the heels of Amazon’s plan to open a new North American headquarters. Amazon is accepting proposals from interested North American cities through Oct. 19. The company will announce its decision next year.
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